The New Benefits Blueprint

Impact of Highmark, UPMC Agreement

On June 24, the same day the Trump administration announced an executive order to increase transparency in the health-care system, a 10-year agreement was reached between Highmark and UPMC, mere days before the consent decree between the two organizations was set to expire.

“The consent degree came into effect when UPMC refused to renew their contract with Highmark,” says Bob Gearhart Jr., with the DCW Group.

The refusal came after Highmark acquired the Allegheny Health Network, “a move viewed by many as putting Highmark in direct competition with UPMC,” he says.

In this installment of The New Benefits Blueprint, Bob Gearhart Jr. talks about the impact of the agreement between Highmark and UPMC, and its effect on transparency.

“The agreement for ten years provides piece of mind to consumers, but does absolutely nothing to increase the transparency into the quality and costs of services rendered,” says Gearhart.

Gearhart Jr. was named Rising Star in Advising by Employee Benefit Advisers magazine, a finalist for Broker of the Year by BenefitsPRO magazine, and has been awarded multiple awards by the Association for Insurance Leadership. He is a nationally recognized speaker on health care and employee benefits frequently appearing on radio, television, and in print to provide expert knowledge concerning the ever-changing landscape surrounding health care in America.

Gearhart Jr. also co-authored the Amazon best selling book “Breaking Through the Status Quo: How Companies Are Changing the Benefits Game to Help Their Employees and Boost Their Bottom Line.” In the book, Gearhart Jr. explains the power of data analytics to inform and guide decisions that can lower health-care costs in group health plans.

In his current role at DCW Group, he and his team relentlessly focus on delivering measurable, repeatable, and predictable reductions in health-care costs for their employer clients while simultaneously improving the benefits for their employees.

DCW Group is an employee benefits and business consulting firm with a goal of making its clients more profitable and productive at their core business, by improving the way they procure health care.

DCW accomplishes this by implementing strategies that create measurable, repeatable and predictable reductions in health-care costs for their employer clients while simultaneously improving the benefits for their employees. Understanding the business models of stakeholders within the health-care supply chain and employee benefits allows DCW Group to eliminate waste, provide transparency and return stakeholder profits to their clients.

Have employee benefits questions? Email Bob Gearhart Jr. at BobJr@dcwgrp.com.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.