UPMC Responds to Commonwealth Court Ruling

By: Paul Wood

As President Judge Dan Pellegrini stated, the hearing in Commonwealth Court on Wednesday, May 27 was to determine if UPMC was in contempt of the Consent Decree when it exercised its rights to terminate Medicare Advantage arrangements with Highmark effective December 31, 2015. The Commonwealth Court clearly did not find that UPMC was in contempt.

The Court, however, erroneously reinterpreted the plain text of the language of the Consent Decree to render an arbitrary and capricious order that far exceeds its jurisdictional authority and prejudicially contrived a solution that ignored the evidence presented. It is wrong both as a matter of fact and law.

Under the Court’s own volition, Judge Pellegrini has put the entire business relationship between UPMC and Highmark under his direct supervision. This was not requested by the Commonwealth nor does the Court and, in particular, this Judge have any such authority to assume control of health care in Western Pennsylvania.

UPMC will immediately appeal to the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania and is confident the Commonwealth Court’s order will be reversed.