Prioritize savings

09/03/2014 7:50 PM

09/03/2014 7:51 PM

The Aug. 28 article Advocates for poor say Jackson Health System bars needy from charity care, about billing and collection practices at Jackson blamed lousy administrative policies for the situation. But the story paints an inaccurate picture.

The harsh policies were created by hospital administrators. They were the work of hospital executives back when the Miami-Dade County Commission was demanding increases in revenue after years of deficits. These demands for more dollars were met, thanks to policy changes including those mentioned in the story. As a result, patients have suffered.

Next time, perhaps, we should consider the notion that a banker might not be the best fit to run a hospital. And running a little in the red sometimes isn’t so bad if it means that more Miami residents are getting the healthcare they need.

Demanding profits from a public hospital with a charity-care program is like asking one plus one to equal five. It does not and cannot happen. Nor should it. Sure some federal dollars would help, but the moral dilemma will always remain. We should prioritize saving lives over saving dollars.

Brooke Gaebe, Miami

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