Westmoreland County Will Ask For $1 Million From State To Raze Monsour Medical Center

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Westmoreland ...

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Westmoreland County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Westmoreland County will ask the state for $1 million to pay for demolition of the former Monsour Medical Center in Jeannette, which officials say has deteriorated to the point it poses a hazard for pedestrians and motorists.

Jason Rigone, executive director of the Westmoreland County Industrial Development Corp., will ask the county commissioners on Thursday to approve a business plan that will be submitted to the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program in Harrisburg by the Feb. 7 deadline.

The program is highly competitive. Last year, Gov. Tom Corbett approved 58 projects totaling $133 million across the state.

“It will be competitive going in for Monsour, but I think the state sees Monsour as a priority,” Rigone said.

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/westmoreland/5465027-74/county-million-monsour#ixzz2rKuPVrIl
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Einstein Medical Center Montgomery Voted Fifth ‘Most Beautiful Hospital In America

Location of East Norriton Township in Montgome...

Location of East Norriton Township in Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

EAST NORRITON — It’s the dazzling head turner that neither the original facility in Norristown nor the golf course it replaced ever were.

And thousands of folks agree, voting Einstein Medical Center Montgomery the fifth “Most Beautiful Hospital in America” for 2013 in a survey sponsored by Soliant Health.

Not a bad way to help celebrate Einstein Montgomery’s first-year anniversary, coming up on Sept. 29.

“I thought we had a pretty good chance, since this is such a stunning environment,” said the hospital’s Chief Operating Officer Beth Duffy. “We get tons of positive comments from people. The support from the community has just been tremendous.”

Read more: http://www.timesherald.com/business/20130925/einstein-medical-center-montgomery-voted-fifth-most-beautiful-hospital-in-america

PMMC To Consolidate Business Office, Move 30 More Jobs Out Of Pottstown

POTTSTOWN, PA — Pottstown Memorial Medical Center has confirmed that business operations for the hospital and several others owned by Community Health Systems will be consolidated in Easton, moving 30 jobs there.

Hospital spokeswoman Debra Bennis provided the following statement after The Mercury contacted her seeking confirmation of a tip: “Providing patients with quality health care while operating an efficient organization is one of our top priorities.  To keep hospital resources focused on our patients, we are moving our business office functions to a centralized, external office in Easton.  This transition will also enhance operational efficiencies through technological advances for scheduling appointments.  All 30 affected employees are being offered a position with the central business office or another area of our hospital. We value these individuals and appreciate the professionalism they bring to our organization.”

A business office worker who contacted The Mercury, and whose name has been withheld, said the office workers were gathered into a meeting Sept. 11 during which the hospital’s CEO and CFO informed them of the change.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20130919/pmmc-to-consolidate-business-office-move-30-more-jobs-out-of-pottstown

Reading Hospital Joins Alliance With Six Others

The Reading Health System announced Wednesday that it has joined an alliance with six other health systems in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, a move officials say could lead to better and more affordable care for patients, improve hospital operations and reduce costs.

The alliance, AllSpire Health Partners, is not a merger, officials stressed.  Reading Hospital will remain locally governed and managed.

The seven health systems include a total of 25 hospitals with a service area of more than 6 million people.  The systems have a combined revenue of $10.5 billion, and AllSpire touts the partnership as the largest health care consortium in the country.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=512676

Bradford Hospital Opens Beds To Online Addicts

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting McKean County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting McKean County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Think of it as “digital detox.”

Bradford Regional Medical Center on Monday opened a four-bed program to treat those suffering from Internet addiction.  It is believed to be the first such hospital-based facility in the country, although private and out-patient programs were around before “friend” became a verb.

“I think this is a fairly new field, and certainly there is nothing to compare it to at this point,” said Kimberly Young, the psychologist who created the cognitive behavioral therapy program at the McKean County facility, about 3 1/2 hours northeast of Pittsburgh.

“There is a learning curve for all of us.”

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/news/health/hospital-opens-beds-to-online-addicts-702709/#ixzz2eXdNt1zs

LVH-Cedar Crest Undergoing $21 Million Expansion

English: Lehigh Valley Hospital, Allentown, PA...

