Pinnacle to affiliate with UPMC, buy 4 hospitals

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania-based PinnacleHealth announced it will more than double the number of hospitals within its system while also beginning an affiliation with the state’s largest health system, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC).

The four hospitals Pinnacle is acquiring from Community Health Systems are Lancaster Regional Medical Center and Heart of Lancaster Regional Medical Center in Lancaster County, Carlisle Regional Medical Center in Cumberland County and Memorial Hospital in York County.

That transaction, which would give Pinnacle seven hospitals in four Pennsylvania counties, is separate from the affiliation with UPMC. Joining forces with the 25-hospital system and its health plan would “expand healthcare services, advance quality initiatives and continue to provide nationally recognized care,” according to Pinnacle’s press release, as well as help recruit top doctors.

“Having PinnacleHealth affiliate with UPMC is an exciting opportunity for the system and central Pennsylvania,” Pinnacle President and CEO Philip Guarneschelli said in a statement. “PinnacleHealth has been executing on its vision for the future of healthcare in the region. Affiliation supports geographic expansion and introduces more choices for health insurance through a provider-sponsored health plan.”

For UPMC, it said the deal would continue the trend of successful expansions, like its acquisition of the four-hospital Susquehanna Health system.

“This is at the heart of what we do,” Jeffrey Romoff, president and CEO of UPMC, said in a statement. “We are pleased about PinnacleHealth’s shared vision to expand evidence-based, world-class healthcare with value-driven, low-cost insurance products to benefit more residents and businesses throughout Pennsylvania.”

The deal would be subject to approval by state and federal regulators, which is what blocked Pinnacle’s last attempt at expansion. After the Federal Trade Commission was granted an injunction against the consolidation of Pinnacle and Penn State Hershey Medical Center, the two called off their merger.