MN governor vetoes medical debt history bill

Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) has vetoed a bill that would have banned healthcare providers from collecting, using or sharing medical debt information to qualify patients prior to providing elective services. The bill, which had passed both of the state's legislative chamber's by a broad margin, permitted providers to determine patient income levels and assets, but only to qualify them for charity programs or state and federal reimbursement programs. Pawlenty, however, called the bill "extremely broad," and said that it could force providers to make big changes in how they offer routine medical services. Supporters of the bill say they'll probably rework the text to try and meet the governor's objections.

To learn more about the bill:
- read this Modern Healthcare article (reg. req.)

Related Articles:
MN bill blocks hospitals from using debt info pre-care
Trend: Hospitals requiring upfront payments before treatment
HMA adopts tougher collections strategy
Hospitals collecting patient bills up front