Thirty-five Minnesota hospitals agreed to offer discounts for uninsured patients and adopt debt-collection standards in a deal with Minnesota Attorney General Mike Hatch. Four Twin Cities systems signed identical pacts in May, and a fifth, Fairview Health Services, reached a separate deal with Hatch on billing and collection practices in April. The participating hospitals represent roughly 75% of admissions in the state, according to the Minnesota Hospital Association. Under the agreements, patients with annual household income of $125,000 or less will be charged no more than the amount paid by each hospital's largest insurer by revenue. The terms apply to patients without insurance and to care not covered by insurance. The hospitals also agreed to adopt a zero-tolerance policy for abusive debt-collection practices and to not to sue for payment before first making sure patients owe money and their insurers have been billed, if appropriate. -- by Melanie Evans
Minn. hospitals reach uninsured deal with state
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