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Minnesota lawmakers craft legislation in response to Mayo's consolidation plans

Minnesota legislators have begun crafting legislation to prevent other healthcare facilities from experiencing unwanted services consolidation similar to Rochester, Minn.-based Mayo Clinic's plan for its Albert Lea and Austin, Minn., campuses, according to the Post-Bulletin.

State Rep. Tina Liebling, D-Dist. 26A, told the Post-Bulletin she is crafting a bill that would require the Minnesota Department of Health to hold public hearings when a healthcare provider proposes a substantial reduction in services. Rep. Peggy Bennett, R-Dist. 27A, said she is also crafting a bill that would require the state DOH to conduct a health impact study in similar situations.

"The patient is kind of getting the short end of the stick here … I think that state government should try to level the playing field and make sure communities get some notice and a chance to weigh in when these decisions are being made," Ms. Liebling told the Post-Bulletin.

Mayo Clinic declared plans to consolidate select services between its Albert Lea and Austin campuses in June. The decision was met with fierce opposition by community leaders and residents in Albert Lea. The initial phase of the consolidation process will begin Oct. 1. Prior to the consolidation, Mayo Clinic plans to invest more than $28.2 million into the Albert Lea campus for various improvements to the facility.

A spokesperson for Mayo Clinic told the Post-Bulletin the health system "can't comment on legislative proposals we haven't reviewed but we do look forward to working with the legislature on addressing the challenges in rural healthcare."

More articles on patient flow:
Mayo Clinic to invest more than $28.2M in Albert Lea campus prior to consolidation
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