To the Editor:

With $10 million out of $26 million in new Iowa Grants under the Affordable Care Act, Mercy Hospital systems will be able to upgrade their networks. The grant includes 25 small Iowa hospitals in the Mercy hospital system. The Dallas County Hospital in Perry will now be able to join the efforts to track and coordinate care of chronically ill patients as well as other health benefit projects. Leading the tracking is the Accountable Care Organization in Des Moines, who tracks how patients are faring with such conditions as congestive heart failure, diabetes, or high blood pressure. By spreading improved systems to the rural areas, the grants will develop badly needed rural health services.

The three-year Affordable Care Act grants are a blessing for rural Iowans who want health care close to their home.

Julie Stewart Ziesman