Romoff defense fails

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Dr. Amesh Adalja defends UPMC’s development and provision of care like that’s the center of the controversy (“In Defense of Jeffrey Romoff,” June 8 Forum). Because the level of care available is excellent, subscribers to Highmark and other plans give UPMC plenty of business. What Dr. Adalja studiously avoids mentioning is the stonewalling UPMC is giving Highmark, a major player in the health care of Western Pennsylvania and anywhere else you go. Refusing to accept Highmark subscribers, even when they ask to pay totally out of pocket in order to continue care with a particular doctor or facility, is completely contrary to the altruistic tone that UPMC’s ads attempt to convey!

Choice of doctor, facility or hospital comes down to very pragmatic, human reasons. It is tragic, and indefensible, that a person who has been in a particular doctor/​facility’s care for a long time should be told that she or he is being dropped and must find a replacement. Folks in the East End have counted on access to conveniently located UPMC hospitals rather than trek as far as Allegheny General and/​or West Penn. The reverse may well be true for North Side and Bloomfield area residents.

Why this has been allowed to go on for so long is a mystery. Yes, it’s time for the state Legislature or somebody to step in and say “Enough!” The overriding issue should be the health and welfare of the residents of southwestern Pennsylvania. That Highmark has kept the UPMC hospitals, facilities and doctors busy for years won’t change; at least it shouldn’t. Wake up, Mr. Romoff!


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