Poster for documentary "Inhospitable"

The documentary “InHospitable” premieres this weekend.

CUMBERLAND — A new documentary that exposes hospital monopolies and their impact on costs and patients is set to premiere this weekend.

According to a press release for the film “InHospitable,” directed by Sandra C. Alvarez, “follows patients and activists as they band together to fight UPMC, a multi-billion dollar nonprofit hospital system that was limiting vital care for hundreds of thousands of vulnerable patients in western Pennsylvania.”

UPMC officials Friday did not acknowledge a request for comments about the film.

“UPMC, a multi-billion dollar nonprofit hospital system, has been building a healthcare empire in Western Pennsylvania for years. In 2019, their corporate feuding with competitor Highmark left hundreds of thousands of patients without vital care,” the release for the documentary states.

“So many health systems in this country have become large corporations with incredible power and control over their communities, their employees, and the patients who are trusting them with their lives,” Alvarez said via the release.

“To top it off — most of them are nonprofits that don’t pay taxes,” she said. “This was just unconscionable to me.”

According to the website for the film, many of the nonprofit health systems in the U.S. are billion-dollar organizations that pay their CEO’s multi-million dollar salaries.

“Research shows that these nonprofit hospitals behave in similar ways as for-profit hospitals, except they are exempt from federal and local taxes, including property tax,” the website states.

“As a result, as these corporations grow larger, the city and counties in which they reside receive less and less property tax needed for services such as transportation, roads and schools,” it states. “The taxpayers and smaller businesses end up having to subsidize these money-making institutions.”

In-person and online screenings of the film are set for various dates this month beginning Saturday.

Information on how to watch the documentary is listed at

Teresa McMinn is the Digital Editor for the Cumberland Times-News. She can be reached at 304-639-2371 or

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