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UPMC inks deal with Robert Morris

Wes Venteicher
| Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2017, 6:27 p.m.
The Bronze Bob statue at Robert Morris University. Bronze Bob is a life-size statue of the university's namesake, the founding father known as the “Financier of the American Revolution.'
Submitted by Robert Morris University
The Bronze Bob statue at Robert Morris University. Bronze Bob is a life-size statue of the university's namesake, the founding father known as the “Financier of the American Revolution.'

A UPMC-branded sports complex at Robert Morris University will come with an expanded role for the health system, which will offer insurance for the university's employees and provide health services for its students and sports medicine for its athletes.

A 20-year contract between UPMC and RMU rolls together UPMC's sponsorship of the UPMC Events Center with agreements to provide health insurance and medical services, said Scott Lammie, senior vice president and chief financial officer for the insurance services division of UPMC Health Plan.

UPMC Health Plan will offer insurance to RMU's approximately 600 employees and their families, Lammie said. It will offer health insurance to students who don't have it, along with continuing to operate a health center on campus for the university's approximately 5,000 students. According to an RMU news release, UPMC will become the exclusive provider of sports medicine for the university's 16 NCAA Division I sports teams.

A spokeswoman said UPMC Health Plan insurance will be offered starting in July. The hospital system would not release financial details of the agreement.

An RMU spokesman declined to say whether the university, which now offers Highmark and Aetna health plans, will continue offering those plans after it starts offering UPMC Health Plan.

Lammie said that UPMC, as an integrated provider of both hospital services and insurance, can bring a holistic approach to health care to the university. He cited statistics showing that much of the country's health care spending goes toward treating chronic and often preventable diseases.

UPMC uses self-reported health information, claims data and other information to tailor its approach, he said.

“It's really identifying the risk factors in the individuals and pursuing plans with them with health coaches or case managers or whatever resources are really required to attend to their specific health needs,” he said.

UPMC will provide sports medicine for RMU's intramural teams along with its Division I teams, said Brian Hagen, UPMC's vice president for network services and program administrator for sports services. Expanded services for students could include student lectures, voluntary body fat screenings, ACL prevention programs and cardiovascular assessments, Hagen said.

Construction is scheduled to start in July on the 140,000-square-foot events center, which is part of a $50 million project that includes a student recreation and fitness center on the university's Moon Township campus, according to the RMU release.

Wes Venteicher is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 412-380-5676 or

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