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

News

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: West Penn Allegheny stands behind flagship hospital

Wednesday, November 4th, 2009

By Luis Fabregas

Tribune-Review

West Penn Allegheny Health System will continue to reconfigure its hospital network as part of its financial turnaround, but does not intend to close flagship West Penn Hospital, the system's CEO said Monday.

Making a direct reference to the recently announced shutdown of UPMC Braddock, Dr. Christopher T. Olivia said West Penn Allegheny is committed to meeting the needs of the Bloomfield community. Earlier this year, some doctors and employees talked about the potential closure of the 500-bed West Penn.

"We're not for profit, we are a charitable organization, we're supposed to act in a charitable way," Olivia said in a meeting with reporters at the system's North Side headquarters. "The easy thing would be to say, 'Let's just close it.' But you have to ask the question, 'What's the best thing for the community?' "

Olivia's remarks followed last week's announcement that financially troubled West Penn Allegheny posted a modest $2.1 million fourth-quarter profit during the fiscal year that ended June 30. The system cut its net losses in half, to $25.2 million from $57.8 million a year before. Olivia expressed confidence that the system will post a positive operating margin this year.

Officials have identified about $110 million in cost-savings and additional revenue, and Olivia said the bulk of it -- about $70 million -- will be reflected in the current fiscal year. The cost-savings mostly were made by cutting back-office and administrative jobs and renegotiating managed-care contracts.

"We're clearly headed in the right direction," Olivia said. "We're not where we need to be, but we've made a lot of progress in the last year."

To read more, visit the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review web site.

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