St. Clair Hospital officials say Highmark subscribers will not have access to its new outpatient center in Peters when it opens June 3 because of a credentialing dispute.
According to the hospital, Highmark said it would not credential the center "until the Mt. Lebanon-based hospital signs a long-term extension of its provider agreement with Highmark."
Highmark spokesman Aaron Billger confirmed that account Wednesday, saying "We need to get through the contract negotiations before we can credential the center, and we are very confident that we will have a contract and be able to credential this facility."
The two organizations have been in discussions for an extension since late February, according to St. Clair.
A press release from the hospital stated that "St. Clair has not threatened to terminate its contract with Highmark and maintains a policy of being an independent community health resource, open to all regardless of insurer."
It said patients who see physicians with offices at the new Peters center will not be affected and suggested Highmark members go to other St. Clair sites, including the main hospital on Bower Hill Road.