Letter to the editor: UPMC-Highmark decision will cause patients to suffer
The ruling from Judge Robert Simpson regarding the UPMC-Highmark debate (“Judge: UPMC-Highmark split set for June 30,” June 14, TribLIVE) may be the letter of the law, but it is a huge disappointment to chronically ill and disabled individuals.
Qualifying for in-network access to a provider of choice by age or presence of cancer simply is not enough. People who combat serious chronic conditions also rely upon trusted specialists within facilities that are now off limits. That is, unless payment can be made up front. How many can afford that?
Marketplace competition and the bottom line has driven this debate. But patients with diminishing health and diminishing finances will suffer the emotional aftermath. They were given just two weeks to choose a new doctor or a new health plan. How does that equate with continuity of care?
The writer is vice president, government relations and legislative affairs, and corporate secretary of Blackburn’s Physicians Pharmacy.