PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Leaders of two Philadelphia-area health systems plan to sign a letter of intent to move toward merging the organizations.

Officials say that the two organizations have thoroughly studied a model over the last 30 days that would combine Jefferson and Abington Health.

Representatives from both organizations are scheduled to sign a letter of intent on Wednesday at Abington Memorial Hospital in Montgomery County to move toward integrating the companies next year.

If the merger goes through, the health system would contain five hospitals in Philadelphia and Montgomery County.

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