Penn State, PinnacleHealth partnership on track

The new so-called healthcare enterprise that would be comprised of Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and PinnacleHealth System is on track to become reality, Penn State Hershey administrators said.

An update of sorts was provided at the hospital’s annual public board of directors meeting Wednesday afternoon.

Penn State Hershey Medical Center’s new chief executive officer Dr. A. Craig Hillemeier said the organization remains on track with an agreement, which will be presented to the Federal Trade Commission and the state attorney general’s office to approve the partnership with PinnacleHealth.

The review process takes time and the health enterprise could start in early 2016, Penn State Hershey said.

Later in the week, they will seek approval by the Penn State Board of Trustees to form an umbrella organization that may include the new affiliation. The organization is set to be called Penn State Health.

Administrators say the deal will increase patient care while decreasing cost.

“I think that it important to realize that we are going to be able to deliver an exceptional health product at lower cost to the people of central Pennsylvania. And that’s our job to convince the regulatory agencies and the people of Central Pennsylvania that that’s what we are going to be able to do,” Hillemeier told abc27.

They are not calling this a merger and leaders have been tight-lipped on various details including potential jobs impact.

Penn State Hershey Medical Center employs 10,000 people and PinnacleHealth has 6,100 employees.

“It’s really difficult to say at this point whether or not what the impact would be on the number of jobs that would be in the new healthcare entity,” Hillemeier said.

Representatives with both providers said a partnership will be mutually beneficial.

A PinnacleHealth spokesperson told abc27, “Our focus remains on making decisions that are centered on the health and wellness of our community.”

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