In the hospital giant’s latest move to consolidate its healthcare monopoly, UPMC has made clear it intends to turn away up to tens of thousands of patients simply because they are insured by Highmark.
UPMC, which has its own health insurance company, has begun turning away Highmark insurance patients who subscribe to its Community Blue program, an insurance program that caters to lower income people. UPMC won’t take people insured by Highmark even if the patient is willing to pay cash to stay with their UPMC doctors.
UPMC’s aggressive business tactics are not only uncharitable, they also go against UPMC’s own Patient Bill of Rights, which states:
A patient has the right to medical and nursing services without discrimination based upon race, color, age, ethnicity, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, source of payment, or marital, veteran, or handicapped status.
UPMC’s efforts to damage Highmark’s business by preventing its subscribers access to UPMC facilities is well known.
As the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette put it in a March 4 editorial: “UPMC professes to want competition, but its actions suggest nothing of the sort.”
UPMC should not be sacrificing patients on its quest for market dominance.
Our largest employer, landowner and charity needs to be accountable to the community, to workers and to patients. The UPMC Code of Conduct for a Strong, Healthy Pittsburgh lays out our standards for a healthcare system that puts the needs of community ahead of profits and monopoly status. A critical part of Code is that UPMC accept all patients, regardless of which insurance card they carry.
Together, we can Make It Our UPMC.