UPMC doctors ready to meet ‘pent-up demand’ after inking 10-year contract with Highmark

Natasha Lindstrom | Wednesday, August 28, 2019, Pittsburgh Tribune Review

UPMC facilities are preparing to meet the “pent-up demand” among Highmark-insured patients who now can choose to go to UPMC doctors and hospitals, particularly when it comes to specialty care, UPMC’s chief financial officer said Tuesday.

“We’re seeing (patient) volume increases,” said Robert DeMichiei, CFO of UPMC, a nonprofit health system based in Downtown Pittsburgh’s U.S. Steel Tower that, like its rival Highmark, controls both provider and insurer arms. “We have plans with physicians to accommodate that demand.”

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‘The deal is done’: UPMC and Highmark reach 10-year pact

Kris B. Mamula and Liz Navratil | Monday, June 24, 2019, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

In a deal worked out in “intense negotiations,” UPMC and Highmark have inked an agreement that will give many Highmark insurance members in-network access to UPMC doctors for the next 10 years, state Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced Monday at a press conference in the Strip District.

The breakthrough agreement goes into effect July 1, giving many Highmark members access to UPMC doctors and hospitals for years to come.

The Pennsylvania Legislature does not limit how much lawmakers and other public officials can accept from lobbyists and others. Gifts of at least $250 in the aggregate must be reported, unless the person giving it is a friend or family member. Lawmakers also must report transportation, lodging or hospitality expenses that add up to at least $650.

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UPMC-Highmark split to take center stage in state Supreme Court showdown

Natasha Lindstrom | Monday, May 13, 2019, Pittsburgh Tribune Review

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro balked at claims that his legal fight against UPMC is a ploy for political clout under the guise of acting in the public interest.

“This has nothing to do with my career, and everything to do with the good people of Western Pennsylvania who deserve to have access to health care at these health care institutions, which are nonprofits,” Shapiro said. “I’ve made it very clear that UPMC is not following the law.”

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Governor backs Shapiro’s efforts in UPMC-Highmark dispute, even as key departments stay on sidelines

Steve Twedt | Wednesday, April 17, 2019, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Last week, an attorney in Gov. Tom Wolf’s office informed Pennsylvania’s highest court that two departments that were instrumental in creating the UPMC-Highmark consent decrees would not take a position for or against Attorney General Josh Shapiro’s petition to modify those agreements.

The three-sentence letter gave no reason why state Department of Health Secretary Rachel Levine and Insurance Commissioner Jessica Altman are sitting this one out.

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Pa. lawmaker seeks co-sponsors for ‘any willing insurer’ legislation to push Highmark, UPMC together

Steve Twedt | Wednesday, February 6, 2019, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Senate Minority Leader Jay Costa, D-Forest Hills, is seeking co-sponsors on legislation which “would require UPMC and Highmark to either contract with each other for services or enter mandatory arbitration,” according to a release circulated Wednesday.

While not even in bill form yet, the move is another sign of growing interest from Harrisburg as the Pittsburgh region moves into the final months of a five-year agreement that has allowed some Highmark Medicare Advantage members and others continued in-network access to UPMC hospitals.

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