WDAD NEWS, sponsored by IRMC at Chestnut Ridge
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Highmark received state approval yesterday to take of the West Penn Allegheny Health System.  The merger creates the new Allegheny Health Network. 


The state’s insurance commissioner, Michael Consedine called the takeover a landmark transaction.  The takeover is the main component of a plan for Highmark to compete with UPMC.  The two have been locked in a dispute for the past couple years.  A temporary agreement currently exists between the healthcare giants so that patients can use the UPMC network.  That agreement is scheduled to expire in 2015.  The conditions of state approval include communication between Highmark and its subscribers about the expiration of that UPMC contract. 


The merger is not expected to impact employment at Highmark.  The corporation’s investment in taking over the West Penn Allegheny Health system is estimated at around $1.1 billion.  Highmark is dominant in Western Pennsylvania, in fact, many in Indiana County get their insurance through Highmark. 

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