PLAINS TOWNSHIP, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — A major announcement Wednesday in the healthcare industry as one of the area’s largest healthcare providers is being acquired.

California-based Kaiser Permanente Health Care Group announced that it is expected to acquire Danville-based Geisinger Health.

Kaiser Permanente is acquiring Geisinger in an effort to develop a new company that would operate a nonprofit community health system.

“I think the model is really designed to enhance and boost our capabilities, specifically in the value-based space,” said Geisinger President and CEO, Dr. Jaewon Ryu.

Geisinger, which will keep its name, will be folded into Risant Health, a new nonprofit created by Kaiser Foundation Hospitals, that will operate independently.

“We don’t plan on any changes and can’t envision changes. The care that they get from us, they can expect the same. Regardless of insurance company, they’re still come into Geisinger for their care,” said Dr. Ryu.

Geisinger officials say no layoffs are expected with this acquisition.

Officials say the goal of Risant Health is to expand services in diverse, multi-payer, multi-provider, community-based health-system environments.

“Sometimes I’ve used the analogy of building muscle and exercising that muscle so that we can make folks healthier and enhance the health of our communities. I think that’s what this is all about,” said Dr. Ryu.

The CEO says the main focus is value-based health, and treating people before they need to go to the er or hospital.

“We’ve been on a journey at Geisinger for quite some time doing that. And we also know that when we do that well and effectively, that’s when our communities benefit the most,” said Dr. Ryu.

Community members we spoke to who did not wish to appear on camera had many questions about the merger.

Officials say Geisinger is the first acquisition to join Risant Health. There is no timeframe for regulatory approval of the acquisition.