Health Care

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At Capitol, Plans Abound For Addressing Rural Health Care

Minnesota lawmakers want to address a looming shortage of health care professionals.

02/01/2015

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Lawmakers Seek To Attract Health Care Workers To Rural MN

Minnesota’s need for rural health care services is growing at exactly the time the number of health care professionals is shrinking. In six of the largest counties in northwestern Minnesota around Crookston, it’s a crisis.

01/28/2015

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Good Question: Who Takes Care Of Us When We Get Older?

A new study from the University of Minnesota finds we vastly underestimate the amount of help we’ll need later in life,

01/08/2015

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Outgoing Children’s Hospitals CEO Reflects On A Decade Of Change

Some big changes are coming to Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota.

Long-time CEO Dr. Alan Goldbloom is retiring this week after 12 years. Goldbloom grew up in Canada, where he was a child actor. He later became a doctor, and eventually an administrator. When the employees of Children’s Hospitals said their goodbyes to Goldbloom, there was a lot of praise, handshakes and hugs.

12/03/2014

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Split State Power Tempers GOP’s Health Care Plans

After two years of vilifying the federal health overhaul and the state’s health insurance exchange, Minnesota Republicans face Democratic opposition in the Senate and governor’s office that will scale back their hopes for a wholesale makeover.

11/27/2014

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MNsure Enrollment Process Better But Not Perfect

Minnesota’s health insurance exchange has seen a spike in consumer visits in its first workweek since open enrollment began last weekend but is handling the load well, officials said Wednesday. MNsure CEO Scott Leitz told the board of directors there had been no major technical issues and no unplanned downtime since the system went live Saturday morning for its second open enrollment season.

11/19/2014

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States Working To Fix Hobbled Health Care Websites

The state that served as a template for President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act had so much trouble coordinating with the federal government that it became a model of another sort: ineptitude.

11/16/2014

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MNsure Officials Say System Off To Smooth Start

Minnesota’s health insurance exchange is up and running and enrolling people in coverage on the first day of open enrollment. MNsure’s executive director, Scott Leitz, told reporters the system got off to a successful start Saturday morning without any major issues that they’re aware of.

11/15/2014

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MNsure Racing Toward Open Enrollment

With open enrollment just 10 days away, officials racing to get Minnesota’s health insurance exchange ready for its second act said Wednesday that there are risks ahead and they’ll need all the remaining time for final testing.

11/05/2014

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PODCAST PAGE: Mayo Clinic 150th Anniversary! 10-10-14 Dave Lee

A special broadcast from Rochester, Minnesota for the Mayo Clinic’s 150th Anniversary! Click the link above to listen to highlights from the show.

10/10/2014

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MNsure: Expect An Average Hike Of 4.5 Percent In 2015

The cost of getting health insurance through MNsure next year is going up — but it will still be among the lowest in the country. Minnesotans who get insurance through the state’s health exchange can enroll for next year beginning Nov. 15. Even though the rates are low for some people, others could see big rate hikes.

10/01/2014

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Regions Hospital ‘Prepared’ To Respond To Ebola Threat

The threat of Ebola in the United States has hospitals in the Twin Cities making sure they’re prepared for a potential case here. Regions Hospital in St. Paul, Minn. began making an Ebola plan right after they heard about the outbreak in West Africa this summer.

10/01/2014

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Underwriter: New MNsure Rates Could Bring ‘Sticker Shock’

This week, the Minnesota Commerce Department is getting set to release a snapshot of the 2015 MNsure rates for individual policy holders. With PreferredOne severing ties with MNSure, Dave Racer of the National Association of Health Underwriters says the new rates may come with some sticker shock.

09/29/2014

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Auditor: MNsure Rate Setting Beyond Review Scope

Legislative Auditor James Nobles says a candidate’s request that he review rate-setting practices for Minnesota’s health insurance exchange is better suited for others.

09/19/2014

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GOP Zeroing In On MNsure In Governor’s Race

After more problems at Minnesota’s online health care exchange, the Republican candidate for Minnesota governor says if he’s elected, he’ll make drastic changes to MNsure. And Jeff Johnson is pressing Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton to do more to stop premium hikes for small businesses. MNsure’s largest and lowest cost provider — PreferredOne — said this week it’s dropping out of the health exchange for financial reasons.

09/18/2014

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Lowest-Cost Insurer Drops From Minnesota Exchange

The insurance company with the lowest rates and most customers on Minnesota’s health care exchange has told state officials that it’s pulling out of MNsure for 2015. The decision by Golden Valley-based PreferredOne deals a major blow to the exchange as the next open enrollment period approaches.

09/16/2014

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At Mpls. Meeting, Veterans Ask Questions About Alleged Misconduct

The Town Hall meeting is in response to a federal investigation into allegations of misconduct within the Minneapolis VA.

09/12/2014

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Feds Looking Into Allegations Of Misconduct At Mpls. VA

Top VA leaders say there is a federal investigation looking into allegations of misconduct within the Minneapolis VA Medical Center. The director of the Minneapolis VA health care system said the Office of Inspector General is interviewing whistleblowers who say they were pressured into falsifying patient records at the hospital.

09/12/2014

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Judge Won’t Halt Home-Care Workers’ Union Vote

A federal judge has denied a request to stop an election that could unionize thousands of individuals who provide in-home health care to the elderly and disabled. U.S. District Judge Michael Davis said Wednesday he won’t interfere in an ongoing election, based on fear of its potential outcome.

08/20/2014

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St. Paul Nurse Heading To Africa To Fight Ebola Outbreak

The shortage of doctors, nurses and medical equipment is making the Ebola outbreak in West Africa difficult to contain. Tuesday, the United Nations Secretary General urged the international community to step up and help out.

08/12/2014

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‘Operation Walk’ Helps Provide Free Hip, Knee Replacements

Michelle Williams’ energy is ever-present. And so is her limp. The online auction manager never stops moving around her 4,000 square-foot warehouse. But when running her forklift became more than just a pain, Williams realized she needed help. “I like to have fun,” Williams said.

06/17/2014

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Good Question: Do Vets Have To Visit VA For Care?

There is increasing pressure on Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki to resign. A new report from the VA’s inspector general says hundreds of veterans are awaiting care at a VA hospital in Phoenix. The average wait time is almost four months for a first appointment.

05/28/2014

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UnitedHealth’s 1Q Profit Tumbles 8 Percent

UnitedHealth Group’s first-quarter net income slid 8 percent as funding cuts to a key product and costs imposed by the health care overhaul dented the health insurer’s performance. The Minnetonka company said the overhaul and government budget cuts added about 35 cents per share in costs during the quarter.

04/17/2014

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Dayton Accuses MNsure’s GOP Critics Of ‘Farce’

Gov. Mark Dayton has lashed out at critics of Minnesota’s health insurance exchange, accusing them of waging a propaganda campaign to destroy it. The Democratic governor spoke to reporters after GOP members of a legislative oversight committee said they wanted to use a hearing Wednesday to raise questions about the troubled launch of MNsure last October.

04/08/2014

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MNsure Chief Testifies Before Congressional Panel

MNsure’s interim CEO says Minnesota’s online health insurance exchange is stable, secure and successful. According to an advance copy of his testimony before a congressional panel Thursday, Scott Leitz says it’s not news that MNsure’s rollout was rocky last October.

04/03/2014

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