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BRMC and OGH take the final step of integration process

Posted on: 06/05/2017

In 2009 Bradford Regional Medical Center and Olean General Hospital came together under a common parent organization with the creation of Upper Allegheny Health System. The integration of the two hospitals under UAHS was pursued to secure and enhance healthcare in the region and to help address the financial challenges faced by rural hospitals throughout the nation. The initial desire of both hospitals was to formally merge but because of issues related to the expediency of regulatory approval, state authorities recommended that both hospitals initially integrate under a common parent organization. This led to the formation of Upper Allegheny Health System. This model has served both hospitals well over the past seven and a half years and has provided a combined annual financial benefit of approximately $4M for the two hospitals. Additionally, the two hospitals, because of common boards of directors, information technology platforms and other administrative systems, function essentially as a single organization.

While the creation of UAHS has provided significant financial benefit, challenges for BRMC, OGH and hospitals everywhere remain. In considering various responses to these challenges the hospitals became aware that a formal merger of the two organizations would result in significant financial enhancements for both hospitals. Therefore, after discussions with the New York State and Pennsylvania Departments of Health, a Certificate of Need (CON) has been submitted to the New York State Department of Health, along with filings with the New York State Attorney General, the Pennsylvania Department of Health and the Pennsylvania Attorney General, to formally merge BRMC and OGH.

“The decision by the Boards of Directors of Upper Allegheny Health System, Bradford Regional Medical Center and Olean General Hospital to merge our two hospitals is consistent with our efforts to secure and enhance healthcare for the Bradford and Olean communities well into the future,” said Brenda McGee, chair of Board of Directors of Upper Allegheny Health System, Bradford Regional Medical Center and Olean General Hospital.

The formal merger of the two hospitals will create an annual revenue gain of approximately $1.8 million through reimbursement enhancements and non-salary expense savings. It is expected that formal approval will take approximately 12 months.

The names of the hospitals will not change and the clinical services and programs at each hospital will remain the same. Employees of Bradford Regional Medical Center and Olean General Hospital will also see no change. Current wage and benefit structures as well as other terms and conditions of employment at each hospital will remain in place.

Timothy Finan, UAHS President &CEO, explained that the two medical staffs currently have identical by-laws, committee structures, and quality assurance processes. Over time the intent is to develop a unified and integrated medical staff with local medical staff leadership focused on the medical staff needs of each hospital.

“The merger of our two hospitals will better position us to respond to the healthcare industry’s ongoing challenges and help assure the ongoing viability of healthcare in the Bradford and Olean communities.” Finan said. “Because our two hospitals already function as a single organization in so many ways our community and patients will not see any changes to the way we operate currently.”

“As with our affiliation with Kaleida Health, the formal merger of BRMC and OGH is part of our commitment to ensure the viability of these two hospitals and access to important healthcare in the communities they serve,” he said. “Both the affiliation with Kaleida and the merger of BRMC and OGH are a response to a rapidly changing healthcare environment.”

The Bradford Hospital Foundation and the Olean General Hospital Foundation will remain independent organizations after the merger.

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