English: Lehigh Valley Hospital, Allentown, PA, USA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Lehigh Valley’s biggest hospital is getting bigger.

Lehigh Valley Hospital-Cedar Crest has begun a $21.4 million expansion of its Kasych Family Pavilion in response to patient demand.  When it is done, the hospital will have added 24 patient rooms and three floors to the south tower.

Read more: http://www.mcall.com/news/breaking/mc-lehigh-valley-hospital-expansion-20130821,0,6465139.story#ixzz2cetZgxiB
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Expansion Prescribed For Reading Hospital

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United Stat...

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United States with township and municipal boundaries (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Reading Health System plans to build a $354 million clinical building on its West Reading campus, a move hospital officials say could keep more Berks County patients in the area for their medical care.

“What we’re really doing is upgrading what we currently have and bringing some of our facilities into the 21st century,” said Mark McNash, vice president of support services for the Reading Health System.  “We’re excited to offer state-of-the-art surgical facilities for the community.”

Construction of the eight-story building on Seventh Avenue and Parkside Drive will begin in September.  It will take three years to complete, McNash said.

Health system officials say they are undertaking the ambitious and expensive project because the hospital building is outdated in some respects.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=500297

Phoenixville Hospital Furloughs Come On Heels Of $4B Acquisition Deal

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Chester County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Chester County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Editor’s note:  Thanks for going there, Evan!  I was complaining about this very thing today.  They have billions to spend on buying more hospitals but then turn around and cut jobs.  Makes no sense to me!  You would think the time to buy would be if you were flush with cash.  Now they will own two hospitals in Lancaster once this deal goes through as well.

PHOENIXVILLE — One day after Pottstown Memorial Medical Center furloughed 30 employees for 90 days, The Mercury has confirmed that similar furloughs occurred at Phoenixville Hospital.

Phoenixville Hospital spokesperson Lori Cunningham confirmed Thursday that the full-time equivalent of 24 employees in “clinical, non-clinical support and administrative departments” have been furloughed.

News of the staff reduction occurs at the same time that the company that owns both hospitals, Tennessee-based Community Health Systems Inc., is planning a $3.9 billion purchase of Florida-based Health Management Associates Inc., which also operates hospitals around the country.

Cunningham said the furloughs at Phoenixville, which she described as “not scheduling a small number of employees in various departments,” have “no definitive time line.  As always, staffing is dependent upon patient volume and clinical needs.”

Read more:   http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20130731/NEWS01/130739803/phoenixville-hospital-furloughs-come-on-heels-of-4b-acquisition-deal#full_story

Pottstown Memorial Medical Center Furloughs 30 Workers For 90 Days

POTTSTOWN — Pottstown Memorial Medical Center has instituted three-month furloughs for dozens of its employees and one of its units will be closed.

“We are implementing furloughs for less than four percent of employees across our hospital.  The furloughs impact both represented and non-represented employees.  Impacted employees are being reassigned to other open positions as possible,” PMMC spokesperson Debra Bennis wrote in an email received by The Mercury at 4:51 p.m. Tuesday.

An email reply from The Mercury at 4:52 p.m. Tuesday, which asked how many employees the hospital has, went unanswered; as did a subsequent phone message asking how many people have been furloughed.

The statement Bennis provided included no information about what departments experienced the furloughs.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20130730/NEWS01/130739893/pmmc-furloughs-30-for-90-days#full_story

Tennessee Hospital Chain Acquiring Heart Of Lancaster And Lancaster Regional Owner Health Management Associates In $7.6 Billion Deal

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A Tennessee-based hospital chain has agreed to buy Health Management Associates for $7.6 billion, it was announced Tuesday.

The acquisition would make Community Health Systems a company with 206 hospitals and 31,000 beds in 29 states.

Among those hospitals would be two local HMA facilities, Lancaster Regional and Heart of Lancaster.

