Open Request for Assistance to APTA President, Dr. Paul Rockar

As a Physical Therapist practicing in the Pittsburgh region for the past several years, I have observed the complex, evolving nature of healthcare first-hand.   To those unfamiliar with the Pittsburgh  market, there are ultimately two dominate healthcare systems: The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and the Highmark’s Allegheny Health Network.   In terms of insurances, there are a couple of dominate players, but for the focus of this request, I would like to focus on the plans offered by the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) (yes, the healthcare system also provides their own insurance).

In my several years of practice, I have not been fortunate enough to work for a company which is considered an “in-network” provider in the “UPMC” health plans. My family even carries UPMC insurance—yet I cannot treat my own wife.  I am actually not aware of many providers in Allegheny county (the greater Pittsburgh region), outside of Dr. Rockars company (in which he is CEO), UPMC Centers for Rehab Services, who have been accepted.  Unfortunately, this leaves many of us PTs in the dark. We want to accept this coverage.  We want to get in-network (many of us have been told it’s a closed network).   Many PTs have lost prior patients who have switched coverage.    So that leads me to this:  Dr. Rockar, as President of the APTA , I ask for your help.  Will you assist non-UPMC Physical Therapists and practices, get in-network with UPMC insurance in Allegheny county?  Nationwide we have taken a stance on physician owned practices.  Locally, many of us have been faced with this.

Our profession has adopted the vision: Transforming society by optimizing movement to improve the human experience.  

In our market, it feels like: Transforming society (if you are an in-network provider) by optimizing movement to improve the human experience.


Joseph Brence, DPT, COMT, DAC

Disclaimer: My request is not on behalf of any company or individual.  It is simply a plea for the President of the APTA to assist PTs in his home market.


Categories: Advocacy

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5 replies »

  1. I have been dealing with this for many years. The networks feed themselves funneling money to the top with no concern to well being of anybodies health. Keep fighting the good fight.

  2. Thanks Joe, a health care environment where the patient can choose their PT ‘as if their life depending on it’ versus who is in their network. What a concept. Patients would be free to choose the best PT’s who offer excellent care and customer service. We know as PT’s that a clinician may be very good at treating patient’s post MVA, but have very little knowledge treating pelvic floor dysfunction. Yet, if they are forced to go to one provider over another, their health and the reputation of our profession, will suffer.

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