Senator Bill Ingebrigtsen (R-Alexandria) and his colleagues
in the Minnesota Senate passed a series of bipartisan bills that fulfill their
promises to reform health care through increased transparency, access, and
affordability. The reform bills were passed
with virtually unanimous support. The comprehensive approach focuses on health care facility fee disclosure to
patients, transparency in hospital billing practices, direct primary care
arrangements, and pharmacy benefits
manager (PBM) licensure and reform. The Senate passed the series of bills as
separate, individual proposals.
“The Minnesota Senate has worked hard over the past three years to develop and to pass a variety of bipartisan health care solutions designed to help Minnesota families struggling with the cost and quality of their health care,” said Senator Ingebrigtsen. “The proposals passed today, and over the past few months, are just a few more series of initiatives that will make health care more affordable and accessible in this state.”
Senate Republicans have prioritized passing health care bills as individual, standalone pieces of legislation early in the legislative session to ensure quick passage into law. This practice avoids large omnibus bills that often contain multiple subjects. Currently, the Minnesota Senate has 44 individual health care related bills awaiting action on the Senate floor. In comparison, the Minnesota House of Representatives has 28 health care related bills awaiting consideration on the House floor.
Highlights of the bipartisan legislation include:
- Health Care Facility Fee Disclosure: the bill requires provider-based clinics to disclose facility fees to patients that may result in higher out-of-pocket costs. The facility must also post this information in visible locations and on its website.
- Hospital Billing Transparency: the bill requires hospitals to provide patients an itemized description of their billed health care charges within 30 days of discharge.
- Direct Primary Care The Bipartisan: bill creates a framework for a flexible, new way for doctors and patients to work together without insurance middlemen.
- Minnesota Pharmacy Benefit Manager Licensure and Regulation: the bipartisan legislation aims to increase transparency and affordability in pharmaceuticals.
- Reinsurance: legislation renews Minnesota’s highly successful program that lowered health insurance rates for Minnesotans on the individual market by at least 20 percent.