Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Minnesota Attorney General and MInnesota Hospital Reach Agreement over Fair Pricing for Unisured Patients

The Minnesota Attorney General Mike Hatch issued a press release today announcing an agreement reached with a group of Minnesota hospitals on billing and collections policies and practices.

According to the press release, the agreement establishes a price cap for the uninsured that would guarantee those with household incomes at or below $125,000 the same discount that hospitals give their largest commercial insurer. The agreement also standardizes practices that hospitals and clinics will follow when attempting to collect medical debts from patients.

Each of the following health systems entered into separate agreements with the Attorney General (click on the health system to view the actual agreement):

I suspect that the agreements arose out of the various class actions that have been filed around the country challenging hospital charity care policies and the treatment of the unisured regarding billing and collection of the costs of health care services. It will be interesting to see whether other state attorney generals will follow suit by negotiating with hospitals over billing and collection practices involving uninsured health care consumers.

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