Patient sued by Mayo Clinic for outstanding medical bills testifies in support of making charity care more accessible

Yolanda Pierson, a patient at Rochester, Minn.-based Mayo Clinic who was sued by the system for outstanding medical bills, testified in front of Minnesota lawmakers in support of a bill that would increase charity care transparency, the Post Bulletin reported March 30.

Ms. Pierson's account was sent to collections for a $2,838 bill relating to a series of eye procedures her 11-year-old son needed. She said she and her husband would have qualified for financial assistance from the system, but they were never told it was available, according to the Post Bulletin.

Senate File 2763 would protect patients in Minnesota from being sued by their hospitals or sent to collections unless the hospital can prove they are ineligible for charity care. It would also expand the accessibility of charity care by requiring hospitals to preemptively screen patients for eligibility and help them apply.

Attorney General Keith Ellison voiced his strong support for the bill. The bill is now headed to the Senate Health and Services committee, which will decide whether to add it to the Senate omnibus bill.

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