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Release: Minnesota House Passes Rep. Bierman Legislation to Protect Patient Care & Access during Health Care Transactions and Mergers

Monday, May 8, 2023

St. Paul, MN – Today the Minnesota House passed HF 402, authored by Rep. Robert Bierman (DFL-Apple Valley), legislation enacting a multi-pronged approach to protect Minnesotans’ interests during mergers, consolidations, and transactions involving health care systems. The bill passed 70-61. The legislation puts in place a streamlined structure for the state to more effectively regulate proposed transactions and mergers among health care entities now and into the future.

“Every Minnesotan deserves access to quality, comprehensive health care,” said Rep. Bierman. “This legislation is about putting patients ahead of profits, ensuring we’re centering their care in how we move forward with health care system mergers.”

The bill puts in place requirements for timely notifications ahead of the proposed completion date for a transaction, prohibits any health entity from entering into a transaction that would substantially lessen competition, and lays out factors that inform whether a transaction is in the public interest, including whether it will increase health care costs, or decrease access for patients. 

The current moratorium on conversions of nonprofit HMOs to for-profit models is set to expire on July 1st of this year. Rep. Bierman’s legislation would extend the existing moratorium on these transactions until July 1, 2026. 

Notably, HF 402 also requires a health system that is organized as a charitable organization that sells or transfers control to an out-of-state nonprofit or to any for-profit to return to the General Fund an amount equal to the value of any charitable assets the health system received from the state. The bill also specifies that U of M health care facilities shall not be owned or controlled by a for-profit or out-of-state entity unless the Attorney General determines it is in the public interest.