Blue Cross Blue Shield insurer Highmark Inc. of Pittsburgh, embroiled in a battle with crosstown health care provider West Penn Allegheny Health System over their canceled $475 million affiliation agreement, announced a $65 million preliminary deal on Tuesday with Saint Vincent Health System of Erie, Pa.

Saint Vincent’s board approved the affiliation agreement on Monday and the organizations expect to close the deal by year’s end, they said in a joint statement.

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