Regarding the recent article, “Readmissions may say more about patients than care” (ModernHealthcare.com, Sept. 14), I was the medical director at a hospital in Gary, Ind., brought in to turn around the emergency department, so I have seen underserved areas up close. The hospital relied on disproportionate-share money to meet budget shortfalls. The program, intended to distribute funds to areas based on need, is being phased out under the Affordable Care Act. While imperfect, like many large government programs, DSH offers hospitals and the underserved populations they serve a financial lifeline. A solution might be to look at these historical payments and develop a funding formula to provide certainty outside the ACA on which these hospitals could budget.
Dr. Ernie VestaChief medical offerVeritas Healthcare ManagementFort Collins, Colo.