The impending affiliation of the Altoona Regional Health System with UPMC spilled into Wednesday’s city council meeting.
A group of nurses and other community members calling themselves Altoona Cares asked council to intervene and demand more information about the merger from the hospital’s leadership. Highmark has been sending “scare bills” to its customers in Blair County detailing what a specific treatment or procedure will cost if Altoona Regional becomes out-of-network provider following the UPMC merger.
Paula Stellabotte is a nurse who is leading the effort.
Stellabotte says hospital officials haven’t been transparent about the process. Councilman Bruce Kelley says the concerns are legitimate.
A hospital spokesperson wasn’t immediately available for comment. The group has formed a website with an electronic petition. You can find that information at altoonacares.org.
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