The deals would have
Then, PinnacleHealth would affiliate with
Both proposals would need to obtain regulatory approval, and the
Here are key things to know about how the deals could affect people locally.
Will the organizations say more about their plans?
Not yet. PinnacleHealth, Heart and Regional responded to questions Wednesday with emails declining comment beyond the statements issued Tuesday.
"We will keep our stakeholders and community updated as there are developments to share," PinnacleHealth spokeswoman
Will there be any changes in location, leadership, staffing levels or services offered here?
As LNP reported Wednesday, PinnacleHealth has committed to offer employment to all Heart and Regional employees in good standing when the transaction is complete.
"Are there jobs implications here? Are there implications to their physical plant? Those are the short-term questions," said
She also wants to know about involvement here.
"Are there leaders who live here, whose kids go to the local schools?" she said.
What share of the local health care market does Heart and Regional have now?
The latest figures from the
PinnacleHealth is down the list a couple of steps, at 0.6 percent.
How would the plan affect cost and competition levels here?
Although organizations seeking to merge argue that consolidation will yield savings through economies of scale, studies repeatedly have shown that health care consolidation tends to result in higher costs.
However, some health care experts said the proposal could increase competition, through the hospital side or the insurance side or both.
Lupica said Heart and Regional have struggled, and
He noted that as an insurer,
"If the health plan comes in and really tries to compete by reducing the cost of the premiums, I think that consumers will benefit," he said.
But, he said,
However, he said, even if
Increased competition doesn't always lower costs, he said, noting that sometimes it spurs the introduction of new services.
"It's possible that there's a market strategy there," he said. "It might be a whole lot cheaper to provide some standard community hospital services there than at Lancaster General; there might be a way for them to really market that."
Currently, she noted, the cost of insurance on healthcare.gov is higher here than in the
How would Highmark plans be affected?
"No one wants to place the consumer in the middle, and we expect continued access to Pinnacle for our members," he said.
Highmark currently has a plan that offers members a big incentive to seek care at PinnacleHealth or
Perri said all plans are evaluated yearly, and he does not expect those terms would extend to Heart and Regional if they became part of PinnacleHealth.
How do PinnacleHealth and
PinnacleHealth has three hospitals in