Perhaps as an indicator that provider agreement negotiations between Highmark, Inc. and University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) have stalled, a recent article in the Pittsburgh Business Times suggests that the UPMC physicians could be out-of-network with Highmark as early as next summer unless a new agreement is reached. Though it is not unusual for high-stakes managed care contracts to get negotiated – at least in part – in the public forum through various media releases and the like, it seems early for this kind of news from the UPMC/Highmark negotiations. According to the article, the existing contract won’t expire until the summer of 2012. Nevertheless, this news release may portend an interesting showdown to come. Stay tuned.