Pittsburgh, January 4, 2018 – State Sen. Wayne D. Fontana (D-Brookline) today made the following comment after UPMC and Highmark agreed to provide in-network access to community healthcare facilities that provide one-of-a-kind services.

“I’m pleased by this positive and constructive development that will help put patients first.

“I want to thank the leaders at Highmark and UPMC for finding a way to make this work. Governor Tom Wolf also deserves praise for keeping the parties at the table and relentlessly pursuing this workable solution.

“For my part, I was proud to work with my colleagues Senators Jay Costa and Randy Vulakovich on legislation to address contractual disputes between integrated delivery networks by focusing on hospitals operating as part of an integrated delivery network – where a large health system and insurance carrier/health plan operate under the same corporate structure. It would have required hospitals and physicians operating as part of an integrated delivery network to contract with all insurers so that consumers could not be denied care, or worse abandoned mid-treatment, simply because they hold one type of insurance over another.

“I will continue to reach out to constituents and leaders of both health insurance entities to embrace even more cooperative strategies that elevate the quality, accessibility and flexibility of patient care services throughout our region. All consumers should be afforded access to these vital services, regardless of which insurance card they carry.”

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