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UPMC, Highmark move to end dueling antitrust cases

October 23, 2013 News Extra

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PITTSBURGH — Attorneys for the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and health insurer Highmark Inc. have agreed to end their dueling antitrust lawsuits at the urging of a federal judge.

But observers say the settlement doesn’t resolve an ongoing dispute over a contract set to expire next year that would make UPMC’s doctors and hospitals out-of-network providers for Highmark customers — meaning it would cost Highmark customers more to use UPMC services.

UPMC is Western Pennsylvania’s dominant hospital system, and it also has a related health insurance plan which competes with Highmark, the region’s largest insurer.

UPMC has refused to extend an agreement that keeps its hospitals and doctors in Highmark’s provider network, in part, because Highmark has acquired a smaller hospital network, since renamed the Allegheny Health Network, in hopes of competing with UPMC.

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