On March 5th, State Representative Tom DeLuca sent a scathing letter to UPMC CEO Jeffery Romoff in response to UPMC turning away Highmark insurance patients who subscribe to the Community Blue program – even those who wish to pay in cash in order to keep their existing doctor.
In his letter Mr. DeLuca calls this decision, “unethical and inhumane” and adds:
It is my understanding that UPMC has a Patient Bill of Rights. Item No. 13 of that document states, in part, that “a patient has the right to medical and nursing services without discrimination based upon source of payment.”
“This may be about business to you, but your business practices are interfering with the health and safety of real people, people who we represent as elected officials,” wrote Mr. DeLuca, who hopes to find a way through legislation to make this practice illegal.
Not only is this practice unethical, and in violation of UPMC’s own patients’ bill of rights; it represents one more reason why UPMC is not a real charity.