State tells UPMC to keep its network open to Highmark, other plans
Pennsylvania’s attorney general picked a side in the long-running market battle between UPMC and Highmark Health, filing a court petition Feb. 7 seeking to require UPMC to negotiate fairly with Highmark and other health plans.
Democratic Attorney General Josh Shapiro argued that the UPMC health system has violated its charitable obligations to the state, and he wants the Commonwealth Court to enable open and affordable access to UPMC’s provider network through negotiated contracts; require baseball-style arbitration if negotiations fail; and bar UPMC from engaging in excessive and unreasonable billing practices.
UPMC and Highmark signed a consent decree in 2014 governing their relations, and that expires June 30.
Citing the negative effects the market battle between UPMC and Highmark is having on Pennsylvania residents, Shapiro said the changes he’s requesting are “necessary to prevent UPMC from inflicting further harm on the public by forsaking its charitable obligations in pursuit of commercial success.”