Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison recently announced steps the office is taking as part of its “renewed focus” on medical billing. “The Minnesota Attorney General’s Office has long been concerned with medical billing and has acted for years to protect Minnesotans from abusive and deceptive practices. With recent reports in the media and from consumers that problems continue, we’re taking several steps to renew our focus on this longstanding concern.” Among these steps, is investigating the billing practices of Allina Health and its Termination of Care Policy that reportedly denied non-emergency medical care to patients who carried medical debt.
On June 1, the New York Times published an article about Allina Health, which is headquartered in Minneapolis, and its purported Termination of Care policy. According to the Times, the policy was enforced against patients who had relatively small amounts of debt and had chronic health conditions. Eight days after the article was published, Allina Health announced it would “pause” its Termination of Care Policy.
Another part of the Attorney General’s initiative is to hold two listening sessions for consumers to share their experiences with medical billing. Consumers who are unable to attend either listening session are invited to share their experiences with medical billing online via the Attorney General’s site.