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ChristianaCare acquires pair of Pa. primary care offices

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ChristianaCare, the state’s largest hospital system, has acquired two primary care offices run by Tower Health. | PHOTO COURTESY CHRISTIANACARE

WILMINGTON — ChristianaCare continues to look north, and has acquired two primary care offices run by Tower Health in Jennersville and West Grove, Pa., as of last week.

ChristianaCare, the top private employer in the state, will now operate 29 primary care offices in the tri-state region. The two primary care offices will add 26 employees to the health care system’s headcount, and the workforce has “remained largely intact,” according to ChristianaCare officials.

“ChristianaCare strives to make a positive impact on the health of every person in every community we serve. That includes increasing access to primary care services in southeastern Pennsylvania that will help people achieve their very best health,” ChristianaCare Medical Group President Lisa Maxwell said in a prepared statement.

Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

As some central and southern Delaware health care groups look to control Sussex County, ChristianaCare has stayed quiet in terms of expanding its footprint — until recently. In early February, ChristianaCare announced that it had signed a letter of intent to acquire Crozer Health in southeastern Pennsylvania. Should the deal go through, ChristianaCare will acquire four hospitals and all of Crozer Health’s primary care and specialty care assets — making it a new player in the Philadelphia region.

“We believe the addition of these two practices strengthens ChristianaCare as a preferred provider of high-quality primary care services in communities we are privileged to serve, including southeastern Pennsylvania,” Maxwell added.

Tower Health, a Berks County nonprofit-based health care system, has been embattled with debt for quite some time. In 2017, Tower Health bought five hospitals in Chestnut Hill, Coatesville, Jennersville, Phoenixville, and Pottstown to launch a large-scale expansion effort. Renovation costs on those facilities were more extensive than predicted, and Tower Health reported a $457 million loss for those facilities, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

The COVID-19 pandemic was another financial blow, Tower Health has since put its hospitals on the market in 2020. In the first half of Fiscal Year 2021, the health care system was facing a multimillion dollar debt load and had a letter of intent signed with Trinity Health Mid-Atlantic. That deal ultimately fell through earlier this year.

In late 2021, Tower Health was in discussions with Canyon Atlantic Partners to buy the Jennersville and Brandywine hospitals, but ultimately tried to leave the arrangement. Both hospitals closed in December. Canyon then filed an injunction to force the sale, but failed to pay the $1 million bond as surety.

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