Highmark's $1B Acquisition of West Penn Approved by PA

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media , April 30, 2013

State regulators in Pennsylvania on Monday approved Highmark Inc.'s $1 billion acquisition of West Penn Allegheny Health System, clear ing the way for the creation of what its backers says will be one of the nation's largest integrated healthcare systems.

Approval from the Pennsylvania Insurance Department came laden with conditions, but Highmark President/CEO William Winkenwerder, Jr., MD, said leadership at the newly named Allegheny Health Network was 'comfortable that we will be able to well comply with all the conditions that have been outlined in the commissioner's order.'

'Let me just say that many of these conditions were things that we would have done in any event,' Winkenwerder told reporters at a Monday afternoon teleconference. 'We also believe that certain of the conditions are very positive in that they set forth certain behaviors and characteristics of a more competitive marketplace in healthcare and are really meant to assure that monopoly-like behavior doesn't occur. That is very consistent with our own thoughts.'

The Allegheny Health Network will employ about 1,200 physicians and will include the five hospitals in the West Penn Allegheny system, Saint Vincent Health System in Erie, pending court approval, and Jefferson Regional Medical Center in suburban Pittsburgh, Winkenwerder said.

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3 comments on "Highmark's $1B Acquisition of West Penn Approved by PA"

Jack Jessop-Ellia (5/6/2013 at 8:48 AM)
I'm glad to see the WPAHS continuing to move forward. I'm interested to know how this will affect former employees.

J. Blake (5/2/2013 at 4:17 PM)
I would have preferred to see some of the $1B being used to lower premiums for the subscribers who paid that $1B to Highmark for their coverage. We just got our renewal notice for our small group with a 59.37% increase for FY 2013-2014 in our high-deductible plan. Over the past five years, we have seen huge yearly increases in our premiums, while we have decreased our benefits and increased deductibles and copays.

Arun K. Potdar (4/30/2013 at 10:21 AM)
This article just gives the news about acquisition. What benefits if any, a physician, employer or the patient (consumer) to expect? There will be only two major options to choose (Highmark & UPMC) from and in this era of small or no government political mindset, what regulatory oversight teeth Insurance Commissioner is going to show? Field days are ahead for the Insurer to consolidate and do what you please after elimination of completions. It is a bad decision for the patients and doctors all around. Income reduction for service providers and poor service at higher cost for consumers in spite of ACA implementations will be the result of this as history has shown. Forgot Ma Bell days? Airline Consolidation has done no favors to passengers; high cost and no services worth paying for is the result. Highmark will have to do lot for PR in terms of explanation of what its benefits are going to show up in the market Place. I wonder what Ralf Nader has to say about this?




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