Highmark gets Pa. approval for West Penn takeover

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Insurance giant Highmark has conditional approval from Pennsylvania’s state insurance regulators for its takeover of the financially troubled West Penn Allegheny Health System as part of its plans to compete for health care dollars with UPMC.

The Pennsylvania Insurance Department, which attached conditions to the deal, announced its approval Monday.

Insurance Commissioner Michael Consedine calls it a “landmark” transaction and says the conditions are designed to protect the public and community hospitals while preserving fair competition and the financial stability of Highmark.

Consedine says one of the conditions is designed to maximize access to Highmark’s network for unrelated providers, community hospitals and insurers. He says the conditions also require communication to patients and subscribers about the potential termination of the UPMC contract in 2015.

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