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Mayo and Dept. of Human Services release statements dealing with insured patients

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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -

Mayo Clinic releases a statement in response to a report that the clinic makes patients with private insurance a priority. Mayo says this preference is nothing new.

The Clinic says, balancing payer mix affects a lot of the industry, but it's not talked about often. Despite this, Minnesota officials are expressing concerns. 

According to a Star Tribune report, half of Mayo Clinic's services are provided to patients insured by Medicare or Medicaid. Mayo says "medical need" is the top factor when scheduling appointments.

Mayo says that more than $1.5 billion in services went unpaid by Medicare in 2016 and that Medicaid didn't pay for more than $500 million of services offered at Mayo.

Here is Mayo's statement on the matter.

"To fund its research and education mission, Mayo needs to support its commercial insurance patient numbers in order to continue to subsidize the care of patients whose insurance does not cover the cost of their care."

Meanwhile, we're also hearing from the Minnesota Department of Human Services who is in charge of the two publicly funded health care programs that serve low income Minnestoans---Medical Assistance and Minnesotacare.

Commissioner Emily Piper gave KTTC this statement.

"The Department of Human Services expects that Mayo Clinic will serve enrollees in public programs just as they would any other Minnesotan. In 2016, Mayo provided services to nearly 160,000 individuals enrolled in programs through DHS and we expect that such services will continue in accordance with our contracts with Mayo. We have a lot of questions for Mayo Clinic about whether and how it will implement the directive from Dr. Noseworthy."

Mayo says they will continue to discuss these complicated issues to find solutions that benefit their patients.

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