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Highmark, UPMC cut deals with Butler Health System

| Friday, March 29, 2013, 1:24 a.m.

Highmark Inc. and UPMC have struck separate deals with Butler Health System to bring additional medical services to the system.

Highmark, the state's largest health insurer, hired two neurologists from UPMC who will work at Butler Memorial Hospital in a new practice, the PA Brain and Spine Institute, Highmark said.

Michael Horowitz and Richard Spiro were employed at UPMC Presbyterian before joining Highmark, which is building a health system to compete with UPMC, the region's largest hospital network.

Horowitz worked for UPMC for 19 years, most recently as its director of vascular and endovascular neurosurgery and director of the Center for Cranial Nerve Disorders. Spiro spent 14 years at UPMC and was director and chief of neurological spine surgery.

“We seek out needed services, bring the best expertise to this region and we are dedicated to providing these services in the most convenient manner possible for patients that look to us for their care,” Ken DeFurio, Butler Health CEO, said in a written statement.

Meanwhile, Butler Health and UPMC Cancer Center formed a joint venture cancer center and acquired Butler Radiation Oncology Associates. The practice's two radiation oncologists, Drs. Victor Onufrey and Hung-Chi Ho, are employed by Butler Health.

“We are excited about this collaborative relationship with Butler Health System because it will result in wider access to cancer care and patients will benefit from this improved access,” said Dwight Heron, vice chairman for clinical affairs and director of radiation services for UPMC Cancer Center.

Alex Nixon is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7928.

or anixon@tribweb.com.

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