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Format: 04/18/2014
Format: 04/18/2014

News

West Penn Allegheny Announces Plans for AGH-Suburban General Campus

Thursday, May 13th, 2010

West Penn Allegheny Health System (WPAHS) today announced that it has reached a tentative agreement with LifeCare Hospitals to expand the long-term care provider’s services in its Bellevue facility. At the same time, WPAHS will continue to serve the community by providing its most commonly utilized outpatient services at the site.

Today, LifeCare operates 41 long-term acute care (LTAC) beds on the Allegheny General Hospital’s (AGH) Suburban General Campus. Under the new agreement, the provider plans to expand that number to 50 LTAC beds, pending licensing approval. In addition, LifeCare is considering the addition of 50 skilled nursing or transitional care beds to the campus by the end of the year. This would result in new jobs being added at the facility.

WPAHS will continue to provide outpatient services onsite, including radiology, lab, dialysis and imaging services as well as physicians’ offices, a gastroenterology lab, physical therapy, outpatient medical oncology and outpatient pediatric services. In addition, the system will open a new urgent care center to replace its emergency department. Eighty-six percent of the patients seen in the current emergency department are non-emergent cases, which could be treated in the new urgent care center. The current system of transporting true emergency cases to the appropriate AGH specialty department or AGH emergency department through consultations with medical professionals will continue. The health system is also exploring the potential of adding new outpatient services to the facility over the coming months.

“Today, the vast majority of patients who visit Suburban’s campus do so for outpatient care,” said Gregory Burfitt, president and CEO of Allegheny General Hospital and West Penn Hospital. “We’re looking forward to continuing to serve those patients. We remain committed to providing excellent care to the residents of Bellevue and all of the northern boroughs.”

“LifeCare is pleased to be expanding our services for the northern boroughs of Pittsburgh,” said Rick Pletz, CEO, LifeCare Hospitals of Pittsburgh. “We specialize in the treatment of medically complex acute care patients who require extended hospitalization. We would like to hire many of the highly trained staff of Suburban General to help us enable our patients to achieve their fullest recovery potential.”

“I have had the pleasure of working with both LifeCare and the team at Suburban General in the care of my patients,” said Matthew J. Coppola, MD, an internist with Community Care Plus based in Bellevue. “It’s been my experience that both teams provide excellent care, coordinating with a patient’s family doctor to ensure a quality continuum of care. In fact, ninety-five percent of my patients can still utilize Suburban General for quality outpatient services, while LifeCare will bring a valuable service to the community.”

WPAHS has notified the Pennsylvania Department of Health that it will discontinue inpatient care at the site in 90 days. Today, inpatient care constitutes four percent of the hospital’s volume. According to Pennsylvania law, the hospital is unable to have a free-standing emergency department without inpatient beds. WPAHS will also transition the campus’ surgery patients to Allegheny General Hospital.

Employees whose jobs are affected at the Suburban General Campus will be encouraged to apply for one of the many new LifeCare positions or one of hundreds of open positions across the West Penn Allegheny Health System. Those who choose not to apply or who do not qualify will be assisted with separation packages and outplacement services, including job sourcing, resume writing and interview skill training.

“The people and physicians of Suburban General have exemplified the WPAHS commitment to high quality, personalized patient care. That tradition will continue through our ongoing delivery of outpatient services to the community,” said Christopher T. Olivia, MD, president and CEO, West Penn Allegheny Health System. “Our system is making changes to meet the needs of our patients and to incorporate the sweeping reform recently enacted by our federal representatives. The future of WPAHS will be defined by excellence in patient care delivered in a variety of clinical settings throughout the region.”

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