West Penn, Highmark to Finalize Merger Quickly After Thanksgiving
Pittsburgh-based West Penn Allegheny Health System has named a board member to lead negotiations and cement an affiliation with health insurer Highmark, according to a Pittsburgh Tribune-Review report.
Paul Dimmick, a former executive with Mellon Financial Corporation in Pittsburgh, will lead the merger talks, which West Penn board Chairman Jack Isherwood said will "begin in earnest shortly after Thanksgiving," according to the report.
In a memo, Mr. Isherwood said "lines of communications are open on many levels" between the health system and payor, according to the report. Mr. Isherwood also said he and Highmark President and CEO William Winkenwerder Jr., MD, agree that talks to complete the merger will be "quick, and the process will involve give-and-take on both sides," according to the report.
The renewed rapport comes after a Nov. 9 court decision that granted Highmark an injunction preventing West Penn from backing out of the organizations' affiliation agreement.
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