Following today's disappointing announcement that Highmark was pulling out of an agreement to enter a financial relationship with the West Penn Allegheny Health System, Congressman Tim Murphy released the following letter, urging both parties to return to negotiations immediately.
While the statutory authority related to this partnership rests with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Murphy cited the impact it will have on his constituents and said it is critical for patients, doctors, and employers to have choices in healthcare because a WAPHS bankruptcy would not only damage the region's healthcare system, but cripple the local economy, cause significant layoffs, and hurt WAPHS retirees.
John S. Isherwood
West Penn Allegheny Health System
30 Isabella Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15212
Dr. William Winkenwerder, Jr.
Fifth Avenue Place
120 Fifth Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15222-3099
Dear Mr. Isherwood and Dr. Winkenwerder:
I strongly urge both parties to return to negotiations immediately with the ultimate goal of completing the proposed affiliation between Highmark and the West Penn Allegheny Health System (WPAHS). Having a stable and quality healthcare network is vitally important to the wellbeing of Southwestern Pennsylvania's families and our region's future prosperity.
Families want to be able to choose their doctor and choose their insurance plan. No one benefits when one hospital system or insurance carrier dominates the market. Competition is an important driver of keeping healthcare costs down and quality up. Patients benefit from being able to choose from the best hospitals and physicians, and employers benefit from different insurance carriers competing to keep premiums low.
I urge you to return to negotiations without delay. If I can be of assistance please do not hesitate to contact me.
Member of Congress