The price includes the assumption of $3.7 billion in HMA debt.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/article/local/877230_Tennessee-hospital-chain-acquiring-Heart-of-Lancaster-and-Lancaster-Regional-owner-Health-Management-Associates-in–7-6-billion-deal.html#ixzz2aY1BWRIG

Lancaster General Hospital Leads Area Hospitals In Rankings

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Area hospitals made the annual U.S. News “Best Hospitals” lists in several categories.

Lancaster General Hospital was ranked nationally in four specialties and ranked sixth in the state overall on the lists, which the magazine released recently.

Lancaster Regional Medical Center was ranked 34th in the state.

In the region, Penn State Hershey Medical Center was ranked 16th in the state and the Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital was nationally ranked in five specialties.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/article/local/873980_LGH-leads-area-hospitals-in-rankings.html#ixzz2ZjESCFyk

Children’s Hospital Of Philadelphia Gets $50 Million Gift For Advanced Care Center

Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia will announce on Tuesday its biggest gift ever: $50 million toward the $425 million cost of an outpatient center rising on the institution’s University City campus.

The Buerger Center for Advanced Pediatric Care, named for a family that owns a Fort Washington financial-services firm, will become the hub for complex outpatient care in the hospital’s network in Southeastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

The donation is part of a $100 million capital campaign to help pay for the facility, expected to open in 2015. Remaining costs will be paid through additional philanthropy and money from operations.

Spearheading the family’s gift was Reid Buerger, who said his view of Children’s, frequently ranked among the best of its kind nationally, took on deeper significance when he was looking forward to fatherhood several years ago.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/20130625_Children_s_Hospital_gets__50_million_gift_for_center.html#d5XYbYJiCEFCdIaI.99

Some At Altoona Regional Health System Urging Caution In UPMC’s Acquisition

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Blair County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Blair County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

UPMC‘s months-in-the-making acquisition of the Altoona Regional Health System may soon be finalized, but the deal is not sitting well with some employees and community residents.

Last week, a petition with some 2,000 signatures was delivered to Altoona Health officials, urging them “to slow down and stop exclusive talks with UPMC in order to re-examine the best future course for our hospital.”

The next day, Altoona president and CEO Jerry Murray sent a letter to the health system’s 6,000 employees that said the UPMC affiliation was on track for a July 1 completion announcement, pending final approval from the board and the state attorney general’s office.

“There are some very well-meaning people in the community who have concerns, and we appreciate the concerns that they have.  Unfortunately, there are also some with self-serving motives,” said Dave Cuzzolina, Altoona Health’s director of marketing and communications.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/business/news/some-at-altoona-regional-health-system-urging-caution-in-upmcs-acquisition-692480/#ixzz2WrrppOnu

What Lancaster County’s 4 Hospitals Made In Profits In 2012

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The bottom line is starting to look healthier for local hospitals, which saw profits of between $7 million and $65 million in 2012 after some recent lean years.

All four hospitals saw an increase in profits, with two sister hospitals here seeing the biggest leap, according to a new state report.

All of the hospitals also had robust profit margins, according to the report by the Pennsylvania Health Cost Containment Council.

One local hospital official, however, said things might not be as good as they appear, due to the fact that the data included in the report does not include losses from hospital-owned physician practices.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/article/local/849894_What-Lancaster-County-s-4-hospitals-made-in-profits-in-2012.html#ixzz2TQB2Ff8W

Hospital Charges A Mystery To Many

If you need hip replacement surgery, you will face a wide range of charges here, depending on the hospital you choose.

Lancaster Regional Medical Center charged the most for major joint replacement surgery, $60,434, of the four hospitals here, according to a recent federal report on 2011 charges.

Across town, Lancaster General Hospital charged the least, $37,761, about $23,000 less than Regional.

But hang on to your crutches, patients.  There’s more.

Though LGH charged the least, Medicare, the federal insurance for the elderly paid it the most of all the hospitals here, $13,400.

Confused yet? Join the club.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/article/local/848413_Hospital-charges-a-mystery-to-many.html#ixzz2T2HQPO3o

Einstein Medical Center Montgomery Expanding

Location of East Norriton Township in Montgome...

Location of East Norriton Township in Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

EAST NORRITON – It’s been barely six months since the shiny new Einstein Medical Center Montgomery debuted on the site of the old “Woody’s” golf course, and already the hospital is growing.

