PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Two Philadelphia-area health systems say they’ve agreed to a merger deal after signing a letter of intent last fall.

Jefferson Health System and Abington Health announced the merger Thursday.

Combined, the organizations operate five hospitals in Philadelphia and Montgomery County with 1,700 beds, and seven outpatient centers.

They employee 19,000 people, including 3,370 doctors.

Officials from Jefferson and Abington Health say they started studying ways to combine operations last September. They signed a letter of intent in October.

Administrators from both organizations will run the new company. Jefferson and Abington Health say they’re studying how to brand the combined entity.

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