Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison is investigating the billing practices of Allina Health, a nonprofit health system based in Minneapolis.

“The high cost of health care in Minnesota and across the country makes it tough enough to afford your life,” Ellison said. “Medical billing practices that are aggressive, abusive or deceptive also make it hard to live with the dignity, safety and respect that everyone is entitled to.”

Earlier this summer, The New York Times interviewed Allina physicians, nurses and patients and found that the system ​​provided care to indebted patients in emergency rooms but restricted services to other patients who had certain levels of debt, with some patients not allowed to return unless their debt was paid in full. Allina restricted care if patients accrued at least $1,500 in debt during three separate instances of care, according to the report. Allina CEO Lisa Shannon announced in June, after the investigation was published, that it had paused the policy.

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