The two organizations named in the suit filed yesterday by West Penn Allegheny Health system say the charges of conspiracy and anti trust are unfounded and frivolous. The suit claims Highmark Inc. and UPMC were in collusion to limit access and drive up costs for some specialized heath care. In a written statement Highmark says it is very surprised by the suit, “[West Penn] have chosen to overlook Highmark’s long history of financial support for its health care institutions.” The statement goes on to site, “a $125 million loan and more than $50 million in grants to help improve clinical care and services and help strengthen West Penn-Allegheny’s administrative and information systems. Without Highmark’s support, there was a distinct possibility that Allegheny General and its sister hospitals would not have survived.” Highmark says the system has been fairly reimbursed for care and points to a recently inked five-year reimbursement agreement as proof.
UPMC issued a similar statement saying it, “unequivocally denies the allegations raised in WPAHS's frivolous lawsuit.” UPMC claims to be a, “fierce competitor” with Highmark and, “Efforts by WPAHS to distract from its own operational failings by filing this lawsuit accusing UPMC of misdeeds are simply a tactic to divert attention from their own operating and financial difficulties.”