- Associated Press - Thursday, October 30, 2014

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - A judge is siding with Highmark Inc. in a dispute with state regulators over an insurance plan that doesn’t cover doctors working for the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

Commonwealth Court Judge Dan Pellegrini ruled Thursday that Highmark hadn’t violated terms of a consent agreement meant to alleviate tensions between the healthcare competitors.

The judge rejected calls from the state attorney general’s office and the health and insurance departments to hold Pittsburgh-based Highmark in contempt.

They wanted Pellegrini to force Highmark to keep UPMC doctors in its Community Blue plan, a Medicare Advantage HMO for seniors.

UPMC operates 22 hospitals in western Pennsylvania and has its own insurance plans. Highmark recently acquired the seven-hospital Allegheny Health Network.

Highmark says the consent decree gives it latitude to meet patient needs.

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