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Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, Penn Highlands Healthcare announce agreement on multi-year contracts

Five-year deals keep Penn Highlands Brookville, Penn Highlands Clearfield in-network.

Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield

PITTSBURGH (June 20, 2016) — Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield and Penn Highlands Healthcare today announced a pair of five-year contracts that will ensure Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield members will have access to the quality care provided by Penn Highlands Brookville and Penn Highlands Clearfield in Jefferson and Clearfield Counties. Highmark has existing contracts with Penn Highlands Elk in Elk County and Penn Highlands DuBois, also in Clearfield County.

"We were pleased to reach an agreement and look forward to continuing to serve Highmark members and customers in Jefferson and Clearfield Counties. We appreciate Highmark's commitment to the community," said Penn Highlands Executive Vice President Steven M. Fontaine.

The agreements also mean that Highmark members will continue to have access to all of Penn Highland Healthcare's affiliated physicians, cancer treatment centers, surgical centers, urgent care centers and its long-term care facility.

"Highmark's five-year contracts with Penn Highlands Healthcare achieve an important balance; reimbursing a local, community-based health system to provide quality care to our members, while also recognizing the need to maintain comprehensive and affordable health benefit programs for our members and customers in Jefferson and Clearfield Counties," said Tom Fitzpatrick, senior vice president of Provider Contracting & Relations for Highmark. "The length of five-year contracts also provides stability for our members and for Penn Highlands Healthcare in the north central Pennsylvania market."

Highmark is committed to working with community hospitals to support improvements in health care that will enable them to remain independent and will assure affordable access to quality medical care for its members in community-based settings. In addition, such collaborations with community hospitals boost the economic vitality of the region and preserve stronger, more economically viable communities throughout Pennsylvania.

"As health care costs continue to rise, we need to continue to work with all health care providers to reach mutually acceptable agreements that are in the community's best interests," Fitzpatrick said.

About Penn Highlands Healthcare

Penn Highlands Healthcare was officially formed on September 30, 2011, with the linkage of Clearfield Hospital, DuBois Regional Medical Center and Brookville Hospital. Elk Regional Health Center joined Penn Highlands on July 1, 2013. Through this partnership among the hospitals, Penn Highlands Healthcare has evolved into an organization with approximately 3,600 workers in 70 locations throughout eight counties in north central/western Pennsylvania with annual net revenue exceeding $450 million. It has approximately 360 physicians and 130 advanced practice providers on staff, and its facilities have a total of 525 inpatient beds. Its business continuum also includes seven walk-in/urgent care centers, four home health agencies, two cancer centers, two surgical centers, a senior residential living facility and a long-term care facility. For more information, visit www.phhealthcare.org.

About Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield

Highmark Inc. doing business as Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield serves approximately 3.3 million members through the company's health care benefits business and hundreds of thousands of additional members through the Blue card program. It employs more than 4,200 people in western, north central and northeastern Pennsylvania. Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, an association of independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies. For more information, visit www.highmark.com.

For more information, contact:
Aaron Billger
Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield
412-544-7826
aaron.billger@highmark.com