NEWS BLOG from UPMC and the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences

Archive for November, 2015

UPMC, Highmark Reach Agreement on Continuity of Care Provision


Highmark and UPMC have announced that they have reached agreement on the application of the Continuity of Care provision in the Consent Decrees each reached in 2014 with Commonwealth officials. This is effective for the remaining term of the Consent Decrees beginning January 1, 2016 and continuing until June 30, 2019.

“This confirms that decisions regarding continuity of care are to be made by the patient and his or her treating physician, subject to appeal by Highmark to the Pennsylvania Department of Health.  As always, consumers who want to be assured of full and unfettered affordable in-network access to UPMC physicians and hospitals should choose an insurer other than Highmark, including UPMC Health Plan, Aetna, Cigna and United Healthcare.  Consumers choosing to remain with Highmark for 2016 should consult with their physician to determine if they will be covered by this agreement,” said Paul Wood, UPMC’s vice president and chief communications officer.  

To read the agreement, visit UPMC Highmark Continuity of Care Settlement Agreement.

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Nurses Honored at Annual Cameos of Caring Gala

ThinkstockPhotos-83403926More than 1,100 guests gathered Saturday at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh for the 17th Annual Cameos of Caring Gala, a program established in 1999 to honor exceptional bedside nurses working in acute-care facilities. For 2015, 73 honorees were recognized from 53 different facilities in Western Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Italy. Of them, 24 – a record! – are alumni or students of the University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing.

During its first year, 20 hospitals in Western Pennsylvania joined the Cameos of Caring family, each selecting one nurse who demonstrated excellence in nursing care, served as an advocate for patients and families, and embodied the essence of the nursing profession. Today, the program has expanded to include additional award categories to reflect the breadth of the nursing profession and recognize exceptional individuals in many different practice areas, such as the Advanced Practice Award, the Donate Life Award (recognizing those nurses who actively advocate for organ and tissue donation), the Case Manager Award, and the Nurse Educator Award. For 2015, a new award category was added, the Quality & Safety category, to honor nurses focused on creating a culture of safety and quality patient care throughout their facility. (more…)

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Doctors, Staff Hope to Raise Awareness on World Pancreatic Cancer Day


Pancreatic cancer has traditionally been one of the most difficult cancers to treat because of where the pancreas is located in the body. However, being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer is no longer the death sentence it once was, according to doctors at UPMC CancerCenter.

Tomorrow marks World Pancreatic Cancer Day, a time to spread awareness about the disease, treatments and the need to support research into this devastating disease. Employees at the Hillman Cancer Center are encouraged to wear purple Friday, the color of pancreatic cancer awareness, and participate in a basket raffle. Officials from the National Pancreas Foundation, the Pancreatic Action Network and the American Cancer Foundation will also be on hand at the Hillman to provide information about pancreatic cancer. (more…)

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Telemedicine Brings Patients, Specialists Together

mapWhen mother-to-be Jamie Bergstein’s blood tests revealed high blood sugar levels, she was referred to a maternal-fetal-medicine specialist at Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC. But instead of traveling two hours to the Pittsburgh hospital from Altoona and having to use a full-day of maternity leave from her job to do it, Bergstein used the new obstetric telemedicine services at UPMC Altoona at Station Medical Center.

“Within a week, I met with a dietitian via telemedicine who helped me understand the changes in my diet that were needed,” Bergstein said. “They also helped me learn how to test my glucose by pricking my finger. A nurse was in the room with me to answer any questions and to demonstrate in person how to operate the glucose monitoring equipment. They spent an hour with me and were very thorough.” (more…)

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It’s Not Just You: Learn About Pelvic Floor Disorders

ThinkstockPhotos-465060027Do frequent trips to the bathroom disrupt your day? Do you fear bladder leaks when you’re laughing? If so, you are not alone: 1 in 3 women experience pelvic floor disorders (PFDs).

November 9 to 13 is Bladder Health Week, a time dedicated to informing women about important pelvic health topics. Many women attribute their changes in pelvic health to normal aging processes, but they may be experiencing abnormal conditions that can be treated or cured by a specialist.

Urogynecologists have an in-depth understanding of the challenges women face with these conditions, and they can offer treatments and advice to make the best possible recovery. Three common issues caused by PFDs are: (more…)

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