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St. Clair Hospital expansion gets $1 million gift from Richard King Mellon Foundation

The St. Clair Hospital Foundation has received a $1 million donation from the Richard King Mellon Foundation to help build a state-of-the-art outpatient center for the hospital’s main campus in Mt. Lebanon.

The money is earmarked for what will be called the Dunlap Family Outpatient Center.

The donation brings to $28 million the total in grants and private gifts toward the $142 million project. The development, largest in the hospital’s history, is intended to meet growing patient demand and adapt to trends in health care nationally, officials said Friday in announcing the gift.

Construction is underway, and planners hope to open the outpatient building in late 2020.

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New Procedure Offering Hope to Afib Patients

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Kathryn Reveille had an abnormal heart rhythm called atrial fibrillation, or Afib.

“I had palpitations. Really, really strong palpitations that were disabling,” she said.

She tried medications, and endured eight shocks to the heart. Nothing worked to keep it in a normal rhythm.

Her heart wasn’t beating effectively. She couldn’t walk without it racing. She had trouble breathing.

“My hospitalizations became more frequent. The stays were longer. One was 23 days,” she said

With Afib, instead of just one area, multiple areas in the top chamber tell the heart to beat. With so many signals, the bottom chambers beat irregularly.

“Our goal is to help them feel better. Our goal is to help prevent a stroke,” St. Clair Hospital heart surgeon Dr. Andy Kiser said.

Ten years ago, Kiser invented a procedure to control Afib, particularly for people who have been in the rhythm for a long time.

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This local hospital has a financial tool to get at the true costs of procedures for patients — and it’s not chargemaster

While new federal regulations required all hospitals to publish online a list of charges for procedures, supplies and drugs, no one thinks the move goes far enough to help get at the true cost to patients. But one local hospital has been doing just that for the past three years.

St. Clair Hospital in February 2016 rolled out its financial tools webpage that provides patients with an estimate of out-of-pocket costs for common hospital procedures, including surgery, colonoscopy, CT scans and sleep studies.

“A lot of patients are really price sensitive, especially patients who have a higher deductible, who know they will be responsible for a larger part of health care expenses,” said Beth Pittman, VP and COO of St. Clair Medical Services.

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