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UPMC/Highmark Consent Decree Will Not Go Past June 30

A judge ruled in favor of UPMC Friday

June 14, 2019 - 4:34 pm

Related: Highmark Customers Will Have Access To Hillman Cancer Center After Split

HARRISBURG, Pa. (Newsradio 1020 KDKA) - A Commonwealth Court judge has ruled in favor of UPMC in the legal action brought by state Attorney general Josh Shapiro over the consent decree with Highmark.

In his 16 page ruling released Friday, Judge Robert Simpson states the modification provision of the consent decree was not intended to override the termination/expiration of the agreement.

That is the crux of the argument by the AG that hopes to postpone the termination date of June 30th between UPMC and Highmark ... a date that was agreed to five years ago.

UPMC spokesman Paul Wood says they are pleased by the decision.

“We look forward to continuing to fulfill our long-standing charitable mission and serving the public with UPMC’s world-class physicians and facilities.”

Most Highmark members will lose in-network access to in-network care at UPMC after June 30th. UPMC's Paul Wood tells KDKA Radio.

“The Hillman Cancer Center and all related oncology services will be in network at current in network prices for Highmark subscribers,” said Wood.

Highmark says they have not received a contract proposal for this, Wood says it will be delivered by Monday. He says UPMC will also no longer require pre-payment from Highmark Medicare Advantage members.

Shapiro released a statement Friday afternoon that reads: 

“Make no mistake—our work here is not done. While we are disappointed in Judge Simpson’s ruling, I won’t quit on the people of Western Pennsylvania and we will continue to take steps to restore fairness to the healthcare system and give people access to the institutions their tax dollars built. We will announce subsequent legal steps next week.”

 Highmark said in a statement: "This ruling is not a defeat in preserving health care choice for consumers, but rather just a temporary setback."

State Rep. Dan Frankel says he is disappointed.

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