Peconic Bay Medical Center voted in 2015 to join forces with one of the country’s largest integrated healthcare systems, North Shore-LIJ.
After two years of talks with both North Shore-LIJ and Stony Brook Medicine, the Riverhead hospital’s board of directors voted unanimously in late March to merge with the former, ending months of speculation.
The merger comes at a time when smaller hospitals are increasingly joining wider networks as they look toward the future. In January, Southampton Hospital announced it would merge with Stony Brook. Eastern Long Island Hospital in Greenport later announced it too would partner with Stony Brook.
But PBMC officials have said they believe North Shore-LIJ was the right fit for them to expand infrastructure and health services.
“We believe this decision ensures we are capable of meeting not just the current needs but future health and wellness challenges of central Suffolk County and eastern Long Island,” Sherry Patterson, chair of the PBMC board, said at the time. “In addition, this agreement would establish important new regional medical services and provide long-term stability for our patients during a time of great volatility in the healthcare market.”
North Shore-LIJ employs over 50,000 people and comprises 19 hospitals from Bay Shore to Staten Island to Westchester County, two of which were added just last fall. In addition to its medical facilities, the system also runs its own health insurance network, CareConnect.
PBMC CEO Andrew Mitchell said the move will give PBMC resources — not to mention funding — it hasn’t had in the past, allowing it to provide improved care to the 220,000 people in its service area.
“My mantra since 2001 has been, ‘How do we convert this into a regional medical center that has all of the major services that the population that lives here needs?’” he said in March.
Photo Credit: Jim Lennon, courtesy of PBMC