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Health care ads cause stir

on September 07, 2013 10:50 AM

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Top state officials want the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and insurer Highmark Inc. to stop a campaign of negative TV and media ads.

Insurance Commissioner Michael Consedine and Secretary of Health Michael Wolf wrote in a Thursday letter to both companies that the ads appear to be trying to get consumers to make health care choices based on fear. The letter said the two companies are demonstrating a “lack of professionalism and judgment” in the media battle.

Contracts that provide Highmark members with in-network access to UPMC hospitals are set to expire at the end of 2014, and the companies don’t agree about a possible extension. A state panel is trying to mediate and resolve the dispute between Pittsburgh’s largest insurer and its largest hospital network.

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