UPMC enters unprecedented 10-year contract with Highmark

Pittsburgh rivals UPMC and Highmark entered into an agreement that allows Highmark members to access UPMC hospitals and physicians at in-network prices for the next decade.

Talks that led to the agreement, announced by Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro June 24, began after UPMC President and CEO Jeffrey Romoff spoke with Mr. Shapiro directly. Mr. Shapiro, who is in an ongoing legal battle with UPMC over the dispute, said he then spoke with Highmark CEO David Holmberg before bringing the two together for "honest, tough and productive dialogue," Mr. Shapiro said during a press briefing in Pittsburgh.

The 10-year agreement spans across western Pennsylvania and includes an extension of agreements between Highmark and UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh and UPMC Western Psychiatric Hospital, also in Pittsburgh.

The new agreement is different than state-brokered consent decrees that were set to expire between UPMC and Highmark June 30. The agreement, which Mr. Shapiro said is the longest deal UPMC has ever made with a commerical insurer, will only stand between the two companies and exclude the state government.

UPMC said June 24 that after a June 14 decision from the Commonwealth Court stating Highmark members will lose in-network access to many UPMC physicians, "UPMC held a productive, congenial meeting with Highmark to outline its offer to provide in-network access to the UPMC Hillman Cancer Center for Highmark members with a suspected or confirmed cancer or hematologic diagnosis. Those discussions then quickly expanded to other areas, and an agreement in the best interests of the patients and communities we serve was reached."

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