Stress for patients

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As a patient directly impacted by UPMC’s contract fight with Highmark, I was happy to read the May 16 article “Democratic Gubernatorial Candidates Fault UPMC.” This is a critical issue for Western Pennsylvania patients, and I was glad that all four Democratic gubernatorial candidates took a position opposing UPMC’s clear disregard for the needs of area patients.

In 2009, my midwife found a cancerous nodule on my thyroid. For nearly four years afterward my UPMC endocrinologist carefully managed my follow-up and saw me through intensive treatment during my pregnancy. Then out of the blue, last October, I was told I’d have to find a new doctor. His office no longer accepted my Highmark insurance.

I was stunned. My UPMC doctor knew my medical history, he knew me, and I was trusting him with my health and that of my daughter while pregnant with her. Finding a new doctor meant long delays in test results and a lot of stress for me and my whole family.

No family should have to go through this, and yet this disruption of care is what potentially hundreds of thousands of patients face come 2015. It’s unconscionable what UPMC is doing, but it is also unconscionable that Gov. Tom Corbett has let this battle drag on, with more and more patients as collateral damage.

As a voter I will definitely be looking for a candidate who stands up to bullies like UPMC and fights for patients like me.

CASEY SWARTZ
Swissvale


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