University of Pittsburgh Medical Center slashes bloated board

University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) removed 29 members from its 51-member board, based on independent findings that the board had become too large to be effective, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

UPMC's board numbers grew after the nonprofit institution acquired Mercy and Children's hospitals, as well as Hamot Medical Center in Erie, absorbing the board leadership.

The reduction in the number of board members may be more consistent with the number of board members at surrounding institutions. For example, West Penn Allegheny Health System has 19 members.

"This is something we've been looking at for well over a year," spokesman Paul Wood said in the article. "This is the next step in our evolution."

Highmark recently sued UPMC, alleging deceptive marketing practices, according to reports. Highmark has asked the U.S. District Court in Pittsburgh stop UPMC from running ads claiming that Highmark members will lose access to UPMC after June 30, 2012, something that Highmark disputes.

For more:
- read this FierceHealthPayer article about the Highmark suit
- read the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review article

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