On Monday June 23rd patients and caregivers went to the UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside Board of Directors meeting to demand in-network affordable access to all of UPMC’s doctors and hosptials regardless of the color of their insurance card.
The following letter was submitted to the UPMC Board of directors:
To The Board of Directors Presbyterian-Shadyside Hospital
Dear Members of the Presbyterian-Shadyside Hospital and UPMC Corporate Boards,
My name is Angela Vennare-Klein and my husband is Dennis Klein. We both have UPMC doctors and our hospital is UPMC Mercy.
Governor Tom Corbett and Attorney General Kathleen Kane have been meeting with you and Highmark executives to decide the future of patients in our region. You are talking about the future of hundreds of thousands of people. It’s important that you hear not just from your bean-counters, but from the patients and caregivers of our region.
My husband and I are perhaps unusual in that we both have complex medical conditions. I have an incurable form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, that will require a lifetime of treatment and management. Dennis is disabled and has acromegaly, a rare growth hormone disorder that will require regular maintenance of bloodwork every three to six months, a yearly scan and expensive monthly shots.
One way in which we are just like 1.6 million other people, however, is that we carry Highmark insurance. And like those people, we are perplexed and disturbed and even angry with the decisions that UPMC management is making, threatening to cut us off from in-network access to our our hospitals and doctors.
Patient concerns about this upcoming crisis in care are falling on deaf ears.
My husband and I deeply appreciate the care we receive from our UPMC specialists, but if we are forced out of network we will face financial ruin and lose critical continuity in our care. We are not alone. Thousands, if not millions, will face this with us.
Plain and simple, UPMC is being a bully. The bottom line is we need in-network access to all the hospitals that we helped build with our taxes, our charitable gifts, and our healthcare premiums. Anything less than that is immoral and unacceptable.
You have the power and the responsibility to do something and you must. We are counting on you .
Thank you very much,