Statement on recent Commonwealth Court hearing from Debra Smith, senior vice president of senior markets, Highmark
PITTSBURGH (Jan. 17, 2018) Today, Highmark and the Pennsylvania Attorney General's office appeared in Commonwealth Court to enforce the Highmark and UPMC Consent Decrees and to require UPMC to comply with the Court's prior order protecting vulnerable populations like seniors by not allowing UPMC to terminate the Pittsburgh and Erie area Medicare Advantage hospital contracts at the end of 2018.
The Consent Decrees are commitments by Highmark and UPMC to the Commonwealth. Both Highmark and UPMC have publicly pledged that seniors would not be affected by UPMC and Highmark contract issues. We believe that these public statements, the Consent Decrees and previous Court rulings establish a duty for Highmark and UPMC to contract for Medicare Advantage through 2019 under the same terms as the last four years.
We currently have Medicare Advantage provider contracts with UPMC for 2018. We fully expect that we should have provider contracts for all of 2019 as well that will offer UPMC in-network access for Highmark Security Blue and Freedom Blue Medicare Advantage plan members.
At today's hearing, we advocated to ensure our members have in-network access to UPMC that's in the best interest of our members. Our focus has always been, and always will be, on doing what is right for our members.
About Highmark Inc.
Highmark Inc. and its health insurance subsidiaries and affiliates collectively are among the ten largest health insurers in the United States and comprise the fourth-largest Blue Cross and Blue Shield-affiliated organization. Highmark Inc. and affiliates operate health insurance plans in Pennsylvania, Delaware and West Virginia that serve 5 million members and hundreds of thousands of additional members through the BlueCard® program. Its diversified businesses serve group customer and individual needs across the United States through dental insurance, vision care and other related businesses. Highmark Inc. 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.