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June 18, 2019

Around the nation: Judge rules against extending UPMC-Highmark consent decree

Daily Briefing

    The consent decree, which stemmed from a feud between the two organizations, aimed to protect in-network access to UPMC for Highmark Health customers, in today's bite-sized hospital and health industry news from Colorado, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania.

    • Colorado/New Jersey: Pfizer has agreed to acquire Array BioPharma for $10.6 billion in cash. The move comes as Pfizer seeks to build its pipeline for cancer therapies, Kimberly Chin and Jared Hopkins report for the Wall Street Journal. Array's drug portfolio includes Braftovi and Mektovi, which FDA approved for combined use to treat metastatic melanoma. The therapy is also being tested for other tumor-related diseases, including metastatic colorectal cancer (Chin/Hopkins, Wall Street Journal, 6/17).

    • Massachusetts: Brigham and Women's Faulkner Hospital has announced plans to build a $250 million addition. The addition will add 78 inpatient beds, clinical support space, and space for ambulatory services. Construction on the expansion, which is subject to state approval, is expected to start next year (Paavola, Becker's Hospital Review, 6/14).

    • Pennsylvania: A Pennsylvania judge on Friday ruled that a five-year-old arrangement between UPMC and Highmark Health must come to an end as scheduled on June 30. The goal of the arrangement—a consent decree that stemmed from a feud between the two organizations—was to protect in-network access to UPMC for Highmark customers. The state attorney general and Highmark have sought to extend the arrangement, while UPMC has opposed the extension. Going forward, the state attorney general may appeal the ruling to the state Supreme Court or pursue one of the other counts he's brought to extend the UPMC-Highmark arrangement (AP/Modern Healthcare, 6/14).

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