Highmark-UPMC dispute sent back to lower court
The signs marking the offices for the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, UPMC, are seen on top of the U.S. Steel tower on Monday, April 3, 2017, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)
(Harrisburg) — The state’s highest court has deferred a ruling on the scheduled expiration date of a business relationship between two major health care providers in western Pennsylvania.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled in a 4-3 vote that Commonwealth Court has the authority to schedule arguments and decide when the consent decree involving UPMC and Highmark Health should expire.
Attorney General Josh Shapiro had sought to delay the June 30 end of the agreement after a Commonwealth Court judge ruled that he lacked authority to do that.
The companies in 2014 signed a five-year consent decree that kept in-network rates for Highmark customers in the Pittsburgh area and Erie.
The end of that agreement could leave patients with Highmark insurance unable to get in-network treatment through UPMC’s network.