Frankel stands with AG Shapiro in seeking legal action against UPMC
Petition would modify UPMC-Highmark consent decree to restore fairness while protecting patients and families
PITTSBURGH, Feb. 7 – Today state Rep. Dan Frankel, D-Allegheny, stood with Attorney General Josh Shapiro in calling for UPMC and Highmark to end their dispute and to do the right thing by putting patients, families and the people of Pennsylvania first.
“When we are patients and doctors tell us ‘trust me, this is good for you,’ we believe them. But as citizens, we know what’s good for us — and that includes access to the health care that we are all paying for with our premiums, tax dollars and donations,” Frankel said. “It’s only right that we tell institutions that are supposedly dedicated to the public good what we need and deserve. We tell them what is good for us, not the other way around.”
Frankel joined Shapiro at a news conference Thursday to announce the Attorney General’s Office was filing a petition asking the courts to modify and extend a consent decree requiring UPMC and Highmark to work together to ensure that patients can continue to access quality and affordable medical care.
The consent decree stems from a 2012 decision by UPMC that it would no longer accept Highmark insurance as in-network. After the state intervened in 2014, a consent decree was negotiated which required UPMC and Highmark to provide in-network services to patients regardless of which network insured them. That consent decree expires June 30.
As part of his suit, Shapiro is asking the Commonwealth Court to extend the consent decree and continue to require UPMC to provide affordable access to UPMC health care services and products through negotiated contracts with any health plan. It would also require arbitration when contract negotiations fail, and prohibit excessive and unreasonable billing practices by UPMC that are inconsistent with its status as a non-profit charity providing health care to the public.