PITTSBURGH, PA – Allegheny Health Network (AHN) recently acquired majority ownership of Klingensmith Healthcare a western Pennsylvania supplier of respiratory, HME, and related services. Georgie Blackburn (pictured), vice president of Government Relations at nearby Blackburn’s, Tarentum, Pa, called the deal surprising, but not shocking.
“The Pittsburgh hospital scene is very competitive between our two major health systems,” says Blackburn. “The purchase of a DME company by the Allegheny Health System to provide more comprehensive care to their patients does not surprise us. Only Klingensmith knows the reason they felt it was the right time to sell their majority share and forego their independence.”
According to John Paul, president and CEO of AHN, the acquisition of Klingensmith is an effort to establish more comprehensive community and home-based services to complement AHN’s broad spectrum of inpatient and outpatient programs. In early November, AHN also announced a joint venture with Celtic Healthcare to create the region’s second largest provider of home health and hospice services.
“Our strategy is to build a first-in-class, fully-integrated set of high quality, efficient and lower cost home based services that allow us to provide patients with the full continuum of care they may need outside the four walls of the hospital. With Celtic Healthcare and now Klingensmith, we have embraced innovative and highly successful leaders in their respective industries to make that vision a reality,” says Paul.
AHN has assumed a controlling interest in Klingensmith, with a minority ownership stake taken by the Johns Hopkins Home Care Group. Headquartered in Ford City, Pa, Klingensmith is one of the largest independent providers of home medical supplies and services in the tri-state region of Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio, encompassing respiratory, recovery and rehab product lines.
As for BLACKBURN’S, the company recently celebrated its 78th year in business, and officials at the Pennsylvania fixture have vowed to remain independent, despite the many challenges. “It takes a lot of work,” says Blackburn. “We are fortunate to have a committed staff who care about others and who understand excellent, efficient and cost effective care is key to our staying independence—just as important as proving diversified lines of business. We feel we are up to the challenge.”