By John Shumway

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Highmark is putting one of the area’s most popular quick stops for medical service on notice.

The insurance company’s contract with MedExpress expires in 13 weeks, and service after that hangs in the balance of negotiations.

MedExpress is the kind of place when you need it, you need it now, and don’t want to think about whether they accept your insurance.

But MedExpress spokeswoman Kelly Sorice told KDKA, “We received a termination notice that, effective Aug. 1, 2017, MedExpress Pennsylvania and West Virginia would be out of network with Highmark.”

She added, “Which was surprising to us.”

Surprising because she says “the letter indicated that our contract was expiring and we would not be renewed.”

“That’s going to seriously be an inconvenience,” said Randy Roberts, a MedExpress-Highmark customer. “This is actually very convenient. We just got out of school, we ran down here, she’s [his daughter] feeling under the weather.”

While MedExpress has contracts with 38 health insurance companies in Pennsylvania, including UPMC, Sorice says MedExpress wants “to remain in network with them [Highmark].”

MedExpress has 30 locations in southwestern Pennsylvania.

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Highmark spokesman Aaron Billger, in a statement, says, “We value our partnership with MedExpress and are currently negotiating with them.”

Highmark says the letter it sent MedExpress was required under the existing contract and is not a negotiating ploy or does it indicate any problem with the ongoing negotiations.

In fact, Highmark’s Billger says, “We fully expect to have a long-term partnership with MedExpress.”