Highmark asks Monroeville to delay vote on ambulatory surgery center to produce more documentation
Highmark Inc. wants Monroeville to table until further notice a plan to build an ambulatory surgery center.
A spokesman for the insurance company said the request is not related to its legal battle with West Penn Allegheny Health System.
As part of Highmark's plan to create a $1 billion health system to compete with UPMC, the region's dominant hospital system, Highmark had proposed building medical malls and outpatient centers with help from West Penn.
Highmark made the request because it needs more time to provide documentation to Monroeville, said Aaron Billger, a spokesman for the Downtown-based insurance company. “And we continue to move forward with our integrated delivery system development,” he said.
On Tuesday, Monroeville Council is scheduled to vote on the site plan for Highmark's ambulatory surgery center at 4121 Monroeville Blvd. But in a letter this week, David Mickey of Downtown-based Astorino, Highmark's architectural firm, requested that the vote be tabled until further notice.
The request was made because there has been a small design change in the plan that would require additional review by Monroeville, said Billger. The request has nothing to do with Highmark's battle with West Penn, he said.
In the past year, Highmark has spent more than $32 million buying properties in Pine, Monroeville, Cranberry, Ross and South Strabane through shell companies. It so far has submitted public descriptions of its plans to Pine and Monroeville.
In November, West Penn Allegheny and Highmark reached a deal for Highmark to buy the troubled hospital system for $475 million.
Last week, West Penn dissolved that deal, claiming that Highmark violated the agreement by demanding that West Penn file bankruptcy to restructure about $1 billion in debt.
On Monday, Highmark sued West Penn Allegheny to stop the system from entering talks with other potential acquirers. Highmark denies it required a bankruptcy filing.
On Tuesday, Monroeville Council will hold a public hearing on the request to table its vote, said Mark Ciufo, zoning and code enforcement officer. If it decides to table the vote until next month, council will hold another public hearing on the site plan, and it must render a decision within 60 days of the public hearing, Ciufo said.
Highmark can request to continue to have the application tabled in successive months, but Monroeville has the option of asking the company to withdraw its application, he said.
Highmark wants to add 1,930 square feet and renovate 3,618 square feet on an existing building, which will be 44,477 square feet at completion, according to its plan submitted to Monroeville. The surgery center would occupy 22,000 square feet on the southern end of the building, and the rest of the building could be left for a future development.
Tory N. Parrish is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-380-5662 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.