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Highmark closes $275M deal with Jefferson Regional

PITTSBURGH (AP) -- Health insurer Highmark Inc. has completed a $275 million affiliation agreement with Jefferson Regional Medical Center in suburban Pittsburgh.

Under the deal first announced last year, Highmark is giving the hospital $200 million in longer-term debt and pension obligations and $75 million for Jefferson Regional's charitable foundation.

Friday's closing makes Jefferson Regional "the first health system to officially join Highmark's new integrated delivery system."

Pittsburgh-based Highmark is trying to create a provider-insurer network to rival the much larger University of Pittsburgh Medical Center network and its affiliated UPMC Health Plan.

Highmark is also in talks to buy control of the Pittsburgh-based West Penn Allegheny Health System and Saint Vincent Health System in Erie.