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Letter: Hospital rep may push for departure

A doctor draws medicine into a syringe during

A doctor draws medicine into a syringe during a kidney transplant at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland. Credit: Getty Images, 2012

Like the woman in the story "The rise of the hospitalist" [News, April 7], we too had an experience with being discharged too soon.

Last summer, my 10-year-old son was admitted to the hospital with a condition called Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorder. The doctors were unfamiliar with it and unsure how to treat it.

After 12 days, he woke up severely dehydrated and lethargic. I expressed my concern to the hospitalist, who kept insisting I give him sips of water. She didn't want to administer intravenous fluids, because, I felt, she was concerned that it would extend his hospital stay.

Even though he perked up somewhat, I knew he still was not well enough to go home, yet the hospitalist kept sending in a medical student to tell me that they couldn't justify another night in the hospital, and that insurance wouldn't pay for it.

Sure enough, two days later, he was back in the hospital.

Maybe when the hospitals and insurance companies start listening to the patients and stop worrying about nickel-and-diming, the cost of health care will go down. No one wants to be in the hospital for no reason, but pushing patients out too soon only brings them right back.

Barbara Mirenda, Greenvale