Pennsylvania Attorney General Shapiro sues UPMC over patient access, report

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro (WikiMedia Commons)

From The Associated Press’ Mark Scolforo:

“Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro sued Thursday in an effort to keep health giant UPMC from ending its business relationship with rival Highmark Health, in hopes of preventing higher costs from hitting about 70,000 western Pennsylvania patients.

“He asked Commonwealth Court to forestall developments expected July 1 that would leave some Highmark insurance customers facing higher fees or looking for new doctors.

“The 73-page petition to modify consent decrees seeks to enforce Pennsylvania laws about fundraising for charity, nonprofit corporations and consumer protections. It aims to modify and indefinitely extend 5-year-old consent agreements that have kept some Highmark Medicare Advantage members and others with in-network rates for UPMC services.

“’I can’t sit idly by and watch our seniors and children and workers suffer because of corporate greed,’ Shapiro, a Democrat, said in a news conference at his Pittsburgh offices.

“The attorney general’s office wants the court to impose a single, modified consent decree that would continue the business relationship between UPMC and Highmark, both based in Pittsburgh, two of Pennsylvania’s largest charitable institutions. Highmark has agreed to Shapiro’s proposed deal but UPMC has not.

“Highmark Health chief executive David Holmberg said a modified agreement would be in the community’s best interest.”

Read the full story here.

An award-winning political journalist with more than 25 years' experience in the news business, John L. Micek is The Pennsylvania Capital-Star's Editor-in-Chief. Before joining The Capital-Star, Micek spent six years as Opinion Editor at PennLive/The Patriot-News in Harrisburg, Pa., where he helped shape and lead a multiple-award-winning Opinion section for one of Pennsylvania's most-visited news websites. Prior to that, he spent 13 years covering Pennsylvania government and politics for The Morning Call of Allentown, Pa. His career has also included stints covering Congress, Chicago City Hall and more municipal meetings than he could ever count, Micek contributes regular analysis and commentary to a host of broadcast outlets, including CTV-News in Canada and talkRadio in London, U.K., as well as "Face the State" on CBS-21 in Harrisburg, Pa.; "Pennsylvania Newsmakers" on WGAL-8 in Lancaster, Pa., and the Pennsylvania Cable Network. His weekly column on American politics is syndicated nationwide to more than 800 newspapers by Cagle Syndicate.

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