SAINT PAUL, MN— Today, the Minnesota Senate approved legislation to provide $200 million in investments for a health care response fund and Minnesota’s public health response contingency account.
“The Minnesota legislature has been working hard to continue supporting Minnesotans through a time of uncertainty and the passage of this bill is proof of that,” said Senate DFL Leader Susan Kent. “Funding the public health response contingency account and establishing a health care response fund will further support and strengthen our state’s already robust health care system. The passage of this bill will ensure Minnesotans are able to access the care they need during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Of the $200 million, $150 million is appropriated to the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) to make grants to eligible providers for costs related to planning for, preparing for, or responding to an outbreak of COVID-19. As a condition of accepting a grant, the provider must agree not to bill uninsured patients for the cost of COVID-19 screening, testing, or treatment. If a patient is out-of-network, the provider must agree to accept the median network rate as payment in full.
$50 million is appropriated for the public health response contingency account, and allows MDH, in consultation with hospitals, ambulance services, emergency management, and public health agencies, to make payments from the public health response contingency account to ambulance services, health care clinics, pharmacies, health care facilities and long-term care facilities, including but not limited to hospitals, nursing facilities, and settings at which assisted living services or health care services are or may be provided for costs that are necessary on an emergency basis to plan for, prepare for, or respond to pandemic influenza or a communicable or infectious disease.