PITTSBURGH, April 4, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Highmark Inc. announced today that Arthritis & Rheumatic Disease Associates (ARDA), a leading rheumatology group in western Pennsylvania, has chosen to affiliate with its growing Integrated Delivery System. ARDA physicians, Leo P. Bidula, M.D.; Paul J. Killian, M.D.; and Lindsay J. Lewich, D.O., began working as Highmark providers on March 12. ARDA, which specializes in the treatment of patients with arthritis and other rheumatic diseases, is the second major provider group following Premier Medical Associates, from the Monroeville area, to join Highmark's Integrated Delivery System. ARDA physicians and staff will continue to practice from the same locations in Monroeville, Brackenridge and Greensburg, Pa. "The mission of our Integrated Delivery System is to have a patient-centric and physician-led system with high levels of patient engagement," said John W. Paul, who leads Highmark's provider division. "By working with successful provider groups such as ARDA, we are able to fulfill this mission." All ARDA physicians are diplomats of the American Board of Internal Medicine and are certified in internal medicine and rheumatology. "Our entire practice, including all of our employees, is very excited to join the Highmark team," said Dr. Leo Bidula, M.D. "We are fully supportive of Highmark's vision, and this had a strong influence on our decision to align with Highmark." Highmark Inc.'s Integrated Delivery System was launched with the announcement of the planned affiliation with the West Penn Allegheny Health System. With that announcement, Highmark is committed to building a world-class delivery system that improves value for its customers and the community. Highmark's integrated delivery and financing system is a patient-centric and physician-led system with high levels of patient engagement. It will deliver high-quality health care services at more affordable costs by partnering with employed and contracted physicians and hospitals that share the Highmark vision to transform health care in our region by aligning incentives between physicians, hospitals and other health care providers to focus on quality and outcomes with a focus on wellness and prevention.