A federal judge has ruled that most parts of an affiliation agreement between insurer Highmark and West Penn Allegheny Health System be made public.
Judge orders release of Highmark, West Penn info
U.S. District Judge Arthur Schwab ruled (PDF) that the public's right to access outweighs the two Pittsburgh-based company's interests in keeping sealed all or part of the affiliation agreement under which Highmark would acquire West Penn. Schwab also wrote that much of what is contained in the affiliation agreement already has been disclosed publicly through different avenues. Schwab left a few things, such as medical staff matters and dollar amounts of material contracts, sealed in his order.
The suit was filed by UPMC, which opposes the acquisition and recently reached an agreement with Highmark over ending the insurer's contract with UPMC, which is now set to occur June 30, 2013.
Highmark officials are reviewing the ruling in light of the fact that the company recently published (PDF) a redacted version of the agreement on its website, spokesman Michael Weinstein said. He declined further comment.
UPMC spokesman Paul Wood said in an e-mail, "UPMC is very pleased with the court's ruling … that will allow the public the ability to review all the details surrounding Highmark's acquisition of WPAHS."
Comment from West Penn couldn't be obtained by deadline.
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