Allegheny General to End Baby Deliveries, Transfer Services to West Penn
Fabregas, Luis, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Baby deliveries at Allegheny General Hospital will stop within the next year as part of an overhaul that will move inpatient obstetrics and psychiatric services to other hospitals within West Penn Allegheny Health System, officials announced Friday.
Inpatient obstetrics services will relocate from AGH in the North Side to West Penn Hospital in Bloomfield. That includes labor and delivery, postpartum, newborn nursery and intensive care nursery services, officials said. The inpatient psychiatric services will relocate to Alle-Kiski Medical Center in Natrona Heights and West Penn's Forbes Regional Campus in Monroeville.
The moves at the region's second-largest hospital network, which has sustained heavy financial losses, are part of an ongoing restructuring, Executive Vice President Dawn Gideon told employees in an e-mail.
"The decision was made after a careful review of our options for integration and with the intent to ultimately enhance the quality and scope of these programs through a more rational and effective utilization of resources ... " Gideon wrote.
The six-hospital network is looking to cut costs after losing $89 million in operations during the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2008. It lost $62.8 million in the prior fiscal year.
Integration of both programs should be completed by June 30, 2010. One health care expert called West Penn Allegheny's move a tactical maneuver that will not help the system regain its vibrancy.
"If they can get some economies of scale by consolidating services in various hospitals, that makes some intuitive sense," said Jan Jennings, president and CEO of consulting firm American Healthcare Solutions. "But they are so far below water and so disadvantaged competitively with respect to UPMC, that it's really not a pretty thing to watch. …