Latrobe (Pa.) Area Hospital and Westmoreland Health System, Greensburg, Pa., said they had approved "a plan in principle" to join their organizations after completing a six-month feasibility study. Officials said consolidation potentially offers an opportunity to reduce costs and improve staff recruitment and retention, but they were unsure what form the partnership would take. They said they hope to have a better idea by next summer. According to the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council, 200-bed Latrobe lost $301,000 on $113.8 million in operating revenue in 2002, while 273-bed Westmoreland earned $5,000 on $126 million in operating revenue. -- by Cinda Becker
Pa. hospitals agree in principle to consolidate
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