UPMC seeks to build hospital near rival Allegheny Health Network's facility

Pittsburgh-based health giant UPMC is challenging a zoning code in an attempt to build a 300,000-square-foot hospital less than one mile from Allegheny Health Network's Jefferson Hospital in Pittsburgh, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

UPMC spokeswoman Gloria Kreps told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette there are many benefits to the facility being built, including creating "hundreds of jobs in the region." However, AHN officials are not pleased with the proposal, as they believe it would drive up overall healthcare costs by duplicating existing services in the area, according to the report.

"It's a predatory action. The clear intent here is to weaken Jefferson and the other independent hospitals that serve the community," Dan Laurent, an AHN spokesman, told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

AHN's criticism of the proposal may be premature, as a zoning code currently does not permit a hospital to be built on the tract where UPMC hopes to construct its new facility.

In its challenge of the zoning code, ULCM — a wholly owned subsidiary of UPMC — wrote, "Hospitals by their nature serve a necessary community need. The borough's exclusion of a hospital use is not justified."

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