PT competition

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In response to the article “UPMC Network’s Steps Irk Private Physical Therapists” (Dec. 15 Business): It is very disappointing to me as a physical therapist in a small privately owned Pittsburgh outpatient business to hear Paul Rockar’s comments as the CEO of the UPMC-owned therapy clinics that the UPMC physical therapy network is deliberately narrow “to ensure the kind of standardization and oversight needed to achieve its patient-focused outcomes.”

We have many patients come to us to whom we have provided excellent care. Sometimes they switch to UPMC insurance only to find out that they cannot use us as a provider unless they are monetarily punished through “out of network” insurance benefits because UPMC will not let providers in its network. If UPMC feels that it provides excellent patient-focused outcomes, then why would it not promote competition? Patients should be able to choose where they want to go based on the quality of care they receive, not based on where their insurance dictates they should go.

Competition makes every business better, and I feel UPMC has created a monopoly in the Pittsburgh physical therapy market by not allowing providers to be “in-network.” What’s even more disappointing that the article does not mention is that Paul Rockar is the president of the American Physical Therapy Association, in which he should promote access to physical therapy that is based on freedom of choice and not be an advocate for an insurance plan that limits patients and only increases UPMC’s bottom line.

TOM PORTER
Director of Therapy Services
Westarm Physical Therapy
Lower Burrell

 


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