Jefferson to buy Fox Chase Cancer Center

Temple University has reached an agreement to sell Fox Chase Cancer Center to Jefferson University.

Times File Photo

Temple University has agreed to sell Fox Chase Cancer Center to Jefferson University, the institutions announced in a joint statement Monday.

A final sale price will be determined once the formal agreement is finalized, likely in the coming weeks, the universities said. Jefferson and Temple have been in negotiations about FCCC since January. 

State Rep. Kevin Boyle, in a hearing before the announcement, questioned Temple officials about whether a stipulation would be included in any potential deal to make sure FCCC stays at its current location, adjacent to Jeanes Hospital and Burholme Park.

“Although Jefferson and Temple universities’ collaboration to improve health, education and outreach throughout our region, while also keeping Fox Chase Cancer Center a leader in cancer research and treatment, sounds attractive, it is still unclear if Fox Chase will continue to exist at its current site,” Boyle said Monday in a statement.

A Temple spokesman referred questions to Jefferson, which did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

Temple had been looking into the possibility of offloading both FCCC and Jeanes Hospital and last August hired a consultant to look into selling one or both of the properties.

The health system, which serves a high number of low-income patients, eventually focused on selling FCCC. 

Temple acquired the hospital, a National Cancer Institute-designated center, in 2012. Previously, the cancer center and neighbors had engaged in a years-long court battle over whether the facility could expand into adjacent Burholme Park.

As part of the deal, Jefferson will also acquire Temple’s interest in Health Partners Plan, a not-for-profit organization that offers government-funded insurance programs. 

In the statement, the universities painted the transaction as part of a larger effort to form a healthcare and education partnership.

“We believe that this collaboration signals a new day for healthcare in Philadelphia, and specifically for the patients we serve together,” Temple President Richard Englert said in a statement. “Given all of the uncertainties that have made healthcare headlines in recent months, we believe that the formation of this collaborative framework is a major step forward for patients, employees and the public.”

The transaction is not Jefferson’s first foray into the Northeast. In 2016, the university absorbed Aria Health, and Aria’s hospitals in Frankford and Torresdale joined the Jefferson system. 

There is also a pending merger between Jefferson and Einstein Healthcare Network. ••