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UPMC CEO: "I Don't Believe Highmark Can Save West Penn Allegheny"

Though UPMC CEO Jeffrey Romoff said his system supports Pittsburgh-based Highmark's acquisition of West Penn Allegheny Health System, he doesn't think the plan will be enough to salvage the struggling organization, according to a Pittsburgh Tribune-Review report.

Highmark is planning to fund the hospital with $100 million in general grants, $300 million in loans and an additional $75 million in grants for a medical school. Mr. Romoff said he welcomes the competition but doesn't think the acquisition plan will be enough, according to the report.

West Penn recently released financial results for July-Sept. 2011, showing a $27.1 million operating loss — more than twice the loss it saw from the same time period last year. Moody's rated West Penn Allegheny last week, downgrading it to junk status due to concerns that the Highmark deal may take too long for West Penn to avoid collapse.

Highmark CEO Kenneth Melani, MD, is urging state regulators to expedite the sale, saying it cannot take a year to be approved because otherwise West Penn will collapse. He predicts the system could see profits in 24 months if the acquisition receives approval.

Related Articles on UPMC, Highmark and West Penn Allegheny:

Judge Orders UPMC, West Penn Allegheny to Mediate Antitrust Lawsuit
UPMC Wants West Penn-Highmark Agreement Made Public
West Penn Drops Highmark from Lawsuit; Details of Acquisition Revealed

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