The impositions of Obamacare are beginning to be anticipated as businesses and hospitals change the structure of their operation to afford the new terms of coverage. Among those making a drastic change is the Windber Medical Center of southwestern Pennsylvania, which as of the end of March will cease to deliver babies.
Specifically, two doctors are leaving their practice, two are shifting their focus from obstetrics, and compounded with the hospitals view that the population of child-bearing age is dropping in the vicinity, they figured it wasn’t at all cost-effective in light of the Affordable Care Act (sometimes called Obamacare).
“It was a difficult decision,” said Chairman of the Board, the Honorable David C. Klementik, “but coupled with the recent and potential future changes in WMC OB providers, industry trends and market analysis, the board concluded that the timelines 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.
“During the transition, 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 and questions or concerns.”
As of the end of March, patients must go to a different hospital to deliver their babies “Their obstetrician is working very closely with them to transition their care to another provider in another hospital,” said Barbara Cliff, president and CEO of Windber Medical Center.
The hospital intends to minimize job loss in the transition, routing employees to other departments or other hospitals. “We do have open positions within the hospital that we will hope to be able to transfer some of those staff into,” said Cliff. “We are [also] working with other hospitals should there be an interest of someone transferring to another hospital.”
Obamacare, as a stark and elaborate legislation, is certain to continue to have such ripples as businesses and hospitals cope with its new policies.