Foundation official: OK Highmark plan for WPAHS
By Tony LaRussa
Published: Sunday, April 28, 2013, 11:27 p.m.
An official with a foundation that provides assistance to the West Penn Allegheny Health System is calling on the state insurance commissioner to sign off on Highmark Inc.'s proposal to buy the financially strapped hospital system.
“Financially stout Highmark Inc., the nation's ninth-largest health insurance company — with $6 billion in cash-like liquid assets among its whopping $11 billion in total assets — proposes to buy and rescue the debt-laden West Penn Allegheny Health System,” wrote Earl Bohn, vice chairman of the Suburban Health Foundation, in a letter to state Insurance Commissioner Michael F. Consedine dated Sunday.
“The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has given you the authority to decide this matter. Please approve Highmark's application promptly.”
Consultants hired by the insurance department to review the proposed $1.1 billion purchase have raised concerns that Highmark would draw an undisclosed number of patients from smaller hospitals to West Penn Allegheny Health System if the deal is approved.
The April 8 consultant's report said the seven community hospitals outside Pittsburgh could be harmed by the deal.
However, Highmark officials last week issued a statement to the insurance department arguing that Western Pennsylvania's community hospitals have more to fear from UPMC than Highmark's planned health system.
Highmark contended that UPMC, the largest hospital system in Western Pennsylvania, has taken more than $3 billion in medical services from the region's community hospitals since 2007.
Tony LaRussa is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Heinz offers Pittsburgh workers a buyout if they are unhappy
- Programs help to nudge unemployment among veterans downward
- Tobacco companies make payments under state settlement
- Coca-Cola revenue up, but soda sales dip
- Robinson bakehouse invests time, love in artisan products
- Twitter buys data analytics partner
- Google files patent for camera embedded in contact lens
- Stocks seesaw, end higher for 2nd day
- Fed chair might push for stronger regulations
- Consumer price index up 0.2 percent in March
- Recall puts GM sales under microscope