Modern Healthcare - - REGIONAL NEWS -

PITTSBURGH— A fed­eral judge or­dered Pittsburgh’s ri­val health sys­tems to me­di­a­tion over a law­suit by West Penn Al­legheny Health Sys­tem that claims UPMC con­spired to sti­fle com­pe­ti­tion. U.S. District Judge Arthur Schwab said the health sys­tems and in­surer High­mark would each pay one-third of the me­di­a­tor’s ex­penses. High­mark was orig­i­nally named in the law­suit as a con­spir­a­tor, but was dropped by West Penn Al­legheny af­ter the in­surer agreed to res­cue the fail­ing health sys­tem. The law­suit was first filed in April 2009 and dis­missed in Oc­to­ber that year. The 3rd U.S. Cir­cuit Court of Ap­peals re­versed that de­ci­sion in Novem­ber 2010, which the de­fen­dants sought to chal­lenge be­fore the U.S. Supreme Court. The Supreme Court de­clined to re­view the case. CAR­BON­DALE, Pa.— Maxis Health Sys­tem, a sub­sidiary of Catholic Health East, an­nounced plans to close its hos­pi­tal by the end of Fe­bru­ary. Maxis prin­ci­pally con­sists of 35-bed Mar­ian Com­mu­nity Hos­pi­tal in Car­bon­dale, which op­er­ated in re­cent years with “mul­ti­mil­lion-dol­lar an­nual losses,” Mary Theresa Vautrinot, pres­i­dent and CEO of Maxis, said in a news re­lease. The hos­pi­tal had 20 pa­tients a day, on av­er­age, too few “to sus­tain fully staffed op­er­a­tions for the long term,” the re­lease said. Of­fi­cials have no­ti­fied the state health depart­ment of the hos­pi­tal’s pend­ing clo­sure. Maxis Health Sys­tem also in­cludes a foun­da­tion and a med­i­cal group. WASHINGTON, Pa.— The Pittsburgh-based UPMC sys­tem and Washington (Pa.) Hos­pi­tal an­nounced a joint ven­ture to own and oper­ate ur­gent-care clin­ics. The joint ven­ture starts with Washington Hos­pi­tal’s ex­ist­ing ur­gent-care clinic in Mc­mur­ray, Pa., and will add two more clin­ics within 18 months, ac­cord­ing to a news re­lease. The fi­nan­cial terms and the own­er­ship split in the joint ven­ture were not dis­closed. Emer­gency Re­source Man­age­ment, a divi­sion of UPMC, will staff and man­age the clin­ics. UPMC and Washington Hos­pi­tal al­ready are joint ven­ture part­ners in a can­cer cen­ter, ac­cord­ing to the news re­lease. Like UPMC’S five cur­rent ur­gent­care clin­ics, the joint ven­ture sites will be open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week. The clin­ics will in­clude lab­o­ra­tory and X-ray ser­vices. MORRISTOWN, N.J.— At­lantic Health Sys­tem said it has ac­quired a stake in Qual­care, a New Jersey man­aged-care com­pany owned by hos­pi­tals and physi­cian or­ga­ni­za­tions. Joseph Trun­fio, CEO of At­lantic Health Sys­tem, and Dr. David Shulkin, vice pres­i­dent of the sys­tem and pres­i­dent of Morristown Med­i­cal Cen­ter, were named Qual­care di­rec­tors. A spokesman for At­lantic Health, which owns three hos­pi­tals, re­ferred ques­tions about the value of the deal to Qual­care. A Qual­care spokesman said in an e-mail that the com­pa­nies would not dis­close fi­nan­cial de­tails of the deal. The health sys­tem’s ef­fort to be­come an ac­count­able care or­ga­ni­za­tion re­quires an in­surer be able to pro­vide data to man­age cost and qual­ity, ac­cord­ing to a news re­lease an­nounc­ing the deal.

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