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PHAN Statement on Announcement by Governor, Attorney General on New UPMC-Highmark Contract

June 24, 2019

Press Statement – for Immediate Release
Contact: Erin Ninehouser, [email protected], 412-863-1047

PHAN Statement on Announcement by Governor, Attorney General on New UPMC-Highmark Contract

HARRISBURG, PA – Today, Governor Tom Wolf and Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced a new ten-year contract between UPMC and Highmark that allows access to ALL UPMC facilities, not just specialty hospitals. Antoinette Kraus, Director of the Pennsylvania Health Access Network, released the following statement:

“The contract between UPMC and Highmark announced today is a testament to the power of patient voices. Thousands of senior citizens, cancer survivors, transplant patients, and others courageously shared their stories with lawmakers, the media, and hospital leadership in an effort to keep the doors of our non-profit, community hospitals open to everyone. We applaud Governor Wolf and Attorney General Shapiro for listening, acting, and holding UPMC and Highmark accountable to meeting their charitable obligations. Non-profit institutions should not be able to pick and choose who they serve.

While a new 10-year contract is a welcome relief for patients who have lived in a state of fear and anxiety since the split was announced, stronger rules are needed to protect access to care for all Pennsylvanians. Non-profit hospitals should not have the power to single-handedly decide where patients can access care and whether they can continue to see their trusted doctors. We continue to call on members of the legislature to take decisive action to prevent situations like this in every community in Pennsylvania by moving swiftly to pass proposed legislation (House Bills 1211, 1213 and Senate Bills 310, 311) that would protect patients’ access to the care they need.”