The region deserves answers from UPMC about the Highmark split

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Millions of patients are set to lose affordable in-network access at all of UPMC’s facilities. In his Aug. 20 Perspectives commentary “UPMC’s Costly Divorce From Highmark,” attorney Gary L. Kaplan, who teaches health law at Carnegie Mellon University, asks some very thoughtful and important questions of our city’s largest health care provider — and I agree with him. UPMC should not be leaving Pittsburghers in the dark when it comes to how and where they will get the care they need after Jan. 1.

UPMC has had no problem turning away patients who have a competitor’s insurance card, even if they want to pay cash out of pocket. Now we have to worry about UPMC charging excessive out-of-network charges to patients who want to keep the doctors they know and trust.

Nobody in Pittsburgh, or anywhere else in America, should ever be denied affordable access to their doctors and the care they need. No business should try to build a monopoly by excluding people in need. That’s why so many working people are sticking with Highmark. Not only will it provide us with a great value and quality care, it represents the values and peace of mind that matter so much.

Mr. Kaplan’s well-reasoned questions deserve answers. Perhaps it is time for the highest-ranking elected leader in the commonwealth to ask the same questions and demand answers.

JACK SHEA
President
Allegheny County Labor Council, AFL-CIO
Downtown

 


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