Inside the Highmark, West Penn Merger Talks

Gary Rotstein of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette speculates on the tenor of merger talks between Highmark and West Penn Allegheny Health System.

WPAHS: Thanks for coming to talk this over.

HIGHMARK: Glad to do it, but you kept me in the waiting room for 40 minutes. And the magazines were old and crummy….

WPAHS:I don’t see what you’re getting so huffy about. I had one heckuva time trying to get through on the phone to set this meeting up….Your phone tree had all these options and numbers and circular routes back to the menu and I never had a chance to reach a live human being for what I actually needed….That reminds me — I’ve got some forms here for you to fill out, before we actually proceed. Put your signature several times on each page, especially on the lines where it seems redundant, and then initial everything.

HIGHMARK: No problem. We’re happy to give you the cash you need to keep all of the hospitals open, so long as you meet our qualifying criteria.

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