Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Hospitals extend plan to discount prices for uninsured, Posted by Robert Paisola

ST. PAUL Attorney General Lori Swanson says Minnesota's hospitals will keep discounting prices for uninsured patients and giving them more chances to settle overdue bills.

The agreement between Swanson and all the state's 135 hospitals will continue through 2012. Former Attorney General Mike Hatch began the arrangement in 2005 as a two-year trial, and Swanson worked on it in her old job of solicitor general.

The pact offers uninsured patients with household incomes under 125-thousand dollars the same discounts that hospitals give their biggest insurance customers.

Under the agreement, hospitals have to follow guidelines for collecting unpaid debt, including providing payment plans and monitoring collection agencies so they don't get too aggressive.

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