Schlossberg offers thoughts on LVHN, Jefferson University merger announcement

HARRISBURG, Dec. 19 – State Rep. Mike Schlossberg offered the following statement following today’s announcement that Lehigh Valley Health Network and Jefferson Health will be signing letters of intent to merge.

“According to data from the Lehigh Valley Work Force Investment Board, Lehigh Valley Hospital is the largest employer in Lehigh County. Health care and social assistance accounts for approximately 23% of the county’s employment base and provides family sustaining wage opportunities for approximately 46,000 people. Health care, and health care systems, are huge economic engines in our region. 

“Still, our primary focus needs to be ensuring our region’s health care system delivers the best access to care and outcomes possible. We have been fortunate in that regard in our region as cutting-edge care and the human touch we have come to expect. Jefferson has a stellar reputation. I am hopeful this conversation will further open our region to more doctors and the world-class health care we expect,” Schlossberg said. 

“At the same time, further consolidation within the health care industry is a real concern. With fewer and fewer alternatives to massive health care networks, I am deeply concerned about patient choices and the ongoing rising costs associated with delivery of care. Jefferson has a difficult challenge in using its stellar reputation to match the decades of good-will borne by LVHN’s homegrown care. In part because LVHN has developed a history of finding creative delivery methods to underserved populations in our region, we should all be concerned that the same commitment to our vulnerable neighbors be carried through as part of this conversation. 

“As state representative and member of leadership in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, I look forward to being a part of this conversation and fighting to ensure our region’s health care needs are first and foremost. If we have learned anything in the growth of our region’s health care systems, it is that world-class health care delivery builds a strong regional economy.”