Pittsburgh-based Highmark Health CEO David Holmberg said during a panel discussion Tuesday all Highmark health insurance members should have access to Pittsburgh-based UPMC specialty hospitals regardless of their insurance carrier, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.
Under a current consent decree with state regulators signed in June 2014, Highmark Health insurance members have access to Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC and Western Psychiatric Institute & Clinic in Pittsburgh through 2022 and 2019, respectively.
Highmark members will be required to pay out-of-network rates for care once the decree with the state expires, according to the report.
During the panel discussion Tuesday, hosted by the Pittsburgh Business Group on Health, Mr. Holmberg said both hospitals should be open to patients regardless of their health plan.
"I've been very clear … Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh should never be in play here. These are charitable assets and they should be available to the community," Mr. Holmberg said. "I can't imagine anyone in healthcare denying access to [the] Children's Hospital. I don't believe [UPMC president and CEO] Jeff Romoff would deny access to the community."
Mr. Holmberg also said he would like Highmark plan holders to have continued open access to UPMC hospitals in areas where UPMC is one of the only health providers in the area.