West Penn countersues Highmark in deal fallout

West Penn Allegheny Health System has countersued Highmark in response to the insurer's attempt to block the health system from seeking other buyers, reported the Central Penn Business Journal. In a lawsuit filed earlier this month, Highmark sought to prevent WPAHS from engaging in new acquisition discussions with other potential buyers after WPAHS canceled its deal with Highmark over allegations that the insurer demanded it file for bankruptcy. Now, WPAHS has filed its own lawsuit seeking unspecified damages from Highmark for breaching their agreement.

"West Penn Allegheny never refused to negotiate a new agreement with Highmark," the filing said. "Instead, West Penn Allegheny believes that in light of Highmark's rejection of the extant Affiliation Agreement and because West Penn Allegheny's time without a partner is limited, it is incumbent upon the Board to assess all of its options, including, alternative partners, while, at the same time remaining open to negotiation of a new arrangement with Highmark." WPAHS also claimed Highmark didn't deliver certain promised incentives, including increase patient volume. Despite all the legal wrangling, however, WPAHS said it would be willing to negotiate a new agreement with Highmark. Article