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Format: 04/24/2014
Format: 04/24/2014


Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: West Penn raises ante on UPMC

Friday, November 13th, 2009

Mark Roth

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

After waiting nearly a month for a formal reply to his proposal from UPMC, West Penn Allegheny Health System CEO Christopher Olivia said he decided to up the ante yesterday.

In full-page ads in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Dr. Olivia offered to treat any UPMC Health Plan patients in the Monroeville area at his system's Forbes Campus, as long as UPMC cancelled its plans to build a new hospital about a mile away.

And, the ads suggested, the $250 million that UPMC would save by shelving the new Monroeville hospital could go toward keeping open UPMC Braddock, which UPMC announced it would close at the end of January, and the nearby UPMC McKeesport.

While Dr. Olivia said UPMC's board never responded to his private offer, UPMC's public answer came swiftly enough yesterday.

First, UPMC spokesman Paul Wood asserted that the health system's board had never received a proposal from West Penn Allegheny.

Then, referring to an antitrust lawsuit that West Penn Allegheny had filed against UPMC, Mr. Wood added:

"As with the recently dismissed federal antitrust lawsuit, we suggest West Penn Allegheny Health System focus on their own grave financial difficulties and operational failings rather than proposing to eliminate the competition they sued to preserve."

To some, Dr. Olivia's ad blitz might seem like just the latest volley in a public relations war between the region's two largest health systems.

But he said the proposal was sincere.


To read more, visit the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette web site.

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