Highmark Sells Medicare Claims Business to Prevent Conflict of Interest

Highmark is selling its Medicare claims processing business to avoid any conflict-of-interest issues related to its purchase of West Penn Allegheny Health System (WPAHS). Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida's subsidiary, Diversified Service Options, is buying Highmark Medicare Services (HMS) for an undisclosed sum.

"This change was prompted by Highmark's provider strategy," Highmark Vice President David O'Brien said in a statement. "The decision was a difficult one, but one which best positions HMS to maintain its current business and pursue its government business growth strategy."

HMS processes Medicare claims for the federal government in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware and the District of Columbia. If Highmark didn't sell HMS, it would have owned a hospital that bills Medicare as well as a company that processes those claims, which violates federal requirements, reports the Pittsburgh Business Times.

Although HMS generated about $100 million in revenue, Highmark said selling the company won't impact the insurer's bottom line.

Read the full story at: http://tinyurl.com/7je67gb

To learn more:

Pittsburgh Business Times: http://tinyurl.com/6ql3djo

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: http://tinyurl.com/7uy8vmd

Source: Fierce Health Payer