Governor Tom Corbett today announced that Highmark and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center have reached an agreement through the end of 2014, promising continuity of coverage for patients and their families throughout western Pennsylvania.
The agreement will provide in-network access to all UPMC hospitals and physicians for Highmark Commercial and Medicare Advantage members.
"Both UPMC and Highmark worked diligently toward this amicable resolution for the benefit of UPMC patients, Highmark subscribers and the millions of citizens impacted by the uncertainty of their dispute," Corbett said. "I, along with the citizens of western Pennsylvania, am pleased with this outcome."
The agreement will extend the existing relationship by 32 months from today, through Dec. 31, 2014.
Corbett appointed a mediator to assist in negotiations, David F. Simon, Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer of Jefferson Health System in Southeastern Pennsylvania. Simon was tapped by Corbett to work with the governor's staff and involved parties over the past few weeks to craft a solution.
"David's expertise in insurance and health system finance was vital. Having a neutral third party was essential and I appreciate David's effort on this important matter," Corbett said.
Recognizing special community needs, Highmark and UPMC will be negotiating access to unique UPMC services beginning in 2015, including Western Psychiatric Institute, certain oncological services and community hospitals.
Current agreements stay in place for UPMC Children's Hospital. For 2015, the parties will also negotiate continued coverage and services for vulnerable populations, including those enrolled in the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), Special Care and PA Fair Care, Pennsylvania's plan for persons with preexisting
"What this agreement means is that medical insurance protection will continue for our state's most vulnerable citizens, including those that rely on Pennsylvania's health care plans for their children and other family members," Corbett said.
Governor Corbett also thanked several members of the General Assembly for their involvement in this matter, including Sen. Donald C. White (R-Armstrong) and Sen. Jay Costa (D-Allegheny), as well as Rep. Mike Turzai (R-Allegheny), Rep. Frank Dermody (D-Allegheny) and Rep. Randy Vulakovich (R-Allegheny).