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Highmark Files Suit to Stop West Penn From New Merger Talks

Less than a week after their nixed payor-provider merger in Pittsburgh, Highmark has filed suit for a temporary restraining order that would prevent West Penn Allegheny Health System from beginning affiliation or acquisition talks with other organizations, according to a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette report.

The payor filed suit in Allegheny County Common Pleas Court, saying it wants to protect the hundreds of millions in loans and grants it has invested in West Penn.

Highmark was in the midst of a $475 million acquisition plan, still under regulatory review, when West Penn abruptly canceled the deal last Friday. The hospital system claimed Highmark breached the affiliation agreement by proposing to restructure West Penn through Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Highmark denied that claim and is urging West Penn to continue with the acquisition, which is a centerpiece in the payor's plans to develop a provider network that would compete with University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. In late August, it was reported that Highmark spent about $740 million of the $1 billion it planned to spend on provider network development.

More Articles on Highmark and West Penn Allegheny Health System:

Did Highmark's Firing of CEO Dr. Ken Melani Prompt Problems With West Penn?
West Penn Faces Moody's Downgrade After Nixing Highmark Merger
West Penn Allegheny Calls Off Highmark Merger

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