Determining public health care costs for children


Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare wants help from the Department of Human Services in better understanding the costs of caring for its patients enrolled in public health care coverage.

Sponsored by Rep. Joe McDonald (R-Delano), HF1341 would require the department to account for Minnesota public health care program expenditures for children separate from expenditures for parents.

Currently, the department gathers data on Medicaid costs for families enrolled in the program, but it does not separate out those costs of care for children from their parents. The bill’s language would allow for the department to determine that more specific data, which hospital representatives said will not only be a useful tool for providers, but also for policy makers.

 “This will just tell us purely what is spent for children, whether they are purchased as a separate child-only coverage or a family,” said John Diehl, a member of the Gillette Specialty Healthcare board of directors, who added the proposed legislation would simply serve as a business analysis tool for providers and would not have an effect on those buying coverage.

The bill, passed 127-3 by the House, now goes to the Senate, where Sen. Michelle Benson (R-Ham Lake) is the sponsor.