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The Carlisle Regional Medical Center.

Jason Malmont, The Sentinel

PinnacleHealth announced Friday that it has officially merged with University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

PinnacleHealth will now be known as UPMC Pinnacle. Under the deal announced Friday, Pinnacle hospitals, including Carlisle Regional Medical Center, will retain a local 12-member governing board, with UPMC adding six members. UPMC Pinnacle hospitals will also honor contracts with regional insurers not affiliated with UPMC and its health plan.

“We are pleased that the affiliation is complete, and we look forward to starting a new chapter of collaboration with UPMC,” said Philip W. Guarneschelli, president and CEO of UPMC Pinnacle. “Together, PinnacleHealth and UPMC will bring expanded health care services and advanced quality initiatives to patients across central Pennsylvania, allowing us to continue to provide high-value, nationally recognized care.”

UPMC, western Pennsylvania’s dominant health network, operates more than 25 hospitals and employs more than 70,000 people, making it the largest nongovernment employer in the state.

UPMC Pinnacle operates hospitals in Carlisle, Hanover, Harrisburg, Lancaster, Lititz, Mechanicsburg and York.

“We are excited to welcome Pinnacle to UPMC,” said Jeffrey A. Romoff, president and CEO of UPMC. “We have a long track record of successful affiliations, all of which have resulted in significant investment and growth in advanced specialty care, primary care and community services accessible locally to residents of many diverse communities. Together we will enhance UPMC Pinnacle’s position as the leading provider of world-class care in the central Pennsylvania region.”

UPMC Pinnacle’s local governance will continue under the board of directors consisting of 12 Pinnacle-designated volunteer business and community members along with six newly appointed members from UPMC. The UPMC Pinnacle Board will be responsible for central Pennsylvania operations including quality of care, access to care, insurance contracts, medical staff development and growth initiatives.

The agreement does not affect patients’ care or insurance coverage, according to the news release. UPMC Pinnacle will continue to honor the contracts it has in place with regional insurers and has reaffirmed its commitment to continuing to work with multiple payers in the future. UPMC Pinnacle will also participate with all UPMC insurance products available in this market. Highmark members in central Pennsylvania will continue to have access to care provided by UPMC Pinnacle under a long-term contract extension signed by Highmark Blue Shield and PinnacleHealth in August.

The UPMC Pinnacle Board of Directors also announced Friday that UPMC Pinnacle completed its affiliation with Hanover Healthcare PLUS, the parent company of Hanover Hospital, after receiving all necessary regulatory approvals. The effective date was Friday.

UPMC Pinnacle officials said they are working with health plans/insurers to continue contracts in place at the hospital to support continued network participation for patients and payers. The hospital will maintain its current name on all signage and communications for a period of time.

The agreement includes a commitment from UPMC Pinnacle to retain the current leadership team and employees in good standing for at least 12 months, to ensure that all charitable donations given to Hanover Hospital will remain in the community, and to have the local board of directors play a role in governing the organization.

Hanover Hospital continues its nonprofit status and has adopted UPMC Pinnacle’s charity care policies, mission, vision and values.

UPMC Pinnacle acquired Carlisle Regional Medical Center, Heart of Lancaster, Lancaster Regional Medical Center and Memorial Hospital of York in July 2017. On Friday, UPMC Pinnacle acquired All Better Care Urgent Care Centers. With the addition of Hanover Hospital, UPMC Pinnacle now owns and operates eight hospitals with approximately 11,000 employees and 2,900 total medical staff members, and 150 outpatient and ancillary facilities.

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