Highmark/UPMC Dispute Moves to Binding Arbitration

On Dec. 23, 2014, the Pennsylvania Insurance Department, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General, and the Pennsylvania Department of Health, sent correspondence to the CEOs of both UPMC and Highmark related to their failure to reach an agreement on the issue of physician contracts. The correspondence indicated that the dispute will move to the next phase in the process, which is binding arbitration. A motion will now be filed through the court to set a status conference.

“In the interim, there is nothing that precludes the parties from reaching your own resolution and the commonwealth would encourage you to do so,” said the organizations in the correspondence.

The correspondence also reminded the organizations of the agreement to suspend any contract terminations and to continue to provide treatment for certain Highmark members as in-network pending the resolution of this matter through the dispute resolution process.

Consumers who use Highmark or UPMC for their health care services may see changes when the contract between the two expires Dec. 31, 2014.

Patients may have questions such as “What does it mean for me?” “How will it impact my access to care?,” “Can I keep my doctor?,” and “Will I have to pay more for services?”

Information and guidance is now available on a new website designed to help consumers navigate the changes at www.stayinformed.pa.gov.