Expansion to the latest addition of the Einstein Healthcare Network – essentially a conversion of the west wing of the medical center’s fourth floor – came a bit sooner than anticipated, noted Beth Duffy, Chief Operating Officer of Einstein Medical Center Montgomery.

“We really thought it would happen a year or two down the road, but the early success of Einstein Medical Center Montgomery has created the need for additional patient care areas.”

Luckily, expansion opportunities were built in during the original construction, Duffy explained.

Read more:  http://business-news.thestreet.com/the-times-herald/story/einstein-medical-center-montgomery-expanding-2/1

Hazleton General Ranks First In State For Health Care Value

Hazleton General Hospital ranks first in the state in a new measure that the federal government uses to assess value in health care.

Through the Affordable Health Care Act, the federal government will increase or decrease a small percentage of Medicare payments to hospitals based on the ratings.

For the past few years, the Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania used federal data and formulas to let hospitals know how they compare under value-based purchasing.

“For Hazleton General Hospital, of 136 hospitals which we have data for, they ranked No. 1,” Martin Ciccocioppo, vice president of research for the hospital association, said.  “Out of the whole country … Hazleton General Hospital, in our analysis, is 23 of 2,843.”

Read more: http://standardspeaker.com/news/hazleton-general-ranks-first-in-state-for-health-care-value-1.1469528

Advanced Robotic Surgery Debuts At Einstein Medical Center Montgomery

Location of East Norriton Township in Montgome...

Location of East Norriton Township in Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

EAST NORRITON – Men who choose to undergo a robotic prostatectomy for treatment of prostate cancer have a much sunnier outlook than those who have their prostates removed by traditional surgery.

Young Kwak didn’t need to read that result of a study recently published in The Journal of Urology to know he was more than happy with his own robotic experience.

As the first patient at Einstein Medical Center Montgomery in East Norriton whose operation was assisted by the daVinci Surgery Robot, the Limerick resident said his goal was to get it done and move on with his life.

“Then I wouldn’t worry about it,” said Kwak, who underwent surgery on Jan. 18. “I liked the idea of a fast recovery without a big incision. I get really bored just sitting around. When they wheeled me into the operating room everyone was very excited and cheering. I have two colleagues at work with prostate cancer. One thinks he needs to go far away for treatment. I told him he didn’t have to do that. We’ve got the best right here. The new hospital is gorgeous. It looks and feels like a hotel.”

Read more:  http://business-news.thestreet.com/the-times-herald/story/advanced-robotic-surgery-debuts-einstein-medical-center-montgomery/1

Berks Hospitals Get High Ratings

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Berks County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Berks County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Medical treatment available at Reading Hospital and St. Joseph Medical Center is as good as or better than any other hospital in Pennsylvania.

But the cost of that treatment is more expensive at Reading Hospital, 16 percent more expensive on average.

The Hospital Performance Report released today by the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council measures the in-hospital death and readmission rate of all hospitals in the state in 2011.  A readmission is defined as being admitted to the hospital within 30 days of being hospitalized for the same condition.

It also measures the average cost for treating some common medical conditions.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=437228

’60 Minutes’ Report Critical Of Health Management Associates

A national health-care chain that operates two hospitals in Lancaster County has come under fire after an investigative TV news program aired allegations that profits — and not patient care — motivated many of the company’s decisions in the emergency room.

CBS correspondent Steve Kroft on “60 Minutes” Sunday charged Health Management Associates with running unnecessary tests and admitting patients without cause — all to drive up revenue.

Based in Naples, Fla., HMA is the nation’s fourth-largest for-profit hospital chain.  Locally, HMA operates Lancaster Regional Medical Center at 250 College Ave. and Heart of Lancaster Regional Medical Center in Lititz.

Danielle Gilmore, director of marketing for Lancaster Regional, declined to discuss the CBS report, instead sharing a statement issued by HMA’s corporate office in Naples.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/article/local/788776_-60-Minutes–report-critical-of-Health-Management-Associates.html#ixzz2E1Aur9Zx