Feb. 06--UPMC Hamot saw the most patients and earned the most money treating them in the last six months of 2013 than during any six-month period of the Erie hospital's 133-year history.
Hamot treated more than 13,000 inpatients and earned approximately $250 million in operating revenue between July and December 2013, said Steve Danch, UPMC Hamot's chief financial officer.
"That institution is thriving," said Robert DeMichiei, UPMC's chief financial officer. "We have seen employment increase at Hamot by 400 new jobs since the affiliation (with UPMC) and 76 new physicians."
UPMC highlighted Hamot during the Pittsburgh-based health system's quarterly financial report Wednesday with western Pennsylvania reporters. Hamot joined UPMC in February 2011.
Hamot has seen significant increases in admissions and observations, emergency room visits, births and operating revenue since the affiliation, DeMichiei said.
"People are staying in Erie County, staying at Hamot for world-class care," DeMichiei said, referring to Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council statistics that show a 4 percent decrease in the number of Erie County residents leaving the county for medical care between 2010-11 and 2012-13.
Overall, UPMC posted an operating revenue increase of $741 million during the first half of fiscal 2013-14 for a total of about $5.7 billion. UPMC officials credited the affiliation with UPMC Altoona and increased patient volumes for the increase.
UPMC Health Plan membership increased 11 percent in the past year to 2.3 million members, though UPMC's insurance services lost $26 million due to strong competition in the insurance market and Medicare reimbursement cuts due to budget sequestration.
County-specific breakdowns were not available, and Erie-area insurance brokers have said employers have been reluctant to switch from Highmark to UPMC Health Plan. UPMC officials said that's due to early indications that Highmark and UPMC would reach a provider's contract extension for Hamot.
"As of Dec. 15, we had every assurance that Highmark subscribers in Erie would have access to all institutions," DeMichiei said.
That's the date when UPMC learned Highmark would not agree to extend its Hamot contract unless it was part of a systemwide contract with UPMC. The current contract expires Dec. 31.
The two health-care giants have been battling since Highmark bought the West Penn Allegheny Health System in April and created the Allegheny Health Network. Saint Vincent Hospital is part of that network.
UPMC officials have said they will not negotiate a systemwide contract. If the contract isn't extended, those with Highmark insurance will not have access to Hamot, except for emergency treatment.
"We are moving on," DeMichiei said when asked if there have been any recent discussions with Highmark about a Hamot-specific provider's contract. "We're coming into this competition with the strongest six months in Hamot history."
DAVID BRUCE can be reached at 870-1736 or by e-mail. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/ETNbruce.
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