Faced with severe healthcare changes brought on by ObamaCare, one Pennsylvania hospital will be closing its obstetrics (OB) program by the end of March, forcing prospective mothers to look elsewhere to deliver their babies. ObamaCare has caused physicians across the country to either reduce the number of patients they see or abandon their practices altogether, resulting in the financial and administrative deficiencies Windber Medical Center (WMC) is now facing.
Based on estimated reimbursements under looming healthcare reforms, beginning April 1 the southwestern Pennsylvania hospital, located about 60 miles southeast of Pittsburgh in the town of Windber, will no longer perform baby deliveries, largely owing to physicians who are either leaving or shifting their focus to other practices.
Hospital officials assert that the number of women in the area of child-bearing age is dwindling and that the number of births the hospital would perform is insufficient, as they anticipate lower reimbursements under Obama’s healthcare law. In a lengthy statement published on its website, WMC cited several reasons for its decision:
Chairman of the Board, the Honorable David C. Klementik, expressed the feelings of the board by stating, "It is with heavy hearts that we inform the community that Windber Medical Center will be discontinuing its obstetric services." He remarked that it was a difficult decision, but coupled with the recent and potential future changes in WMC OB providers, industry trends and market analysis, the board concluded that the timeliness and cost of recruiting a new team of obstetricians may not be feasible and therefore, may not serve in the hospital's or community's best interest.
WMC President and CEO Barbara Cliff expressed sadness with the development, but described the hospital’s vision to create a “comprehensive women’s health care program” to provide the community with specialized women’s services and superb medical care. "During the transition period, WMC will work closely with its expectant mothers and is currently in preliminary discussions with local providers to accommodate future births," the statement continued. "Extensive and personalized communications will be shared with all current patients, and a WMC liaison will be available to answer any questions or concerns."
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