Modern Healthcare - - Regional News -


Uni­ver­sity of Pitts­burgh Med­i­cal Cen­ter, in a push to ex­pand ur­gent-care ac­cess, opened its lat­est clinic in Robin­son. The 4,000-square-foot ur­gent-care clinic, which the 12-hos­pi­tal sys­tem leased, is UPMC’s sec­ond and fur­ther ex­pan­sion is ex­pected, Robert Maha, pres­i­dent and chief med­i­cal of­fi­cer of Emer­gency Re­source Man­age­ment, a sub­sidiary of UMPC, and among the man­agers who over­see its pa­tien­tac­cess strat­egy, said in writ­ten a state­ment. “We plan for num­bers ad­di­tional ur­gent-care cen­ters in the re­gion” as part of a broader strat­egy to ex­pand ac­cess, he said. “Our strat­egy in­cludes ur­gent-care cen­ters, ex­tended of­fice hours dur­ing evenings and week­ends at our physi­cian of­fices, elec­tronic of­fice vis­its (e-vis­its), and telemedicine. We be­lieve it is im­por­tant to in­crease con­ve­nient ac­cess for our pa­tients, es­pe­cially with health­care re­form.” UPMC opened its first ur­gent-care clinic in Bloomfield, Pa., in De­cem­ber.


A Penn­syl­va­nia state court ruled last month that the state Leg­is­la­ture im­prop­erly trans­ferred $808 mil­lion from a med­i­cal li­a­bil­ity fund and used it to help pay other ex­penses and now must put the money back. It was a 4-1 de­ci­sion, and Dan Pel­le­grini, the dis­sent­ing judge, called it a “per­sonal wind­fall to doc­tors, with the con­se­quen­tial ef­fect of mak­ing 2009-2010 bud­get out of bal­ance,” and said the ma­jor­ity opin­ion gets the ju­di­ciary in­volved in the bud­get process, which the state con­sti­tu­tion de­fines as be­ing the role of the gover­nor and the Leg­is­la­ture. The case was ar­gued Feb. 10 with the Penn­syl­va­nia Med­i­cal So­ci­ety, the Hos­pi­tal & Health­sys­tem As­so­ci­a­tion of Penn­syl­va­nia, Geisinger Health Sys­tem and other providers ar­gu­ing against the trans­fer of $708 mil­lion from the Health Care Provider Re­ten­tion Ac­count, which helped off­set med­i­cal mal­prac­tice costs, and $100 from Mcare, the state’s med­i­cal li­a­bil­ity fund that is main­tained by hos­pi­tal and physi­cian premi­ums. In the rul­ing, it was noted that the funds are gen­er­ated by the pe­ti­tion­ers’ as­sess­ments and fees and not by taxes, so the money be­longs “to the providers and not gen­er­ally to the Com­mon­wealth.” “The Com­mon­wealth’s con­cern that a de­ci­sion in this case in Pe­ti­tion­ers’ fa­vor may im­peril the bud­get process is, there­fore, with­out merit,” the ma­jor­ity con­cluded.


Two for­mer ad­min­is­tra­tors of New York-Pres­by­te­rian Hos­pi­tal are named in a fed­eral in­dict­ment al­leg­ing con­spir­a­cies to rig bids for work per­formed at the hos­pi­tal’s fa­cil­i­ties. Santo Saglim­beni, for­mer vice pres­i­dent of Fa­cil­i­ties Op­er­a­tions, took cash kick­backs to steer con­tracts for air­mon­i­tor­ing, as­bestos abate­ment and con­struc­tion to com­pa­nies owned by Michael Yaron and Moshe Buch­nik, ac­cord­ing to an in­dict­ment re­turned by a grand jury in U.S. District Court in New York. The in­dict­ment notes that New York-Pres­by­te­rian was un­aware of the kick­backs, which were fun­neled through a shell com­pany Saglim­beni al­legedly cre­ated in the name of a fam­ily mem­ber.

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