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Saint Vincent Health System Joins Highmark's Health System

Saint Vincent Health System, based in Erie, Pa., has officially merged into Allegheny Health Network, the integrated delivery system operated by Pittsburgh-based health insurer Highmark.

State regulatory officials OK'd the deal more than a month after the Orphan's Court of Erie County approved it. Highmark will invest $20 million into Saint Vincent for general financial purposes and another $5 million for capital projects. Saint Vincent will also receive $40 million over the next three years to improve existing facilities and expand in the region. The Sisters of St. Joseph, the Catholic sponsor of Saint Vincent, will receive a one-time, $10 million payment.

"We're committed to working collaboratively with Highmark and Allegheny Health Network to make care more affordable, while at the same time addressing a shortage of primary care physicians in the region by investing in training and education," Scott Whalen, PhD, president and CEO of Saint Vincent's, said in a news release.

Saint Vincent is the third major provider to join Allegheny Health Network. The Pennsylvania Insurance Department approved the affiliation between Highmark and Pittsburgh-based West Penn Allegheny Health System in April. Jefferson Regional Medical Center, a 370-bed hospital in Jefferson Hills, Pa., was the first to join Highmark's system in March.

Allegheny Health Network now has seven hospitals in Pennsylvania and one in southwestern New York.

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