UPMC signs advisory deal with Chinese hospital



Expanding its global reach further into China, UPMC on Monday announced that it has signed a five-year advisory services agreement with Xiangya Hospital of Central South University, located in Changsha, the capital of the Hunan Province in central China.

UPMC will help the hospital establish a 200-bed Xiangya International Medical Center on the hospital campus, serving as an adviser to management and participating in medical and administrative oversight of the operations.

This marks UPMC’s second advisory initiative in China.

It also brings to more than a half-dozen the Pittsburgh health system’s projects around the world, including sites in Kazakhstan, Singapore, India, Japan, Italy, Ireland and Germany.

The Xiangya deal will bring “multimillions per year over a five-year period,” said Charles Bogosta, president of UPMC’s international and commercial services, “and we’re not making any investments. All of the money is coming in this direction.”

In its recent unaudited financial report for fiscal 2014, UPMC reported operating income of $53 million, comparable to the year prior, for its International and Commercial Services Division, although it also listed a $106 million loss for its divestiture of Beacon Hospital in Ireland, which Mr. Bogosta called a “one-off” event.

“Our routine model has always been to provide management services,” he said.

Spokeswoman Wendy Zellner said UPMC does not break out overseas financial information separately from commercial ventures in the division, but that the overseas operations are profitable.

Under the latest agreement, UPMC will provide training for medical and administrative staff members at Xiangya, as well as advise on a number of areas including quality assurance, technology and staffing.

Health care in China, Mr. Bogosta said, “is probably about 30 years behind the United States” and UPMC will be helping “to bring those hospitals up to international standards.”

Mr. Bogosta said three UPMC staffers will be working half-time in China and an additional six or so will either assist from here or travel there occasionally.

The project’s assessment phase will start in the next few months, and implementation will start by year’s end.

UPMC has had a relationship with Xiangya Hospital for nearly a decade, as physicians at both places have collaborated on patient care and research.

In addition, some of the Chinese hospital’s medical students have been coming to the University of Pittsburgh the past three years for research training.

“This hospital is a well-thought-of hospital in China,” Mr. Bogosta said.

Steve Twedt: stwedt@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1963.


First Published August 25, 2014 8:49 AM

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