Highmark Asks Court to Order UPMC to Return Confidential Documents
Pittsburgh-based health insurer Highmark has asked a court to order the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center to return confidential materials that were mistakenly included in public documents submitted during a November hearing between the two parties, according to a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette report.
In a motion filed with the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, Highmark said UPMC "failed to follow well-established protocols for attempting to gain access to the subject documents, instead engineering 'back-door' access to preclude Highmark from protecting its confidential and trade secret documents," according to the report.
The sealed Highmark documents were inadvertently submitted with public materials as part of the hearing for Highmark's lawsuit against West Penn Allegheny Health System when merger talks between the payor and system had broken down last fall. UPMC requested copies of the documents during the trial, including those that were supposed to be under seal, according to the report.
UPMC attorneys have said they alerted the court when they discovered the error. But in December, a UPMC attorney refused a judge's request to return the sealed documents, arguing the health system was not legally required to do so.
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