Attorney general: Fairview put squeeze on patients

  • Article by: TONY KENNEDY and MAURA LERNER , Star Tribune staff writers
  • Updated: April 25, 2012 - 1:48 PM

Attorney General Lori Swanson said employees of the hospital system tried to collect upfront money from patients before treatment.

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hounder25Apr. 24, 1211:33 AM

Good. My son went to Fairview Southdale last September for an appendectomy and my wife was all but coerced to providing a credit card while waiting for treatment even though we have medical insurance. We were charged for a guesstimated deductible (which was finally refunded to us 7 weeks later). I couldn't believe it.

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donotbugmeApr. 24, 1211:40 AM

"Never give a sucker an even break." -- W.C. Fields

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davehougApr. 24, 1211:49 AM

WHAT hospital administator thought this was a good idea???? Don't play the 'I didn't know they were going to be so aggressive' card. What happened was exactly what some admin head wanted to happen.

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annemthomApr. 24, 1211:54 AM

Fairview isn't the only place this is going on. We visited the ER at Regions Hospital, symptom: Chest pains. The first person attending was the patient registration employee asking for a credit card so we could pay the co-pay/deductible, even before we saw a nurse or physician. Health care in this country is all about the money. My impression was no one was really going to be concerned about the chest pain, that is, the person wasn't going to be seen by medical personnel, until the credit card went through. Thank God it did.

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rshacklefordApr. 24, 1212:23 PM

Sounds like the North Memorial administrators have a LOT to lose if any truths are revealed! And, when an admittance clerk (lowest level administrator) tries to discuss payment, just say "no, you have to treat me right now and we'll talk about bills later." Then say nothing further about the matter. Do not waste precious time (your health is failing) just to appease some clerk...

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nopecantApr. 24, 1212:46 PM

I believe this story buttresses a point made by many conservative, anti-government politicians: that the US health care system is the best in the world, bar none. Don't change a thing. It certainly is not the best system for delivering health care, but it's a darn good system for delivering money to those who can strongarm sick people. Can you imagine a patient in a Copenhagen cancer ward being hounded for dollars by some sleazy caricature hired by the hospital, sniffing for dollars? Never happens. That this routinely happens here is a good example of how dekcuf our medical system is. Fact or fiction: the US spends about twice per capita what other western countries (Germany, France, UK, Scandinavian) spend on health care, but our outcomes are remarkably poorer, as measured by infant mortality and longevity. OK readers- is that more than 80% true or not? If not, ignore my ramblings. If true, Obama is gonna win. PS Decuf spelled backwards is not coffee.

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fredchatterApr. 24, 1212:53 PM

Thank you Lori for looking out for the rest of us. I still don't like that the U of M hospital has been privatized.

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StarquestApr. 24, 1212:54 PM

@davehoug That may not be totally true. The article states that Accretive takes a portion of the savings for themselves (i.e., their own profit). So the Accretive employees have an incentive to find more savings. That does not absolve the hospital admin, but that person may not carry all the blame in this situation.

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tjb1964Apr. 24, 1212:55 PM

This is what I've always said, universal healthcare would take care of alot of this...the big Health care companies are driving all this. like they said, its not about the patient but about the mighty $$ Canada and the rest of the world have it right.

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mspshadowApr. 24, 1212:55 PM

I used to go to a Fairview clinic. My insurance plan doesn't have co-pays. I'd never get a bill until at least 3 months after a doctor's visit and it would always be clearly marked "Over 60 days past due!"

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