PITTSBURGH — Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro filed a petition to stop UPMC and Highmark from a complete separation – which was set to happen this summer.
“Given the effect this dispute between UPMC and Highmark is having on Pennsylvanians, and the imminent expiration of the existing consent decree, we are asking the court to take action,” said Shapiro. “These changes are absolutely necessary to prevent UPMC from inflicting further harm on the public by forsaking its charitable obligations in pursuit of commercial success.”
The petition, which was filed in Commonwealth Court, seeks a modification of consent decrees that govern the relationship between the two healthcare giants. The petition asks the court to:
- Enable open and affordable access to UPMC's health care services and products through negotiated contracts with any health plan
- Require last, best-offer arbitration when contract negotiations between insurers and providers fail
- Protect against UPMC's unjust enrichment by prohibiting excessive and unreasonable billing practices inconsistent with its status as a non-profit charity providing healthcare to the public
In 2014, the state intervened in the dispute between UPMC and Highmark, issued consent decrees with both organizations. Those decrees govern how the two companies must interact to protect further harm to the public, according to a release by the attorney general’s office.
Shapiro said Highmark agreed to the modifications but UPMC did not, leading to legal action.
Paul Wood, UPMC Vice President of Public Relations and Chief Communications Officer, released the following statement:
County Executive Rich Fitzgerald and Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto also released a statement:
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