HARRISBURG, Pa., Aug. 14, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Governor Tom Corbett today released the following statement regarding Highmark and UPMC:
"Recent advertising and news reports regarding healthcare coverage and access to providers in western Pennsylvania are causing confusion and great concern among consumers who use Highmark insurance products and UPMC hospitals and providers.
Over the past months, my administration has been directly involved in overseeing a transition to the new healthcare landscape developing in western Pennsylvania. Our goal for western Pennsylvania and the entire commonwealth remains continued access to quality and affordable healthcare for consumers in a competitive and healthy marketplace. We will continue to take all steps necessary to ensure consumers are protected.
As non-profit entities with an obligation to their community, I expect that Highmark and UPMC will maintain a focus on their higher social mission – to responsibly serve the healthcare needs of thousands of western Pennsylvanians.
At my direction, the Departments of Health and Insurance have reached out to Highmark and UPMC, requiring them to clarify any consumer confusion surrounding Highmark's CommunityBlue product and services at UPMC.
As a result, the companies agreed to work together to help consumers better understand Highmark's CommunityBlue and the services they can access at UPMC facilities. While I understand that areas of disagreement between the companies remain, I believe this is an important step in the right direction and should serve as the foundation for the two companies to forge ahead on additional areas of agreement that protect consumers.
These companies need to set aside personal opinions and agendas and work toward the common good of the shared community in which they are both important fixtures.
I also have directed the Departments of Health and Insurance to create an interagency task force to monitor the ongoing communications and maintain the state's role in protecting consumers."
For more information, visit www.pa.gov.
Kevin Harley, 717-783-1116
Melissa Fox, Insurance, 717-787-3289
SOURCE Pennsylvania Office of the Governor