|By Alex Nixon, The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
An estimated half-million people in the region who don't have coverage or who buy it themselves are expected to log onto an online marketplace to shop for health insurance starting on
That flood of potential customers -- mandated by
"We expect there to be a fair amount of competition" between insurance companies, said
"The insurance companies are just scrambling to try to get ready for 2014," said
At the same time,
Starting in 2015, government reimbursements to physicians will be tied to quality of patient care, not quantity of visits, tests or other procedures a doctor performs.
"We are preparing to do just those things across our network,"
Though details need to be worked out, the basic idea is an integrated medical network, such as UPMC or the one
"It can work very well but it requires very good data and a lot of attention to cost," he said.
Holder said UPMC's hospitals and doctors are ready for that change.
"We're confident that we will be in a terrific position" to deal with a focus on quality care, she said.
In addition to those changes, the Affordable Care Act is driving the high number of mergers in the insurance and hospital industries.
To provide insurance to a larger pool of people, insurers are buying other insurers, such as a deal announced last year in which
And, as seen in the ongoing battle between
"We have to acquire and assemble enough assets," Winkenwerder said, referring to building
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