Editorial: Baldwin worked quickly and effectively for patients

Fri, 11/22/2013 - 3:26pm

Barbara Baldwin was obviously not going to allow the decision by UnitedHealthcare to drop three healthcare professionals on Block Island from its Medicare Advantage network, to stand. Because of her tenacity, it didn’t. Island residents and patients at the Block Island Medical Center are fortunate to have her as Executive Director.

Baldwin learned of the decision in early October. Rather than lament the situation, she, like any good executive, got busy. She worked the phones. She called patients. She apprised people of the situation. She let the press know about it.

She garnered local, regional and national attention. Her quotes and letters appeared in The Block Island Times, The Providence Journal and she was interviewed in The Wall Street Journal.

It isn’t easy to alter any decision, let alone one by a major corporation with layers of bureaucracy, but in this instance Baldwin was remarkably successful in an impressively short period of time.

She never lost her cool, and Baldwin also never got ahead of herself. She was hesitant to say anything publicly until she received confirmation in writing. That’s smart.

On Nov. 8, the three healthcare providers affected by the decision, Dr. Jan Miller, Dr. Peter Baute and Nurse Practitioner Liz Dyer, all received letters from UnitedHealthcare reinstating their participation “without interruption.”

To date, it is the only decision made by UnitedHealthcare to have been reversed. That’s impressive.

So, to Barbara Baldwin, we salute a job well done.