Minnesota attorney general’s office has negotiated an agreement with two large hospital systems that would require them to cut down their aggressive billing practices and provide discounted care to low-income patients.
The attorney general of Minnesota, Keith Ellison, has been leading the charge against hospital billing practices that he says are unfair and often predatory, leaving many patients with hefty bills that they can’t afford to pay. Through an investigation, Ellison’s office found that some hospitals in the state were charging their patients significantly more than what was allowed by law.
The two hospitals in question, Allina Health System and Fairview Health Services, have agreed to pay restitution to over 5,000 patients who were overcharged for their medical care. Both hospitals will also provide discounted care to low-income patients and those who are uninsured or underinsured.
Under the terms of the agreement, Allina and Fairview will also be required to provide more detailed information about their billing practices to patients and to make sure that patients are aware of the options available to them if they can’t afford to pay their medical bills.
This agreement is a significant victory for the attorney general’s office, which has been working for months to reform the way that hospitals charge patients for their care. In a statement, Ellison applauded the hospitals for stepping up and taking responsibility for their actions.
“This agreement sends a clear message to hospitals throughout Minnesota that they must treat their patients fairly and abide by the law,” Ellison said. “I’m proud of the work that my office has done to protect patients and to ensure that they receive the care they need without being burdened by excessive medical bills.”
If you’re a patient in Minnesota who has been overcharged for medical care, you may be eligible for restitution under this agreement. To find out more, contact the attorney general’s office or your local hospital for more information.