Questions on the Highmark-UPMC consent decrees?

As a physician in the Allegheny County area I want to let you to know about actions that the Allegheny County Medical Society (ACMS) is taking to make sure that you are informed about the upcoming Highmark/UPMC transition and to share plans we have to act as a conduit for physician questions about how the transition impacts your patients and your practice.

Healthcare providers have been on a roller coaster since the contract negotiations between Highmark and UPMC became public four years ago.  We are all familiar with the on-again, off-again negotiation process.  In that time period, Highmark acquired the West Penn Allegheny Health System, now known as the Allegheny Health Network, becoming an integrated health delivery system.  At that point, contract negotiations ended for all intents and purposes as UPMC stated that it could not contract with what had become a direct competitor.
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New Website Available to Guide Consumers as Highmark and UPMC Contract Termination Nears

HarrisbPa Department of Insurance, PA Department of Healthurg –As the Dec. 31 termination of the contract between Highmark and UPMC nears, the Commonwealth is offering new resources at StayInformed.pa.gov to provide guidance to western Pennsylvania consumers.

This new website helps consumers cut through confusion and navigate the changes that could occur to health care coverage as a result of the Highmark and UPMC contract termination. It also outlines the key protections put into place through consent decrees signed by both parties earlier this year.

“We took action through consent decrees earlier in the year to ensure health care consumers’ rights were protected. And we’ve been actively leading the charge to preserve the public’s right to continue to have access to quality, affordable health care,” Insurance Commissioner Michael Consedine said. “Now we are doing our part to educate consumers about what to expect next, as well as to offer objective information and points of contact through StayInformed.pa.gov.”

“Our departments worked collaboratively to serve as guideposts and offer needed resources in this comprehensive communications effort,” explained Secretary of Health Michael Wolf. “One of our goals is to see that doctor-patient relationships are maintained wherever possible. It’s very important that consumers know what questions to ask their health care provider and insurance company about their specific care needs and individual coverages.”

PA Secretary of Health Michael Wolf and ACMS President Kevin Garrett, MD at the December 10th informational meeting.

PA Secretary of Health Michael Wolf and ACMS President Kevin Garrett, MD at the December 10th informational meeting.

The resources, which will continue to be updated, will be available through the website and will be promoted to consumers. Funding for this campaign was provided by both UPMC and Highmark as part of the agreements reached this past summer with the two organizations.

 

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2015 Medical Record Fees

2015 Medical Record Fees

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The Pennsylvania Department of Health has released the 2015 fees for copying medical records.  These fees become effective on January 1, 2105.

The Pennsylvania Medical Society has condensed the fees into an easy to follow chart.

 

Available here.

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Allegheny County Medical Society
713 Ridge Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA  15212
412-321-5030  FAX 412-321-5323