With Highmark recently announcing their plans to go from an insurance company to a provider by purchasing West Penn Allegheny Hospital System, this makes them a direct competitor with UPMC. Paul Wood, VP of Public Relations at UPMC said that when a contract the hospital system has had with Highmark to refer patients their way runs out in 2012 they will not renew.
He said this will not affect their clientele because of their strong relationships with other insurance systems.
Under the terms of the agreement, Highmark clients will have access to UPMC hospitals but will have to get approval and may face higher deductibles and co-payments.
UPMC Mercy and Children's Hospital have contracts that end in 2015 and 2022. Those contracts will be carried out.