Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh took out full-page advertisements in local newspapers to air concerns that its replacement hospital may fall short of promises made by Children's parent, 18-hospital University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Children's officials complained in the ads that "UPMC is threatening to pull the rug out from under what promised to be a world-class pediatric hospital," limiting beds and expenditures in a way that "will drastically compromise access to services and quality of care." Children's merged with UPMC in late 2001 on the promise of a new hospital and research building; construction began a year later. Children's officials said project costs have long been estimated at as high as $475 million. UPMC wants to cap costs at $450 million -- still the largest hospital building project ever in western Pennsylvania, said Jane Duffield, a UPMC spokeswoman. Programming changes are up to the Children's faculty and leadership, although UPMC has its opinions, Duffield said. The parties will take the first step in a formal dispute resolution process at a meeting of their boards June 14. Construction has slowed in the meantime. -- by Cinda Becker
Pa. hospital accuses UPMC of breaking promise
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