Gwinnett Medical, Northside say they have final clearance for merger

<p>Gwinnett Medical Center in Lawrenceville. (Photo: courtesy of Gwinnett Health System)</p>
<p>Gwinnett Medical Center in Lawrenceville. (Photo: courtesy of Gwinnett Health System)</p>

Credit: Photo courtesy: Gwinnett Health System

Credit: Photo courtesy: Gwinnett Health System

Northside Hospital and Gwinnett Health System have cleared their final regulatory hurdle and plan to combine operations later this year, officials said Tuesday.

The merger of the two metro Atlanta health care powerhouses has been years in the making. A combined system would include five hospitals, adding Gwinnett’s Lawrenceville and Duluth facilities to Northside’s hospitals in Sandy Springs, Cumming and Canton. It would also have more than 250 outpatient facilities.

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A statement on a website regarding the merger said that "all Gwinnett Health System employees and all Northside employees will continue their employment after the merger."

The combined system would have an estimated 21,000 employees and more than 3,500 physicians.

“We are excited to move forward on the merging of our two health systems,” Northside Hospital president and CEO Bob Quattrocchi said in a news release.

Northside and Gwinnett Health System (the parent company of Gwinnett Medical Center) announced their merger plans to in 2015 and formally agreed agreed to combine operations in August 2017. That agreement was approved by Georgia's attorney general a few months later.

According to hospital officials, the Federal Trade Commission completed its review of the merger late last week.

FTC spokeswoman Betsy Lordan provided further clarification.

“The FTC does not clear mergers, it either files a complaint challenging them after a full investigation or it doesn’t,” Lordan told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “The FTC has not filed a complaint in this matter.”

A press release from the hospitals said the newly combined system was expected to be operational by this summer.

“Through the merged entity, Gwinnett County will continue to have access to world-class medical treatment,” said Philip Wolfe, president and CEO of Gwinnett Health System. “Health care is a dynamic industry that requires complex technology, highly skilled medical professionals and exceptional leadership. I’m confident the merger will help sustain our ability to offer leading-edge, compassionate and effective health care close to home for many years to come.”

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