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.

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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.

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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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