Penn State Hershey apologizes to 2,100 dropped patients

Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey (Pa.) Medical Center sent a letter to 2,100 neurology patients April 30 apologizing for an earlier letter this month that advised them to seek alternative care options, the medical center announced April 30.

The April 17 letter advised patients with multiple sclerosis to seek out alternative care options due to staffing challenges at Penn State Hershey. In the initial letter, Penn State Hershey officials noted the departure of four MS neurology providers.

In the new letter, sent April 30, hospital officials apologized and sought to reassure patients their care will not be affected by the staffing challenges at the institution.

"We should have assured you that despite these staffing challenges, our practice remains open to you — whether you are an MS patient or are being seen for some other neurological concern. Our staff is committed to working with you and your family to make sure your care needs are met. In our haste to get you this information about the care we provide to you, we neglected our larger role of caring for you. For that, we want to say we are sorry. And we want to tell you what we are doing to make it right."

Hospital officials also said the institution has a plan in place to meet patients' care needs. In the short term, Penn State Hershey has organized a team of practitioners to aid MS patients with their health needs, such as medication monitoring and management, related lab or imaging tests and urgent appointments for flare-ups of their illness.

The institution's long-term goal is to rebuild its MS neurology services.

Officials also emphasized the provider shortage has only affected its MS neurology service and has not impacted any other Penn State Health neurological program.

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