Pitt Medical Center must keep lower rates in Medicare plans, high court rules

    A Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision means seniors and others in the state enrolled in an insurer’s Medicare Advantage plans won’t have to pay comparatively higher rates in the coming years for services through the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

    The justices ruled Monday that about 180,000 people in Highmark’s Medicare Advantage plans will pay “in-network” fees at least until June 2019, when a consent decree between the two health providers is set to expire.

    The case is part of a bitter dispute that dates back to 2013. That’s when Highmark acquired a set of hospitals in the area and UPMC began to see the insurer as a competitive rival.

    Highmark said the ruling is a win for residents of western Pennsylvania, particularly seniors. UPMC will comply with the decision.

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