Pittsburgh health systems reach deal allowing continued patient access following AG’s lawsuit
© WikiMedia (Doug Kerr)
Pittsburgh health systems reach deal allowing continued patient access following AG’s lawsuit

Two major Pittsburgh health systems, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) and Highmark Health (Highmark) struck a deal on Monday allowing Highmark patients to utilize UPMC’s facilities. The agreement prevents expiration of a previous agreement between the two systems set to occur on June 30, 2019.

Originally, a consent agreement governed the relationship between UPMC and Highmark, allowing Highmark patients to pay in-network prices for the use of UPMC’s facilities and doctors. With the looming expiration date of the agreement, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro engaged in a legal battle with UPMC. The new deal comes a little over a week after a judge ruled that an extension of the original agreement could not be mandated.

The new contract between Highmark and UPMC extends Highmark customers’ in-network access for another 10 years and applies to all facilities/physicians in western Pennsylvania. According to a press release by Shapiro, the agreement has his blessing. Similarly, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf stated the following: “Pennsylvanians deserve access to quality, affordable healthcare, and this agreement between UPMC and Highmark preserves that access for the people of Western Pennsylvania for the next ten years.”