Uniontown Hospital officials have revealed organizational plans to move forward with a consolidation and realignment of Fayette Physician Network (FPN) – their joint venture with UPMC – as they transition away from the partnership.
FPN, which has been operated jointly by Uniontown Hospital and UPMC for about 6 years, provides a multitude of physician services in Fayette County.
Those services include multiple primary care offices; surgical services; woman services; cardiology; orthopedics; pulmonary; emergency care; hospitalist; neurology; pediatrics; anesthesia and intensivist services.
The complex network is being moved from a joint endeavor to one that is solely owned by Uniontown Hospital.
“We have met with the FPN offices regarding this consolidation and how we are going to coordinate these services for better efficiency,” Uniontown Hospital CEO Steve Handy said. “The majority of the impacted UPMC employees will have opportunities for employment at Uniontown Hospital and we are looking forward to having them.”
He said that government insurance has continued to cut payments for physician services and as a result that has put a hardship on their reimbursements and a hardship on the hospital, resulting in the need to reevaluate the network.
“Our physicians have had so many payment cuts that have led them to rely more and more on the hospital to support and maintain their services to our community,” Handy said. “In turn, that has forced community hospitals, like us, to use more and more resources intended for hospital projects and costs to simply maintain the physician practices.”
Hospital officials will be announcing the specific changes over the coming months as the moves begin to take place; however, many services that Fayette County residents rely upon will remain available and other services will be coordinated regionally.
Handy said that he is pleased that UPMC is making a concerted effort to help assure that the physician network transition is as smooth as possible.
“UPMC will remain a very important care referral destination and insurer for people in our Community. Uniontown Hospital will continue to accept all UPMC insurances,” Handy added.
With change comes uncertainty, but Handy said that Fayette County residents needn’t worry, as hospital leaders remain committed to providing for area residents and as the hospital continues to build its relationship with WVU Health System.
Handy said that organizational leaders remain engaged in active discussions with WVU Medicine and that a close clinical relationship is expected later this year.
“Our developing relationship with WVU Medicine has the potential to tremendously benefit our community,” Handy said.
He added that the future of Uniontown Hospital remains bright.
“Our hospital makes a difference to everyone in our community as we have created a caring place where people come for help and relief when they are in pain, fear and sorrow,” Handy said. “Our future is certain. We will continue to make a difference in your life and the lives of your friends, neighbors and family.”