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

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media , April 30, 2013

'In our case, what we have created with this establishment of Allegheny Health Network with Highmark is arguable the second- or third-largest integrated delivery system in the United States. We quickly move up to the top of the list in terms of size and scope,' Winkenwerder said.

'What that creates, that integration, is an opportunity for clinicians and clinical leaders to work hand in glove with those that finance care for the population when planning things so that there is less duplication and there is better placement of services for the entire population that it serves. Right off the bat you have the opportunity to plan things more efficiently and effectively and with less redundancy.'

'At the patient care level when you have these cooperative entities working together, and that is the key, a cooperative relationship and attitude, there is the opportunity to make the patient care experience better and take some of the hassle and redundancy out of what people typically experience today.'

Highmark's provider division leader John Paul, who was named president/CEO of the new network, said the integrated care model is needed because 'obviously the current system hasn't worked very well.'

'The core of the problems we have as a country is the fact that care is so fragmented,' Paul told reporters. 'Care traditionally has been physician- and facility-focused. With modern technology and information technology, our focus is going to be on prevention and wellness as well as bringing people together to the extent that we can in one location to receive all their care, and when they can't receive it in that location to connect those clinicians and a record of their clinical services through an information technology backbone that can be transmitted internationally, not just locally.'

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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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