- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 8, 2015

PITTSBURGH (AP) - The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center is threatening to terminate its Medicare contract with rival Highmark, which could cause about 180,000 seniors in western Pennsylvania to lose in-network access to UPMC hospitals and doctors next year.

UPMC says Highmark has refused to pay contracted rates for cancer treatment at the Hillman Cancer Center in Shadyside. Spokesman Paul Wood said Highmark owes UPMC about $143 million in payments.

Highmark spokesman David Carter said UPMC is trying to force the insurer to drop litigation related to what he called “outrageous” price increases for oncology drugs.

Governor Tom Wolf called the contract termination decision “simply unacceptable” and said his office will consider options including legal action.

Attorney General Kathleen Kane said officials are tired of what she called “near-constant skirmishes between these parties.”

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