Agreement Reached: Highmark to Remain "In-Network" With UPMC-Ham - WICU12 HD WSEE Erie, PA News, Sports, Weather and Events

Agreement Reached: Highmark to Remain "In-Network" With UPMC-Hamot

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UPMC and Highmark have reached an agreement that brings an end to a long dispute between the two giant health companies. Details of the agreement were announced this morning in Harrisburg by Governor Tom Corbett.           
 
As part of the agreement, UPMC-Hamot, will continue to be "in-network" for Highmark Insurance customers.  The agreement between UPMC and Highmark was reached after Governor Corbett called the two sides together beginning last month.  A contract between UPMC and Highmark was set to expire at the end of this year and UPMC had decided it would no longer accept Highmark clients at "in-network" prices.  UPMC was upset that the insurance giant was entering the health care business and establishing its own system of hospitals.

But, as of today, the dispute is over. The agreement is is very detailed and lengthy, but there is a  section of the agreement that is of most interest to residents of Northwestern Pennsylvania.  Highmark customers will still be able to receive in-network care at UPMC-Hamot, also at UPMC hospitals in Venango, Mercer, and McKean counties.

"To the communities outside of the Metropolitan Pittsburgh area, the 5-county area, who are worried about losing in-network access to their community hospital, we've required the parties to negotiate contracts to insure ongoing access in the years to come," said Corbett.

Most UPMC hospitals in the Pittsburgh area will be out of the Highmark network.  But, the agreement would permit certain Highmark insurance customers to continue to receive care at UPMC.  Those customers include cancer patients, Medicare patients, and those needing treatment in the emergency room.

The agreement between UPMC and Highmark will remain in effect for five years.
 



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