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Pittsburgh's West Penn Allegheny, Highmark May Form New System with Cleveland Clinic

Various sources have reported a pending arrangement between Pittsburgh's Highmark and West Penn Allegheny Health System with the Cleveland Clinic, where the payor would acquire WPAHS to be managed by Cleveland Clinic.  

Pennsylvania Senator Jim Ferlo has reportedly met with Highmark executives to discuss how an arrangement like this would impact Pittsburgh. Sen. Ferlo said "everything points to the Cleveland Clinic" as the outside provider running the new system, according to a Pittsburgh Business Times report. Other sources say Highmark has also reached out to Baltimore-based Johns Hopkins Medicine as a potential partner. Highmark spokesperson Michael Weinstein said the company is "not naming any specific names" and would not confirm whether Highmark has met with representatives from Cleveland Clinic.

A spokesperson from the five-hospital WPAHS declined to answer questions about Highmark discussions or potential affiliations. The system, which lost $49 million during the first nine months of fiscal year 2011, recently announced it would become a regional campus for the Temple University School of Medicine in Philadelphia.

An announcement with the final arrangement is expected shortly, possibly within two weeks.

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