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UPMC Acquires Majority Ownership of Dublin Hospital

Ben Cole, for HealthLeaders Media, September 1, 2009

The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center last week announced the completion of an agreement under which UPMC will acquire majority ownership of Beacon Hospital in Dublin, Ireland.

Beacon Hospital has been renamed UPMC Beacon, and is now officially part of UPMC's 20-hospital network. UPMC representatives said the move will significantly improve treatment options and better access to care for patients.

"This commitment to the health of Irish patients will ensure continued access to UPMC's excellent clinical care and technological expertise," said UPMC Beacon Hospital Chief Executive Officer Joel Yuhas in a statement. "Our plans for significant expansion of UPMC Beacon will free up resources and increase capacity in the public health system for the benefit of patients."

UPMC became the operator of Beacon Hospital Cancer Centre in 2007, and began managing the entire hospital in February 2008. Under the new agreement, UPMC has acquired majority ownership of the hospital management company and the entity that owns the hospital property, according to a UPMC release. UPMC is committing 68 million euros (approximately $96 million) in investment and loan guarantees.

UPMC reports that since it began managing the hospital, it has seen growth in patient admissions and surgical procedures, according to the release. This benefits hospital employees as well, because allows them to provide technologically advanced care, said UPMC officials.

"With the continuing support of our excellent physicians, UPMC Beacon Hospital remains uniquely positioned to serve the needs of our patients," said Mark Redmond, MD, medical director of UPMC Beacon Hospital and director of Beacon Medical Group, in a statement.

Although this announcement is from UPMC, a multi-billion dollar health system and a leading academic medical center, could it still be a signal that the economy is showing at least a slight improvement for healthcare? An August HealthLeaders magazine story ("Spotting the Turnaround") states that "employment has a significant impact on the business of healthcare." And a new report released by The Conference Board shows that online job listings are on the increase in many employment sectors.

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