Minnesotans seeking health care should not be driving past their local hospitals to get it, testifiers told the House Health and Human Services Finance Committee Tuesday. But that’s what’s happening in many areas across the state.
The Department of Health regulates the networks of health care services offered by insurance companies. Department officials say their aim is for residents to be within 30 miles or 30 minutes of travel time for primary care, and 60 miles or 60 minutes for specialty services.
But recent moves by insurance companies to pull back from or cap access to coverage led to new, more narrow, networks that in many cases have shifted customers to more distant in-network providers. Leaders from small hospitals in Pipestone, Blue Earth and Roseau shared similar stories with the committee of falling out of network and losing longstanding local patients.
The issue is likely to return as proposed legislation.