“As a resident of the City of Pittsburgh, the impending separation between Highmark and UPMC in 2019 was a terrible obstacle to the development of trustworthy and accessible health care. This would have left me without access to nearby hospitals and, more importantly, would have prevented me from continuing to care for all my doctors and physiotherapists,” said Heidi Wettlaufer of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. To my surprise and esteem, I learned that an agreement had been reached during my visit to my doctor, which we both thought would be our last joint visit in June 2019. What began as a medical visit with a sad farewell turned into a solemn visit that allowed me to talk about my health. I am very grateful to Attorney General Shapiro for supporting this agreement that puts patient care, not business interests, at the centre of health care. In this period of COVID 19, I cannot imagine that this agreement is anything but the best for patients, their health teams and the community. It is important to remember that five years ago, Highmark took courageous steps to preserve the choice of health care in this region by investing more than $2 billion in exceptional care and services provided by AHN in the Pittsburgh and Erie regions, including a nationally recognized heart team that offers the #1 state heart transplant program and a top 10 program in the country; a cancer institute that works with the renowned Johns Hopkins Cancer Centre to provide high-level cancer innovation and treatment capabilities; and a women`s health program that sets new standards for the treatment of women with postpartum depression. Shapiro, Jeffrey Romoff, CEO of UPMC, and David Holmberg, CEO of Highmark, have been negotiating since a Commonwealth Court judge ruled on June 14 that a five-year approval order guaranteeing Highmark patients` access to UPMC providers would end on June 30, as planned. “We are very pleased with all the efforts of consumers, who have held their strong and strong voices and supported Attorney General Shapiro in this work,” she said. “I`m too solemn to be crazy. But I don`t know where we`ll be in 10 years. At a press conference, Wolf said Highmark and UPMC would remain competitors, but they were now better able to make decisions for the future because they knew what their relationship would be in the next 10 years. Attorney General Shapiro worked for two years with UPMC and Highmark to resolve the issue of expiring approval orders and to avoid further damage to the public. When negotiations resulted in a result, Attorney General Shapiro filed a petition against UPMC in February 2019 to amend the approval decrees.
Before the Commonwealth Court decided on June 14, 2019, that the state could not amend these agreements, Attorney General Shapiro had already begun rigorous negotiations with the leaders of UPMC and Highmark to reach this agreement.