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Report: Judge Says UPMC-Highmark Agreement Deadline Cannot Be Extended

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- A judge has reportedly ruled that Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro cannot extend the deadline on an agreement between UPMC and Highmark.

In February, Shapiro filed a lawsuit against UPMC.

In a 73-page complaint, the Attorney General asked that the consent decree between UPMC and Highmark, which expires June 30, be modified and extended.

However, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune Review, a judge today ruled that the date is an "unambiguously and material term of the consent decree," and can't be extended or changed.

Once it passes, neither healthcare provider will be required to cover services for patients with the other's insurance.

The judge did say that Shapiro has a right to try to keep the agreement from ending as a matter of "public good," the Trib reports.

Paul Wood, UPMC vice president and chief communications officer, released the following statement Wednesday:

"UPMC agrees with today's Commonwealth Court ruling that the Consent Decrees end on June 30, 2019, which is exactly what the Pennsylvania Supreme Court unanimously decided last year."


Shapiro said in February that he asked both Highmark and UPMC to modify and extend the consent decree so Highmark insureds can continue to use UPMC doctors and facilities.

"Highmark has agreed to those modifications. I'm also here today to announce that UPMC did not," Shapiro said at a February press conference.

With that, Shapiro said filing a lawsuit against UPMC was his only recourse.

UPMC and its UPMC Health Plan insurance and Highmark and its Allegheny Health Network are now competing for both insurance customers and patients.

"They can basically put a wall up around their silo, shutting each other out, denying access to care, while driving up their own bottom line," Shapiro said.

Stay with KDKA for the latest on this developing story.

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