The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center system filed a motion to dismiss an antitrust lawsuit filed against it in April by its smaller Pittsburgh competitor West Penn Allegheny Health System.
The new court filing by UPMC, a 12-hospital system thats dominant in the market, characterizes five-hospital West Penn Alleghenys lawsuit as an attempt to divert attention away from its own failings by bringing suit blaming its more successful competitor. Along with the news release publicizing the motion, UPMC distributed a recent Standard & Poors analysis that affirms a junk rating and negative outlook on West Penn Alleghenys bonds.
West Penn Allegheny spokesman Dan Laurent declined to comment. The lawsuit alleges that UPMC struck a truce with Highmark, also named as a defendant. UPMC has long fought bitterly with Highmark over reimbursement rates for its hospitals as a competitor in the health insurance market with its subsidiary UPMC Health Plan. Under the alleged pact, Highmark would favor UPMCs hospitals and in exchange benefit from the tranquility with the powerful system.
UPMCs motion argues that the lawsuit fails to present facts that there was any agreement.