There is inequality in the provision of healthcare in the US. We know that since we know that life expectancy is associated with wealth. However, an outright admission of prejudice is rare.
Enter the Mayo Clinic. According to Becker’s:
The Minnesota Department of Human Services has launched a review of Rochester, Minn.-based Mayo Clinic for possible violations of civil and human rights laws. The review comes after news surfaced of an internal video memo from Mayo Clinic CEO John Noseworthy, MD, in which he told staff to prioritize care for patients with commercial insurance over those who are publicly insured, according to MPR News.
“We’re asking … if the patient has commercial insurance, or they’re Medicaid or Medicare patients and they’re equal, that we prioritize the commercial insured patients enough so … we can be financially strong at the end of the year to continue to advance, advance our mission,” Dr. Noseworthy said in the videotaped speech, which was recorded in late 2016, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune.(1)
How many other hospitals (and clinics and doctors) do the same thing?
This is also a clear message that newspapers and public radio still matter. ABC News is to be commended as the only national news service to run with this story.
- Tamara Rosen, “Minn. state department questions whether Mayo Clinic policy violates civil, human rights laws,” Becker’s Hospital Review, 17 March 2017. http://www.beckershospitalreview.com/legal-regulatory-issues/minn-state-department-questions-whether-mayo-clinic-policy-violates-civil-human-rights-laws.html
- Jeremy Olson, “Mayo to give preference to privately insured patients over Medicaid patients,” Star Tribune, 15 March 2015. http://www.startribune.com/mayo-to-pick-privately-insured-patients-amid-medicaid-pressures/416185134/
- Elizabeth Whitman, “Cherry-picking patients? Mayo Clinic aims to ‘prioritize’ privately insured,” Modern Healthcare, 15 March 2017. http://www.modernhealthcare.com/article/20170315/NEWS/170319942