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UPM-WHS merger to leave just two independent health systems in Pittsburgh

by John R. Fischer, Senior Reporter | June 23, 2023
Business Affairs
UPMC is acquiring Washington Health System. (Photo courtesy of WHS)
Washington Health System, in Pennsylvania, is merging with the 40-hospital University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, the state’s largest healthcare system and employer, leaving just two independent health systems in the Pittsburgh area.

UPMC, which signed the agreement on June 1, beat out rival Allegheny Health Network for the affiliation. Following this and the recent $1 billion merger between Excela Health and Butler Health System in January, Heritage Valley Health System and St. Clair Health System will be the only independent health systems, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

WHS, which has been looking for a partner since 2022, employs over 2,000 medical professionals at its 278-bed flagship hospital in Washington, Pennsylvania, 49-bed WHS-Greene Hospital in Waynesburg, and more than 40 off-site locations across three counties.

“UPMC looks forward to pursuing this affiliation that would integrate WHS into the UPMC system and preserve and enhance high-quality health care services for communities served by WHS,” UPMC told HCB News.

In a statement, WHS board of directors chairman Dan Miller said the affiliation would maintain WHS' "long-term stability."

WHS Washington Hospital was an original member of the UPMC Health plan when it first started in the 1990s, and is the site of UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, Express Care clinic, and other specialty clinics, as well as a local cancer treatment partnership with UPMC Hillman Cancer Center. The two also have previous collaborations in vascular surgery, telestroke, OB ultrasound interpretation services, neonatal care, and senior care services.

AHN and its parent company Highmark said in a statement that they would continue to play an active role in Washington county, and would share “more information about our strategy and plans for the community in the near future.”

WHS declined HCB News’ request for comment, citing due diligence, research and discussions as both health systems work toward a definitive agreement in the coming months.

UPMC recently
completed an international acquisition of the Sports Surgery Clinic in Dublin, Ireland.

Financial details were not disclosed.

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