GREENSBURG, Pa. (KDKA) — Excela Health and Butler Health System are on the way to becoming one.
Both providers announced they'll be merging pending state and federal approval. According to press releases, the yet-to-be-named health care provider will employ more than 7,000, with a little over 1,000 physicians.
Right now, Excela Health oversees Latrobe Hospital in Latrobe, Westmoreland Hospital in Greensburg and Frick Hospital in Mt. Pleasant. Butler Health System includes hospital facilities in both Butler and Clarion counties.
Both companies say joining forces will enable them to provide better care for the 750,000 individuals served by the facilities.
But according to Dr. Martin Gaynor, an economist and professor at Carnegie Mellon University, this merger is one of many, and in this case, it may be about mutual survival as much as it's about quality health care.
"Hospitals in rural areas or hospitals that serve disadvantaged communities in urban areas have struggled mightily," Gaynor said. "That's not a new thing. Sometimes they look for a white knight, as it were, to come in and help them stay afloat."
Both Excela Health and Butler Health System say if all goes well, the merger should be approved by the beginning of next year.
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