- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 9, 2015

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has granted the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center’s request for an expedited appeal in UPMC’s battle over Highmark’s Medicare Advantage rates.

UPMC says the appeal will be heard on Oct. 6.

UPMC is appealing a Commonwealth Court judge’s order in May that says UPMC must maintain in-network rates until 2019 for people insured by Medicare Advantage plans sold through insurer Highmark. The judge also ordered the companies into arbitration over a state-mediated consent decree the parties signed last year.

UPMC canceled its Medicare Advantage contract with rival Highmark in April, meaning 180,000 seniors in western Pennsylvania could lose in-network access to UPMC hospitals and doctors next year if UPMC wins the appeal.

The Commonwealth Court intervened after the Wolf administration sought to block the move.

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