UPMC, Washington Health System plan to merge

The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and Washington Health System said Tuesday they plan to merge.

After much research and discussion, the board of nonprofit systems signed a memorandum of understanding this month to integrate Washington Health into UPMC, according to a news release.

The letter of intent is not legally binding and serves as a precursor to a definitive agreement, which is subject to regulatory approval. If approved, the deal would leave just two independent health systems in the Pittsburgh area.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

Washington Health, based in Washington, Pennsylvania, has several partnerships with UPMC, including collaborations with Hillman Cancer Center, Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, and Express Care Clinics on the Washington Hospital campus. Washington Hospital was a founding member of the UPMC health plan when it launched more than 25 years ago.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported Tuesday that Highmark Health, another Pittsburgh-based provider, was discussing a merger with Washington Health earlier this year.

“Board and Senior Leadership [Washington] We have realized that in today’s health care climate, we need to consider the long-term sustainability of our health system in order to continue to provide quality health services to our local residents,” Washington Board of Health President Dan Miller Said statement in a statement.

The officers were not made available for follow-up interviews.

UPMC reported net income of $191 million in the first quarter, compared with a loss of $221 million in the year-ago period. Washington Health declined to share its latest financial results.

In addition to offering services in five other countries, UPMC’s footprint spans 40 hospitals and 800 doctor’s offices and outpatient sites in Pennsylvania, New York and Maryland. Washington Health operates two hospitals and more than 40 off-site locations in southwest Pennsylvania.

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