Letter to the editor: UPMC’s positive impact
In Bob Bauder’s article “AG Shapiro: UPMC’s ‘corporate greed’ hurting patients” (Feb. 7, TribLIVE), UPMC said its practices have increased competition in Western Pennsylvania, which benefits consumers. This statement stands in stark contrast to statements by Attorney General Josh Shapiro, who called UPMC’s practices “corporate greed.”
Many Western Pennsylvanians will agree that UPMC has tunnel vision when it comes to money, so UPMC needs to start reframing its arguments.
At one time, North Hills Passavant Hospital was referred to as “Pass Away Hospital” by some. Since its merger with UPMC in 1997, the hospital has evolved and received a multitude of awards, and the nickname was forgotten. This is a small example of UPMC’s larger positive impact in the community. UPMC does more directed-donor liver transplants than anywhere in the world. It has some of the best trauma and cancer centers. We are too quick to point fingers when insurance is at issue, without considering UPMC’s contributions to the community and to science.
I do not agree with UPMC’s tactics regarding the consent decree. I also do not want to see this news from the attorney general’s office turn into a mob-roast. The flip side is that it costs a significant amount of money to maintain UPMC’s programs.
The law requires a nonprofit hospital to provide a “community benefit.” UPMC’s stance could be better phrased in terms of investment in the community. UPMC attempts to make money, but at least it reinvests a bulk of it into research and development, which benefits the larger society.