Judge delays release of Highmark-West Penn affiliation
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A federal judge today delayed the release of an unredacted copy of the Highmark-West Penn Allegheny Health System affiliation agreement after West Penn Allegheny attorneys asked for reconsideration of a Dec. 29 ruling that it be made publicly available.
Judge Arthur J. Schwab has told WPAHS legal counsel to show attorneys for UPMC and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette the redacted portions before noon on Monday and see if the parties can agree on what portions can be unsealed.
The region's second-largest hospital system wrote that it does not want to disclose a portion of the agreement that lists the names of physicians who earn more than $500,000 and contracts that earn more than $900,000. West Penn argued that Judge Schwab in an order last week allowed it to redact physicians' salaries from the document, and the only way to truly keep doctors' earnings confidential is to keep sealed the entire portion of the agreement at issue.
"Redaction of [the portions listing the physicians and contracts] in their entirety is the only way to protect West Penn Allegheny's (and its physicians' and contractual partner's) highly sensitive, confidential business information contained therein," West Penn argued in the motion.
The PG filed a motion Nov. 21 asking that the agreement be made public.
Highmark announced in June that it planned to acquire the financially troubled health system. The agreement is now undergoing regulatory review.
First Published January 5, 2012 9:51 am