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UPMC Won't Require Prepayment From Some Highmark Patients Once Consent Decrees Expire

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- UPMC will not require some Highmark patients to pay in advance for services once the consent decrees between the two health care providers expire.

The consent decrees are set to expire on June 30. UPMC originally wanted Highmark's Medicare Advantage members to pay for treatments up front after that deadline, starting in July.

UPMC has decided against that decision.

UPMC also said in a release Wednesday that it will accept direct payment from Highmark patients for out-of-network emergencies and that patients would pay the current rate.

Democratic Sen. Bob Casey from Pennsylvania called UPMC's announcement on its prepayment policy "the correct decision." His full statement reads:

"I have advocated for an end to UPMC's pre-payment policy since it was first announced. The rules of the Medicare program will ensure UPMC is paid for the care it provides and I appreciate UPMC's decision to prioritize the needs of its patients over profit. I have long advocated for a result that would put patients first and I am pleased to hear of this new development. This is the correct decision and I hope UPMC and Highmark will continue to keep the needs of beneficiaries in mind."

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