Allina Health Pauses Policy of Cutting Off Care for Patients in Debt

Alina Health, a large Minnesota-based nonprofit healthcare system, has outstanding medical debt on Friday as it “reconsiders” its policy to terminate services to patients with at least $4,500 in outstanding medical bills. He announced that he would stop withholding treatment from patients. invoice.

The health system will now temporarily suspend this practice, but will not resume treatment for obliged patients who have already lost access.

Alina’s hospital treated anyone in its emergency room, but cut off other services for indebted patients, including children and those with chronic conditions such as diabetes and depression, The New York Times reported last week. reported. The patient was not allowed to return until the debt had been paid in full.

Alina CEO Lisa Shannon said the move was a “thoughtful pause” while the company revisited its policy.

Matt Hoffman, M.D., Alina’s primary care physician in Budnais Heights, Minnesota, is encouraged by the change and hopes that ultimately Alina will make even more radical changes in how she treats indebted patients. said that

“Hopefully this isn’t just a pause until the fever goes down,” Dr. Hoffman said. “I hope they do the right thing and reinstate patients who have already been laid off.”

minnesota public radio first reported About policy change.

Allina Health owns 13 hospitals and over 90 clinics in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Alina avoided about $266 million in state, local and federal taxes in 2020 thanks to her nonprofit status, according to the Loan Institute, a health-care think tank.

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison urged patients to contact the Attorney General’s office if they were affected by Alina’s policies.

“I read the New York Times article with great concern and have considered it carefully,” Ellison said. statement “Alina is obligated under the Hospital Agreement, like all hospitals in Minnesota, to refrain from aggressive billing practices and to provide charity care when patients need and qualify,” he told local TV station KARE 11. ‘ said.

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