Kenyatta signs brief supporting AG lawsuit against UPMC

HARRISBURG, April 25 – State Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, D-Phila., signed a legal brief filed this week by the House Democratic Caucus supporting the state Attorney General’s lawsuit against UPMC.

The lawsuit seeks to modify and indefinitely extend the UPMC-Highmark Health consent decrees that expire June 30.

“Families in our community face the prospect of losing critically important access to their chosen health care providers, including many with whom they share longstanding relationships,” Kenyatta said. “Letting the consent decrees expire will do more than jeopardize patient choice. It will negatively impact patient care by ending network access to providers who know and understand their patients’ histories. That’s why we’re urging the court to step in and force UPMC to do the right thing.”

Shapiro originally filed the lawsuit to modify the consent decrees in February, arguing that as a charitable organization, UPMC has an obligation to protect patients’ access to affordable care and to facilities that patients have funded through their own tax dollars.

In early April, Shapiro filed an appeal to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court asking it to either expedite review of the consent decrees before the June 30 expiration date or issue an order to keep the decrees in place while the lawsuit is decided.

The House Democratic Caucus amicus curiae brief provides additional support for the lawsuit.

On Wednesday, a federal court judge dismissed a lawsuit UPMC had filed against the attorney general challenging his authority to modify the consent decrees.