Some Altoona Regional Health System nurses and other community leaders delivered a petition Thursday to hospital executives urging them to slow down the merger process with UPMC.
The petition contained more than 2,200 names. The organizers say they want the community to have input regarding the future of health care services locally before Altoona Regional and UPMC join forces.
The unionized group has stepped-up their efforts in recent days to educate the community about the process. The group is worried that once the affiliation takes place, UPMC will no longer welcome Highmark Health Insurance – which covers more than 30,000 people living in Blair County.
UPMC and Highmark have been at odds since both insurers now plan to operate their own hospitals in Pittsburgh. A hospital spokesperson has said that officials don’t expect an insurance dispute to develop.
The affiliation is tentatively set to begin on July 1st.
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