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Highmark-UPMC deal could carry higher costs

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, May 8, 2012

For Highmark Inc., the price of temporary peace with UPMC was an increase in the amount of money paid out to UPMC hospitals for the work they do. But it could cost Highmark even more when other physicians and hospital networks see UPMC getting a big increase in reimbursement money and ask for the same. Whether any of them will get it, though, is a matter of debate. The Highmark deal with UPMC announced last week could mean "a huge fee schedule adjustment for everybody," according to one industry observer with knowledge of the Highmark-UPMC negotiations. And, "When there is an increase [for one group of] physicians, you have to do it across the board."