The Western Pennsylvania community has been challenged by the disagreement between Highmark and UPMC. As physicians, our first concern is patient care and access to care. The Allegheny County Medical Society commends Gov. Tom Corbett and his “Patients First” team for establishing a plan, unveiled Friday, for patients who may be transitioning their care.
The medical society recommends the following principles:
1. It is critical that plans are developed and successfully implemented so that patients who change physicians do not experience delays in care;
2. Administrative and clinical assistance should be provided to actively aid patients when transitions in care are sought by the patient;
3. All medical records should be provided expeditiously;
4. Patients who assume financial responsibility should be able to access physicians and facilities;
5. The ability of independent physicians practices and hospitals to serve patients and their communities should be preserved and sustained;
6. Access to care in underserved communities must be preserved; and
7. Patients requiring unique subspecialty treatment should have access to care with an assurance of insurance coverage that will address their needs.
The governor’s leadership has helped to move both parties to address the very detailed arrangements that must be made. There are dedicated and caring people, many behind the scenes, who are working to make any changes that will address the needs of the patients who depend on our health care system.
KEVIN O. GARRETT, M.D.
AMELIA A. PARE, M.D.
Board Chair Allegheny County Medical SocietyNorth Side