TribLIVE

| Business

 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

UPMC wants Highmark to drop lawsuit

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

On the Grid

From the shale fields to the cooling towers, Trib Total Media covers the energy industry in Western Pennsylvania and beyond. For the latest news and views on gas, coal, electricity and more, check out On the Grid today.

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

Thursday, June 27, 2013, 6:24 p.m.
 

UPMC wants a federal judge in Pittsburgh to order Highmark to drop a lawsuit that accuses the hospital network of using its market power to stifle once-ailing West Penn Allegheny Health System.

West Penn Allegheny originally sued UPMC and Highmark in 2009 alleging they had conspired to drive it out of business. Once Highmark agreed to buy West Penn Allegheny in November 2011, the five-hospital system dropped Highmark from the suit but continued claims against UPMC.

Highmark agreed to end the lawsuit once it acquired West Penn Allegheny. That agreement was part of a deal with UPMC last year that allowed members of the state's largest health insurer to have in-network access to the hospital and its doctors until the end of 2014.

“Approximately two months have passed (since the acquisition closed), and Highmark has still not complied with its obligations,” UPMC wrote in a filing on Thursday in the court of U.S. District Court Judge Joy Flowers Conti.

“As a result of Highmark's failure to comply with the terms of the settlement agreement, UPMC asks the court to enforce the terms of the agreement.”

Highmark, which received state approval to acquire West Penn Allegheny for $1.1 billion at the end of April, responded that “both organizations agreed to dismiss certain legal actions,” but UPMC is trying to continue a countersuit it filed against Highmark and West Penn Allegheny last year.

“While Highmark Health Services stands ready to comply with the mediation agreement, UPMC refuses to abide by the agreement so that it can continue its antitrust lawsuit against Highmark and continue to harass Highmark for standing up to UPMC and for trying to preserve health care competition in the region,” according to a statement from the insurer.

Highmark and UPMC, the largest hospital network in Western Pennsylvania, have been locked in battle since June 2011 when the insurer said it was planning to buy West Penn Allegheny, UPMC's chief rival. UPMC has refused to renew the reimbursement contracts with Highmark that expire at the end of 2014 because it says the insurer has converted itself into a direct competitor in the hospital business.

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

Add Alex Nixon to your Google+ circles.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Business Headlines

  1. Weak earnings drag energy sector lower
  2. Hillary Clinton calls out GOP on trade embargo on Cuba
  3. ATI to benefit from WTO ruling against China in steel case
  4. Muni bond funds stressed
  5. Post-Gazette offers voluntary buyouts in bid to avoid layoffs
  6. Cost-cutting at Kraft Heinz extends to refrigerator
  7. Range Resources cuts workforce 11%
  8. Kennametal expects to consolidate plants as it shrinks manufacturing in continuing streamlining; profit drops
  9. GNC to convert more stores to franchises as sales, profits slip
  10. Home rental prices jumped again in June
  11. Facebook ready to test giant drone