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Minn. asks Mayo to explain patient-picking remarks

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Minnesota state regulators  want more information from the   Mayo Clinic about its apparent plan to favor patients with commercial insurance over those with Medicare and Medicaid.

“I remain concerned that Mayo has yet to offer the community a strong, clear position on the equal treatment of patients on Medicaid,” Nathan Moracco, assistant commissioner of the state’s Department of Health Services, wrote.

Mayo Clinic was strongly criticized last month after John Noseworthy, M.D., urged his staff to prioritize patients with private insurance. Backing and filling,  the system later issued a  murky statement clarifying that Dr. Noseworthy meant that Mayo people should  consider the type of insurance if patients can receive comparable care elsewhere and  he asserted that medical need was still the main factor in its decision-making process.

Providers struggle to balance payer mix. The fact is that money from well-insured (and thus generally more affluent) patients helps pay for those with public insurance. The private insurance also helps hospitals and other providers offset bad debts and pay for charity care.

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