PITTSBURGH-UPMC Health System unveiled plans last week to create a Transplant Center of Excellence housed in Montefiore University Hospital in Pittsburgh. The center would consolidate all transplant services and bridge research and clinical activities in a 100,000-square-foot space that was in part occupied by the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, which last year moved to a new home. Officials plan to increase transplant inpatient beds by 25% and double the number of intensive-care unit beds. Officials said they expect the renovations, consolidation and expansion will cost up to $100 million over time. Financing will be provided through a combination of self-funding, government support and philanthropy.
AYER, Mass.-In the midst of a makeover, Nashoba Valley Medical Center, a 41-bed hospital in Ayer, Mass., said last week it has completed a multilevel tertiary agreement with Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston under which Beth Israel and the Harvard Medical Faculty Physicians will manage NVMC's emergency department. "This will enable the medical center to provide the same care level to our patients as they would receive in downtown Boston," Andrei Soran, NVMC's chief executive officer, said in a written statement. NVMC, owned by four-hospital Essent Healthcare, Nashville, is currently working on $2 million in capital-improvement projects, part of a "new image" campaign that also includes a new logo and name change. Previously, NVMC was called Deaconess-Nashoba Hospital.
DARBY, Pa.-Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital stopped accepting new obstetrical patients earlier this month and will close obstetrical services by Aug. 1, eliminating 30 jobs. The program has suffered from low volume for the past five years with less than two deliveries per day. Losses in 2003 are projected at more than $2.5 million after five years of similar losses, officials said. The closing comes about one year after Mercy Hospital of Philadelphia shut down its inpatient obstetrical services, blaming medical liability insurance costs and low reimbursement. Officials said Mercy Fitzgerald this year is similarly challenged by a nursing shortage, increased supply costs, a threatened cut in state funding and a severe statewide shortage of obstetricians. The number of women of childbearing age in its service areas has decreased by 2% each year, while women age 45 to 65 are its fastest growing segment. Mercy Fitzgerald is part of five-hospital Mercy Health System, a member of Catholic Health East, Newtown Square, Pa.
PHILADELPHIA-Tenet Healthcare Corp., Santa Barbara, Calif., said earlier this month that it plans to close its 200-bed Parkview Hospital by September. Parkview was one of 14 hospitals that Tenet in March said was slated for sale or closure. No qualified buyers were interested, according to a statement from officials in Philadelphia. Nearby 158-bed Elkins Park (Pa.) Hospital is still for sale.
MIDDLETOWN, N.Y.-Orange Regional Medical Center announced last month that it has purchased 531/2 acres in Wallkill, N.Y., for a possible new hospital of up to 400 beds. The new hospital would consolidate and replace Arden Hill Hospital, Goshen, N.Y., and Horton Medical Center, Middletown, which merged in October 2002 to form Orange. Plans are still in development, and officials said they are reviewing the financial feasibility of the project, "given the continuing erosion of healthcare reimbursement from the state and federal governments." The site was purchased for $2.7 million.