End of Highmark-UPMC contract raises concerns about data sharing

The termination of the contract between managed care company Highmark and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC), slated to end Jan. 1, 2015, has called into question whether UPMC will be able to transfer electronic patient health records in a timely manner, according to an article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. It is anticipated that the change will create the need for a "larger than usual" exchange of electronic health record information as patients switch physicians in order to stay within Highmark's network.

However, while UPMC is in a health information exchange with several other providers, it is not in the same HIE as Highmark and its physician network, Allegheny Health Network, which are in the process of building their own HIE. UPMC says that it will still be able to transfer records within 24 hours. Article