Health

Mayo Clinic billing practices questioned by Minnesota attorney general


Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison (D)’s office is reviewing Mayo Clinic’s billing practices after a local media report The health system sued low-income patients for unpaid balances.

The Rochester Post Bulletin, which published the investigation last month, interviewed 20 defendants patients and found 14 who appeared to be eligible for free or reduced-price services.

“Mayo’s apparent outrageous bill recall and Mayo’s apparent failure to inform patients of the charity care the Post Bulletin reported on is alarming. Based on that report alone, Mayo may violate the content and spirit of the Hospital Agreement. We take that very seriously and have asked Mayo for additional information,” John Stiles, a spokesman for Ellison’s office, said in a statement. declare.

The Hospital Agreement, which has been extended until July 1, 2027, is an agreement between Ellison’s office and 128 nonprofit hospitals in Minnesota, plus the for-profit system PrairieCare, to protect patients from abusive practices. abuse or fraud when collecting money. The agreement, established in 2005 and renegotiated every five years, requires hospitals to follow certain standards to gauge whether patients can pay their medical bills and perform medical services. payment plan or not.

In 2020, Ellison reached an agreement with Hutchinson Hospital under an agreement to restore more favorable payment methods, resulting in the patient’s $184,000 worth of medical debt being written off and a 40% reduction in outstanding bills. payment for certain patients.

The Rochester, Minnesota-based Mayo Clinic said it was responding to the attorney general’s request for more information and wanted to present a clear, accurate picture of its activities. To determine financial hardship, the Mayo Clinic looks at the services requested by the provider, the care previously provided, the insurance available, and the patient’s financial record.

“We are confident that our answers will demonstrate that financial assistance is an important part of Mayo Clinic’s relationship with patients and is shared with them before, during, and after. when providing care,” the Mayo Clinic said in a statement.

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