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Health systems to dissolve home health partnership

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Three regional health systems said Thursday they plan to split up their jointly owned home health care network, called Affilia Home Health.

The split, which takes effect Jan. 1, is being described as amicable.

The three systems that operate Affilia are Lancaster General Health/Penn Medicine, UPMC Pinnacle and Tower Health.

The reorganization is not expected to affect any jobs, and care for patients will continue without interruptions, according to a news release.

Affilia employs 125 people in its Lancaster office, 40 in Harrisburg and 58 in Reading, according to John Lines, a spokesman for Affilia.

LG Health and Reading Hospital & Medical Center, the forerunner to Tower Health, merged their home health services in 2003. PinnacleHealth, now UPMC Pinnacle, joined in 2012. The group took the Affilia name in 2014.

"We have worked well with our partners in Affilia Home Health, LG Health/Penn Medicine and UPMC Pinnacle," Clint Matthews, president and CEO of Reading-based Tower Health, said in a statement. "Our decision to leave reflects the different ways in which each organization seeks to meet its individual goals."

Each system will continue to offer home health care, but under different brands.

UPMC will rebrand is home health services as UPMC Home Healthcare of Central Pennsylvania. It expects to retain the 40 Affilia employees in Harrisburg, Lines said, adding that terms of the transfer from Affilia to UPMC are being discussed.

Lancaster-based LG Health will retain the Affiilia name and the 125 Affilia employees in Lancaster, Lines said. LG Health was the managing partner for Affilia."Employers and payers value health systems that are able to provide a more coordinated network of care for patients across the continuum," Tammy Ober, vice president of operations for Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health, said in a statement.

Tower Health plans to retain the 58 Affilia employees in Reading and rebrand its home health service under the name Tower Health at Home. Home Health Care Management, which includes Berks VNA, Pottstown VNA and Advantage Home Care, will become part of Tower Health at Home.

Tower Health said it will work with all parties to create a seamless transition.

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Dave October 12, 2018 2:13 pm

It's easy to tear things apart. Not so easy to build. My best to the employees