Officials for Western Pennsylvania Hospital said an upcoming renovation will reopen and expand the emergency room and renovate five medical-surgical floors. The Pittsburgh hospital factored significantly into a failed turnaround effort for five-hospital West Penn Allegheny Health System, which recently agreed to a takeover by Pittsburgh insurer Highmark. Operating losses totaled $51.8 million for the year that ended June 30.
Pa. hospital announces renovation
The deal with Highmark, which has already invested $150 million in Pittsburgh-based West Penn Allegheny, is under review by the Pennsylvania Department of Insurance.
Renovation of West Penn Hospital would reverse the recent closure of its emergency room. Cost of the project is not yet available but the first of three phases is projected to cost $18 million, a system spokesman said. Plans call for an observation unit to be added to the 24-bed emergency room and would convert the hospital's semiprivate rooms to private rooms, said Dan Laurent, West Penn Allegheny spokesman.
Renovation will include the hospital's medical and surgical units and the hospital's neonatal intensive-care unit. Once renovation is complete, the hospital payroll is expected to add 200 jobs, Dr. Keith Ghezzi, interim president and CEO of the system, told reporters after announcing plans to employees.
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