Letter to the Editor

Caring for the indigent: readers respond.

Caring for the Indigent

In the article “One size does not fit all” (September ACP Hospitalist), you report that “Dr. Kenneth Weisinger can refuse cases, especially if patients are indigent.” Our hospital bylaws require us to care for our share of the unassigned. How does he get this option, and who ends up getting the call to admit a patient that has no insurance, as Dr. Weisinger only admits paying patients? Does the hospital have a group of doctors that is paid to see uninsured patients? Is Dr. Weisinger on courtesy staff, or not subject to active staff bylaws? Does he have an arrangement with another group to see the uninsured patients? Did he have the bylaws changed to make care of indigent patients optional, or were the bylaws always inclusive of this practice? Does any one else have this arrangement at their hospital?

Lancer G. Gates, ACP Member
Kansas City, Mo.