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Highmark gets affiliation approvals from orphans' court

By , - Last modified: February 14, 2013 at 4:38 PM

Insurer Highmark Inc. has announced that Allegheny County Orphans' Court has approved its plans to affiliate with two Western Pennsylvania organizations, Jefferson Regional Medical Center and West Penn Allegheny Health System.

The Jefferson deal needs no further approval and will happen by or before March 1, according to a Highmark news release. The larger and more complicated deal with WPAHS is still under evaluation by the Pennsylvania Insurance Department, whose approval must be obtained before it can be closed.

Both affiliations will technically be with UPE, the 501(c)(3) organization that will be the new parent company of Highmark.

The Jefferson affiliation includes Highmark's commitment of up to $100 million to fund capital projects, including building a new state-of-the-art emergency department and adding clinical services at the Bethel Park Campus, among other improvements. Highmark will additionally provide $75 million in funding to the Jefferson Regional Medical Center Foundation to support the activities of the hospital and community-based preventive health and wellness initiatives.

Highmark is developing an integrated delivery system as a means of preserving competition among health care providers and maintaining choice of providers for consumers. In addition to Jefferson and WPAHS, Highmark is pursuing an affiliation with St. Vincent Health System in Erie. Highmark is also building a medical mall in Wexford, Pa., and other outpatient care settings in local communities.

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