- Associated Press - Thursday, September 18, 2014

NEW CASTLE, Pa. (AP) - Jameson Health System in western Pennsylvania will continue to be an in-network provider for Highmark Inc. insurance customers, even if the hospital affiliates with the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

Officials with UPMC and Jameson Memorial Hospital - based in New Castle - say they’ve signed a nonbinding letter of intent to merge Jameson into UPMC’s hospital network.

That has raised questions about whether the hospital, which would become UPMC Jameson, could still be used by Highmark customers at cheaper, in-network rates.

That’s because UPMC’s provider contract with Highmark expires at years end, meaning most of UPMC’s 20 hospital will become out-of-network for Highmark subscribers.

But Jameson officials say they have a separate provider agreement with Highmark that runs through 2017, which won’t be affected even if the hospital affiliates with UPMC.

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