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Report: Hospitals still losing money

| Thursday, Nov. 8, 2001

Hospitals in western Pennsylvania are still financially unhealthy, according to a report released Wednesday.

The latest survey by the Hospital Council of Western Pennsylvania shows the majority of hospitals in the region - 42 out of 67 - are reporting a loss in operations, the money made from treating patients.

For the last six months of the fiscal year, hospitals reported an average 2.38 percent net operating margin gain, a number that refers to net income after patient-care expenses are deducted. An operating margin of 3.0 percent gain is considered a sign of fiscal health.

Though the new figures are 2.87 percentage points higher than last year, council officials said hospitals continue to struggle.

"Our region's hospitals have seen some modest financial relief during the past fiscal year," said Ian Rawson, the council's president. "However, they are faced with continuing pressure from malpractice costs, salary demands and delayed capital investments."

Indian Lake plans delayed for a year

A developer said his plans to build a wellness center on 300 acres in the resort borough of Indian Lake in Somerset County are delayed at least a year.

Paul Saint Hilaire of Orange County, Calif., said he still hopes to close on his purchase of the land later this month, but a lack of available sewage will delay construction at least a year.

Mary Lou Remick, a spokeswoman for Saint Hilaire, previously had said the developer planned a grand opening in June.

Saint Hilaire plans to build up to 44 shops plus rental apartments around a nonprofit wellness center he hopes will draw as many as 10,000 people on weekends.

The land is owned by Northwinds Inc. of Greensburg and is now known as Indian Lake Resort.

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