PITTSBURGH, Pa. – Two Pittsburgh-area Democratic lawmakers assist new laws aimed toward decreasing UPMC’s management of the western Pennsylvania well being care market.
State Rep. Sara Innamorato and U.S. Rep. Summer season Lee known as for adjustments with the discharge of the American Financial Liberties Venture’s report that claims the Pittsburgh well being care large is constructing a monopoly.
“Crucial Situation: How UPMC’s Monopoly Energy Harms Staff and Sufferers” was launched Thursday. It consists of an introduction by Innamorato and Lee.
The American Financial Liberties Venture is a nonpartisan group established in 2020. Its report is predicated partially on testimony throughout hearings it sponsored earlier this 12 months. Hospital staff throughout western Pennsylvania had been invited to share their experiences and issues about working situations at UPMC hospitals and others.
“In my seven years of nursing, staffing has by no means been this unhealthy,” UPMC nurse Jackie Unusual instructed the panel. “Sufferers are spending days on finish in emergency beds as a result of there will not be sufficient beds as a result of workers shortages in each single division.”
The report’s authors say the staffing scarcity is triggered partially by hospital techniques’ priorities.
“Western Pennsylvania’s hospital techniques selected to prioritize growth and revenue era over staffing and affected person care, even throughout a worldwide pandemic,” the report says.
“These selections proceed to end in pervasive understaffing and low job satisfaction amongst staff. With its dimension and dominance, UPMC drives this development for the complete market, leaving rivals with little alternative however to observe swimsuit. UPMC has abused the privileges afforded to it as a nonprofit medical system to construct a monopoly over healthcare in western Pennsylvania.”
It cites UPMC’s development from a system of 12 hospitals to 40 that employs 92,000 folks and notes that UPMC controls three out of each 4 hospital jobs in Allegheny County.
UPMC wouldn’t tackle particular issues, however issued a press release saying leaders want time to evaluation the findings.
“At first look, this report makes use of most of the similar primary information and faulty statistical analyses which have been reported prior to now and debunked,” the assertion mentioned.
Innamorato instructed The Tribune-Democrat she is sponsoring laws to strengthen the state’s antitrust legal guidelines with particular provisions for well being care suppliers.
“Lots of the tooth of the federal antitrust regulation has been eroded over time by courtroom selections,” she mentioned. “This may present extra instruments within the toolbox for the legal professional normal’s workplace.”
A digital press convention final week saying the report was the primary for Lee, a former state legislator who was elect to Congress in November.
Lee mentioned she remembers Braddock Hospital within the economically distressed Pittsburgh suburb. The hospital merged into the UPMC system and was later closed. A brand new UPMC hospital was constructed close by in prosperous Monroeville.
“Braddock was not the primary that this has occurred to, and it received’t be the final if we don’t take definitive steps at each degree of presidency,” Lee mentioned. “A lot of what’s occurred in Braddock was preventable if solely we had been in a position to battle again towards UPMC’s monopoly powers earlier.”
Randy Griffith is a multimedia reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. He might be reached at 532-5057. Observe him on Twitter @PhotoGriffer57.