HomeHealth Care NewsMinnesota Legislature Considers ‘Trusted Doctor’ Bill

Minnesota Legislature Considers ‘Trusted Doctor’ Bill

The Minnesota Legislature is considering a measure to allow physicians without hospital privileges to admit and treat their patients.

Identical bills, Senate File 2388 and House File 2735 were introduced in the Minnesota Senate and House of Representatives by a bipartisan group of lawmakers on March 8.

Doctors Not Allowed

The proposal would allow a patient’s “trusted doctor” to treat him, addressing the growing trend of physicians being directed by the hospitals that employ them rather than their patients.

The issue came to the forefront during the COVID-19 pandemic when patients and their families had to go to court to get COVID-19 treatments such as ivermectin.

In 2018, Naples Community Hospitals (NCH), part of the nonprofit NCH Healthcare System in Florida, announced that physicians could not admit, treat, or request records of patients, if they were not employed by NCH. The announcement resulted in a public protest.

New Specialty: ‘Hospitalist’

The Affordable Care Act allows hospitals to receive more federal money for meeting certain metrics and cost-saving measures, including employing “hospitalists,” Twila Brase, R.N., president and co-founder of the Citizens Council for Health Freedom, and a policy advisor to The Heartland Institute, which co-publishes Health Care News, told the Heartland Daily Podcast on April 4.

“The hospitals are looking for a kickback from the government,” said Brase. “A hospital that allows any doctor to come in and take care of their own patients cannot control that doctor as they might a doctor they employ.”

Hospitals place more restrictions on outside internists and primary care physicians than specialists, whom hospitals cannot easily replace with hospitalists.

Brase is not optimistic the bill will pass in Minnesota, due to the makeup of the legislature. “We do hope this kind of legislation will move forward where it has a better chance of passing,” said Brase. “Legislators have heard from their constituents about their frustrations on this.”

-Staff reports

Internet info:

“Can You Trust Your Hospital Doctor? (Guest: Twila Brase,” Heartland Daily Podcast, April 4, 2023: https://heartland.org/podcasts/can-you-trust-your-hospital-doctor-guest-twila-brase/

AnneMarie Schieber
AnneMarie Schieber
AnneMarie Schieber is a research fellow at The Heartland Institute and managing editor of Health Care News, Heartland's monthly newspaper for health care reform.


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