Area hospital ending treatment

Bedford, Bedford County, Pa. - Word of another service cutback at an area hospital is causing concern in the community. About a month ago, UPMC announced that it was ending childbirth delivery services at UPMC Bedford Memorial on December 1. Now, dialysis therapy for hospital patients will be eliminated on October 29.

The latest move is seen by some as a sign that the large health system is moving services out of the community.

UPMC denies that. The health system announced in September that while prenatal, childbirth delivery classes, and postnatal care would continue to be provided at UPMC Bedford, delivery services were being transitioned to UPMC Altoona. The move was attributed to low demand in Bedford, with fewer than one birth a day endangering the quality of care, and making it difficult to recruit and retain obstetricians.

UPMC now says in-patient dialysis also suffers from a dearth of patients, with only five being treated at the Bedford hospital within the past six months. According to a UPMC spokeswoman, dialysis therapy is actually ending because the contractor that provides the service has decided to no longer offer it.

County Commissioner Josh Lang says it's the lack of communication that has him frustrated. "I found out just a few days ago that this was happening, without any communication from UPMC. That is the things that make us very upset and very frustrated when we're dealing with the public and when we are trying to represent the public and we kinda get blindsided," he says.

UPMC says Bedford hospital patients requiring dialysis will be admitted to UPMC  Altoona or another nearby hospital that does provide dialysis to inpatients. The health system says this will have no impact on the availability of  outpatient dialysis treatments and that patients will continue to receive them in Bedford County.

UPMC says it remains committed to improving the delivery of high-quality care to all of the communities it serves.



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