Pennsylvania Gov. Corbett sits down with UPMC, Highmark
Board members from UPMC and Highmark Health discussed their ongoing feud Tuesday with Gov. Tom Corbett during private talks in Harrisburg, a first meeting of the top representatives of the two biggest health care nonprofits in Western Pennsylvania.
Corbett declined to discuss the substance of the meeting, but he said he was pleased that “both parties came to the table today for this important discussion, and (he) is looking forward to more discussion in the weeks to come,” according to a spokeswoman, Christine Cronkright.
Spokesmen for Highmark and UPMC declined to comment on the meeting.
The session with board members followed a meeting late last week of Highmark and UPMC senior executives with Insurance Commissioner Michael Consedine, Health Secretary Michael Wolf and Attorney General Kathleen Kane.
Corbett organized the meetings of what he calls the Patients First Leadership Team early last week to make sure UPMC and Highmark have a plan for patients to continue receiving care once most UPMC doctors and hospitals become out-of-network for Highmark insurance subscribers at the end of this year.
Highmark's non-Medicare members will lose less-costly in-network access to most of UPMC on Jan. 1 because UPMC has refused to renew a reimbursement contract with the state's largest health insurer. UPMC has said it can't contract with Highmark because the insurer intends to steer patients to its own hospital system, Allegheny Health Network.
While the meeting last week with senior executives also was private, Corbett wants the two sides to arrive at a plan for what will happen to Highmark members who receive care from UPMC doctors starting Jan. 1. Cronkright said Consedine and Wolf told the executives they have several expectations for the plan: that patients not be turned away from emergency rooms, that patients in the middle of treatment not be told to find a new hospital or doctor, and that patients not have to travel outside their local community for care they previously received near home.
While Corbett in 2012 brokered an extension of the UPMC-Highmark contract through Dec. 31, it remain unclear whether a contract renewal is part of the latest talks.
The parties share “the common goal of providing long-term certainty and clarity for consumers, regardless of whether there is a contract,” Cronkright said.
Alex Nixon is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7928 or email@example.com.
Add Alex Nixon to your Google+ circles.
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.
- Highmark seeks double-digit increase for more benefits, heavy use
- FedEx investing another $1.2B in growth projects at FedEx Ground in Moon
- Consumer, core prices inch up
- Air-bag deaths draw scrutiny of Congress as recalls widen
- SEC approves looser mortgage lending guidelines
- EQT Corp. boosts profits despite lower gas prices
- Calgon Carbon poised for explosive growth
- Amid struggles, top fiscal executive to leave EDMC
- Large-scale batteries are integral in shift to renewable energy
- High pollution levels found near Ohio gas wells
- Natrona Bottling Co. keeps soda pop operation focused on craft, taste