Lori’s Story

I am a 4-time cancer survivor. I’ve had recurring breast cancer and melanoma over the course of 10 years. All of my cancer care has been at Magee and Hillman Cancer Center. My husband works for an out-of-state company, and we have Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas for health insurance. Unfortunately, that falls under Highmark in the state of Pennsylvania. I have been told by UPMC for 3 years that cancer patients and pediatrics would be grandfathered in and we would not be excluded in the fight with Highmark. Well, now cancer IS included and my doctors are telling me that they cannot treat me going forward. My last recurrence of breast cancer was just 2 months ago. I had 2 surgeries at UPMC East, one on Christmas eve and one on January 28th. I need radiation this time and the radiation oncologist’s office at Magee may not be able to continue with my treatments if this fighting situation is not resolved. This whole on-going fight between these two has impacted me greatly. Being diagnosed with cancer is incredibly difficult in the first place, then being told that you cannot keep the doctors that have cared for you, performed your surgeries, stood with you through chemotherapy, is very difficult to deal with. I carefully chose my health care team. I have put my very life in their hands. To be dictated to by an administrator that I can no longer be treated at UPMC is beyond insulting. If UPMC continues this exile of patients, they should lose their status as a charity hospital! Please do all that you can to ensure that cancer patients like me can continue care at Magee and Hillman Cancer Center.