Payer Roundup—Court rules UPMC-Highmark consent decree to end June 30

A Pennsylvania judge has ruled that the UPMC-Highmark consent decree will indeed end in June, and more healthcare news from around the web. (Getty/Joecho-16)

Court rules UPMC-Highmark consent decree to end June 30

Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court Judge Robert Simpson ruled that the UPMC-Highmark consent decree that binds the health giants together will come to an end June 30. But the state’s attorney general, Josh Shapiro, has already vowed to issue an appeal.

Shapiro’s office petitioned the court in February to force UPMC to extend the consent decrees but was initially denied the request.  

The original termination date of June 30 was decided last summer, when the Supreme Court settled a dispute between Highmark and UPMC over whether Highmark Medicare Advantage insurance members would lose access to UPMC doctors and hospitals. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

MetroPlus joins partnership to enroll all New Yorkers in health insurance

MetroPlus Health has partnered with the New York City Department of Probation and Department of Small Business Services (SBS) to encourage people using these agencies to apply for health insurance. 

MetroPlus will deploy more than two dozen enrollment specialists to do on-site outreach, education and enrollment at six probation offices and 18 new SBS solution centers. 

The collaboration supports an executive order signed by Mayor Bill de Blasio in January that requires city agencies to enroll people in insurance anywhere New Yorkers are directly served. (BusinessWire)

Housing costs affect renters' healthcare

A national survey by Enterprise Community Partners found more than half of all renters surveyed have delayed healthcare because they couldn’t afford it. And 100% of all medical professionals report patients expressing concerns about affordable housing. 

Ninety-five percent of lower-income renters say rent is their most important bill, but 78% of medical professionals believe these patients would prioritize their medical bills over rent. 

Still, 54% of the patients surveyed have delayed medical care because they could not afford it, including preventive check-ups (42%), sick treatment (38%) and over-the-counter medications (35%). 

“No one should have to choose between paying rent and paying for healthcare,” said Laurel Blatchford, president of Enterprise Community Partners. (Enterprise)