UPMC hits back at Pennsylvania AG in consent decree litigation

UPMC in Pittsburgh filed a response to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, stating the court was well aware UPMC's relationship with Pittsburgh-based Highmark would end June 30, according to the Pittsburgh Business Times.

UPMC's 67-page court document, filed before the system heads to the state's highest court over a petition filed by Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shaprio, disputed any claims that the "healthcare sky was falling" because of the dispute, arguing patients had ample knowledge of the change. UPMC said many contractual relationships between Highmark and UPMC ended in 2014, and the court knew a year ago others would end in June 2019.

In addition, UPMC and Highmark have spent millions on ensuring the expiration date was publicized, UPMC said.

"The whole point of clear notice about a concrete date was so that everyone could make important choices based on that end-point, and [tens] of thousands of individuals have since changed their insurer and medical provider," UPMC's filing said, according to the Pittsburgh Business Times.

Mr. Shapiro filed a petition against UPMC in February seeking changes that require UPMC to accept binding arbitration if an impasse is reached in contract negotiations with an insurer. UPMC filed a retaliatory suit in late February, accusing Mr. Shapiro of overstepping authority. Mr. Shaprio appealed to the state's Supreme Court April 8.

Oral arguments are scheduled to begin in the Pennsylvania Supreme Court May 16.

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