$32M Pennsylvania hospital upgrade delayed after UPMC ends affiliation

Uniontown (Pa.) Hospital is delaying a $32 million campus upgrade after Pittsburgh-based UPMC ended its clinical affiliation with the facility, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

The 160-bed hospital revealed in January that the affiliation with UPMC is ending and that it was considering a partnership with Morgantown, W. Va.-based WVU Health System.

Now, Uniontown Hospital leaders have reportedly decided to put off building a three-story parking garage and new entrance for visitors and patients. The construction delay is expected to last 18 to 24 months, hospital CEO Steve Handy told employees in a memo obtained by the Post-Gazette.

The delay is necessary to “redirect our available cash to the financial deficits created with UPMC’s sudden departure from our relationship,” Mr. Handy wrote.

“This has left us with very little time now to figure out how to stabilize our physician-related services without destabilizing the hospital,” he added. “Within the next few weeks, we will develop a plan with our physicians.”

A UPMC spokesperson was not immediately available to the Post-Gazette for comment.

Uniontown Hospital’s clinical affiliation with UPMC began about six years ago, giving the acute care facility access to UPMC physicians and specialty care.

The clinical affiliation is slated to end by midsummer, but UPMC will still provide cancer and home care in Uniontown, according to the report.

Meanwhile, WVU Health System President and CEO Albert Wright Jr., PharmD, recently told the Post-Gazette that the system and Uniontown Hospital are “moving forward with conversations,” and he believes an agreement could be possible by the end of the year.

 

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