The Highmark-West Penn deal: Can Paul do it?
Perhaps lost in the news that the Pennsylvania Department of Insurance has approved insurance giant Highmark Inc.'s $1.1 billion takeover of beleaguered West Penn Allegheny Health System is this backstory:
It was a decade ago that John Paul, then the second-most-powerful man in the UPMC universe (second only to UPMC chieftain Jeff Romoff) suddenly was on a “sabbatical.” Mr. Paul, then in his early 50s, cited burnout — 30 years of working 16- to 18-hour days, seven days a week.
But two months into what was supposed to be a six-month break, UPMC said Paul, credited with some of the hospital behemoth's greatest successes, would not be back. His return would not have served his best interests or those of UPMC, Mr. Romoff said at the time. Concentration of such vast duties in a single person could be detrimental, he said.
Fast-forward to Monday. Paul, who for the past two years has led Highmark's network building, in direct competition with UPMC, will retain that position but also will lead both the West Penn Allegheny Health System and Allegheny Health Network, the new umbrella organization.
A decade later and a decade older, John Paul is back in the thick of things. Nobody doubts his credentials. And we wish him the best. But past being prologue, it is not unreasonable to ask if he's up to the task.
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.
- Greensburg Tuesday takes
- An independent Scotland? Think again
- Pittsburgh Tuesday takes
- Alle-Kiski Tuesday takes
- Drilling laws: Your rights
- The email scandal: Corbett was told
- Ban felon-lobbyists? A better idea
- A misdialed number suggests a criminal conspiracy in the IRS scandal
- U.N. Watch: The aid ingrates
- Patriot day 2014: Never forget