Tuesday, June 29, 2010

West Penn Will Shed Services, Jobs

About 1,500 employees at the West Penn Allegheny Health System will lose their jobs in the coming months. That's due to the consolidation of Allegheny General Hospital and West Penn Hospital. AGH will become the primary hospital of the health system while most medical and surgical programs at West Penn will move to AGH in the first quarter of next year. IN addition West Penn's emergency department will close in January.
West Penn will continue to provide its Women's and Infants' Center, bariatric surgery program and the burn center and inpatient rehabilitation programs.
President and CEO Christopher Olivia says despite improving its cost structure West Penn Allegheny has lost $11.6 million in the first three quarters of this fiscal year.
Olivia says he can’t say yet how much money the system will save through the consolidation. Most of the 1,500 lost jobs will come from West Penn which currently employs 2,400.
Olivia said the city and county’s population has declined and more patients are seeking care closer to home ...outside of the city as population shifts in the region. He also says more patients are seeking care in an outpatient setting. On an average day West Penn has about 240 patients, or just 47 percent capacity. West Penn will see its inpatient beds cut from 505 to 202.

“After long and careful deliberation, we believe this consolidation, together with our suburban strategy, will help us achieve this goal and ensure that we have the necessary capital and alignment of resources to fulfill our mission and charitable purpose."

In May, West Penn Allegheny announced that the Suburban Campus of AGH in Bellevue, would become an outpatient facility only. Two weeks ago, the system announced plans to build an ambulatory care and surgery center in Peters Township.

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