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Media Statement on Highmark/WPAHS proposed affiliation

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PITTSBURGH (Sept. 28, 2012) — Highmark categorically denies the claim by West Penn Allegheny Health System (WPAHS) that Highmark has breached the affiliation agreement between us. Highmark continues to believe that an affiliation between Highmark and WPAHS is in the best interests of both parties, and more importantly of the entire community — the physicians and employees of WPAHS, Highmark plan members, employers, and all parties. We believe that WPAHS is an important community asset that is vital to our region. We have been working in good faith with WPAHS to move forward our proposed affiliation in a way that creates a strong foundation for success. We believe that we have made substantial progress in this regard, especially in recent weeks.

Market forces and health system reform are causing all participants in the health care system to change the way they do business. For that reason in 2011, we announced our proposed affiliation with WPAHS. Highmark wants to maintain competition and preserve provider choice for consumers in western Pennsylvania. Alignment with WPAHS helps create this outcome.

Highmark is firmly committed to working with all segments of the community to make necessary changes to help control health care costs, improve quality of patient care and patient safety, preserve options and choice for individuals, employers, physicians and other health care practitioners. We will continue to pursue efforts that are in the best interests of the broader community.

About Highmark
Highmark Inc., based in Pittsburgh, is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, an association of independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies. Highmark serves 4.9 million members in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Delaware through the company's health care benefits business and is one of the largest Blue plans in the nation. Highmark has 20,000 employees across the country and provides a broad range of health and wellness related services through subsidiary and affiliate companies. For more information, visit