How Provider/Insurer Consolidation Is Making Things Worse for Patients

One patient, in the middle of treatment for lung cancer, said at a hearing before a State House of Representatives committee that she was prohibited from seeing her U.P.M.C. oncologist. Another, with the debilitating autoimmune disease scleroderma, said she was dismissed from the U.P.M.C. Arthritic and Autoimmune Center. A third, a five-year breast cancer survivor who needs follow-up care every six months, was cut off from the doctor who had been with her since she was first given her diagnosis. (More)

Comments (12)

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  1. JD says:

    Sad. What should we chalk this up to? Growing pains of a new system or permanent deterioration of patient freedom?

  2. Stewart T. says:

    Putting profits before patients. Typical corporate attitude. This is why we need regulation.

    • Dewaine says:

      This is the result of regulation.

      • Stewart T. says:

        You clearly didn’t read the full article. The decision to do this came from the hospital systems themselves.

        In fact, the solution is coming from legislators who are introducing a bill that would bar this from happening. Regulation is saving the day here, not causing the problem.

  3. Dewaine says:

    Isn’t this what we’d expect? Consolidating power in the hands of a few without possibility of recourse from the many is always bad.

  4. BHS says:

    It’s devastating that we are going to have to see things like this before we can really change our health system for the better.

  5. Bubba says:

    It will hopefully end some confusion once we have only one insurer (UnitedBUCA) and only one hospital chain TenentHCA-All Saints-All Denominations National Medical Center.

    When that time inevitably comes, the government will regulate UnitedBUCA and establish price controls and hospital global budgets like a single payer system. Doctors have long opposed a socialized system but when the time comes, most will already be working for the hospital or the UnitedBUCA Accountable Care Organization.

  6. Linda Gorman says:

    Exactly what has happened in other areas where government policy has encouraged vertical integration in the name of spurious efficiency–networks are used as weapons and the remaining vertical provider uses its monopoly power and control over patients to increase its returns.

    The Marshfield Clinic case comes to mind.

  7. Bob Hertz says:

    Why can’t UPMC lower its out of network rates? I am sure I am missing something.