Head of US Mayo Clinic reconsiders comments that privately insured patients should have priority

BMJ 2017; 356 doi: (Published 20 March 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;356:j1406
  1. Michael McCarthy
  1. Seattle

The head of the prestigious Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, USA, has tried to distance himself from his remarks that patients with private insurance should have priority over those with government cover, by reassuring the public that a patient’s medical need is the center’s “top priority.”

John Noseworthy, president and CEO of the Mayo Clinic, had told staff that, when patients with similar problems seek care at the clinic, patients with commercial insurance should be given priority over those covered by Medicaid or Medicare—government run programs for poor, elderly, and disabled people.

Noseworthy was quoted as saying, “We’re asking . . . that we prioritize the commercial insured patients enough so . . . we can be financially strong at the end of the year.” State officials plan to investigate the …

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