Company drops plan to build rehab hospital in Unity
A Cumberland County-based health care company has abandoned plans to build a hospital specializing in physical rehabilitation in Unity, the company's president said on Monday.
“We're suspending our activity for the time being,” said Anthony Misitano of Post Acute Healthcare LLC in Camp Hill. He said the company is looking for potential sites elsewhere.
The facility would have competed for physical rehabilitation patients with Excela Health.
“We were never going to allow them to encroach on our market share,” said Jen Miele, Excela's vice president of marketing and communications. “This is a no-brainer.”
Meanwhile, Excela officials have delayed plans to build an ambulatory care center in the township so they can concentrate on other projects, Miele said.
On May 1, the health system is launching a campaign to attract patients to its Latrobe facility, the same date slated for the opening of inpatient rehabilitation services at UPMC East in Monroeville, Miele said.
A UPMC East spokeswoman did not respond to a request for comment on Monday.
Misitano said Excela wasn't interested in partnering with Post Acute.
“We attempted to do something with Excela, but at the end of the day, they decided not to work with us. We prefer to have some partner in the marketplace,” Misitano said. “It's not done. But there are so many other areas of the country to focus on, we didn't want to fight with a local hospital.”
Unity Township Supervisor Mike O'Barto said site plans for Post Acute had been approved, but the company never applied for a building permit.
A deal between developer Don Paulone to sell property along Route 30 to Post Acute was never finalized, according to Westmoreland County real estate records.
Paulone said he was told Post Acute “was working through some of the processes they have to complete.”
Post Acute triggered a battle with Excela last summer when it announced plans to open a 40-bed hospital in the township at the same time Excela was planning to build an ambulatory care center similar to a facility it operates in North Huntingdon.
Excela's planned facility on Route 30 in Unity is two or three years away, according to Miele. She said the company has four major projects scheduled for this year, and the board of trustees will decide next month which will get priority.
Excela will rename the Barclay Rehab Unit at Latrobe Area Hospital to Excela Physical Improvement Center, or EPIC Rehab, Miele said.
“We not only want to hold our market share, we want to grow it,” she said. “This will be a test of our ability to market.”
Miele said rehabilitation services are highly profitable for hospitals. Because of an aging population and health care reform, such services have grown by 3.7 percent a year, according to one study. Last year, the industry recorded $27.7 billion in revenue.
Next month, Excela will begin an advertising and marketing campaign to attract more patients for physical therapy, which is profitable, Miele said.
She said the Latrobe facility will expand from 16 to 24 beds. It will aid stroke victims and patients with brain injuries and joint replacements, which require a higher level of rehabilitation than skilled nursing.
The Allegheny Health Network provides outpatient care along with UPMC in Belle Vernon, Delmont, Greensburg, Latrobe, Murrysville and North Huntingdon.
Richard Gazarik is a staff writerfor Trib Total Media. He can bereached at 724-830-6292 or at 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.
- Identities oftheft suspects sought by Penn Township and state police
- Grant program targets 7 Westmoreland County towns, including Greensburg, for revitalization
- Girl, 8, hit by truck in North Irwin, breaks leg
- Westmoreland judge: Contact with advocacy group won’t hamper fairness in drug trial
- Latrobe-Unity parks department seeks grant; revamp to cost $112K
- Mt. Pleasant Scout creates drop box for flag disposal
- Contract talks to start this week for prison union in Westmoreland
- 1 injured in Mt. Pleasant Twp. accident
- At 87, Rostraver man still entertaining polka fans
- Machine operator avoids serious injuries in accident in North Huntingdon
- 1 dead, 1 injured in Derry Twp. crash