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Discounts negotiated by managed-care organizations under
Minnesotas Prepaid Medical Assistance Plan are
"payments made pursuant to the United States Social
Security Act" and therefore are not deducted from the
jurys damages award under the collateral-source statute,
Minnesota Statutes section 548.251, subdivision 1(2) (2018).
Legislature intended to displace the common-law
collateral-source rule for medical insurance payments and
thus the common law cannot be used to reduce the jurys
Wilson, Minneapolis, Minnesota; Nathan H. Bjerke, TSR Injury
Law, Bloomington, Minnesota; and John M. Skubitz, Anderson,
Skubitz & Coryell, PLLC, Le Sueur, Minnesota, for respondent.
V. Kelly, Daniel J. Bellig, Joseph A. Gangi, Farrish Johnson
Law Office, Chtd., Mankato, Minnesota, for appellants.
E. Olson, Schwebel, Goetz & Sieben, P.A., Minneapolis,
Minnesota, for amicus curiae Minnesota Association for
Ebert, Laura A. Moehrle, Quinlivan & Hughes, P.A., Saint
Cloud, Minnesota, for amicus curiae Minnesota Defense Lawyers
her car struck a school bus that failed to yield at an
intersection, respondent Ambree Getz brought a suit against
the bus driver, appellant Eila Peace, and the owner of the
bus, appellant Palmer Bus Service (collectively, Peace). Getz
was a medical-assistance enrollee, and her medical expenses
were covered by two managed-care organizations that
contracted with Minnesotas Prepaid Medical Assistance Plan
under Minnesotas Medicaid program. After a trial, the jury
awarded Getz damages, but the district court deducted from
the award the amount of discounts negotiated by Getzs
managed-care organizations. The court of appeals reversed,
holding that the discounts were excepted from offset because
they were "payments made pursuant to the United States
Social Security Act," under Minnesota Statutes section
548.251, subdivision 1(2) (2018). We affirm the court of
September 25, 2012, Getz was driving her car when she was
involved in an accident with a school bus that failed to
yield. Getz suffered extensive injuries as a
result of the accident and brought a suit against Peace.
case proceeded to trial. Peace stipulated that she was
negligent in driving the school bus, and the jury found that
Peaces negligence was a direct cause of the collision. The
jury also found that Getz was partially negligent and that
her negligence was a direct cause of the collision. The jury
attributed 80 percent of the fault to Peace and 20 percent of
the fault to Getz. In its special verdict, the jury found
that Getz had incurred past medical expense damages, among
other types of damages. The jury awarded $224,998 for
Getzs past medical expenses.
amount was what Getzs medical-care providers charged her.
But she did not have to pay that much because Getz was
enrolled in Medical Assistance, and she received benefits
through that program. Getzs medical expenses were paid by
two managed-care organizations, UCare and Medica, who were
under contract with Minnesotas Prepaid Medical Assistance
Plan. Although Getzs medical charges were $224,998, UCare
and Medica paid far less than that to the medical-care
providers, as the result of negotiated discounts between the
medical-care providers and the managed-care organizations.
UCare paid $15,852, and Medica paid $30,127, for a total of
$45,979 in past medical expenses actually paid by the
moved for a determination of collateral sources under the
collateral-source statute, Minnesota Statutes section
548.251. Getz agreed to reductions for the no-fault insurance
benefits that she had received from her automobile insurance,
and the district court reduced the award for past medical
expenses by $20,000 to offset those benefits. UCare and
Medica asserted subrogation claims of $15,852 and $30,127,
respectively. The court also reduced the damages
award by Getzs 20 percent comparative fault.
also moved under the collateral-source statute to limit
Getzs award for past medical expenses to $45,979, the amount
that the managed-care organizations actually paid, seeking to
deduct the discounts that the organizations negotiated with
the medical-care providers from Getzs award. Getz asserted
that the collateral-source statute did not allow deducting
from the award "payments made pursuant to the United
States Social Security Act." Minn. Stat. § 548.251,
subd. 1(2). She contended that the discounts negotiated by
the managed-care organizations were such payments, so they
could not be deducted from the past medical expenses award.
district court found that the discounts negotiated by the
managed-care organizations were subject to offset under the
collateral-source statute, and it therefore reduced the
amount of Getzs award for past medical expenses from
$224,998 (the amount of past medical expenses actually
billed) to $45,979 (the amount of past medical expenses that
UCare and Medica actually paid).
appealed to the court of appeals, which reversed. Getz v.
Peace, 918 N.W.2d 233, 234 (Minn.App. 2018).
the collateral-source statute, the court of appeals held
that, because Getz was a Medicaid beneficiary and Medical
Assistance enrollee, the discounts negotiated on her behalf
by the managed-care organizations "were obtained
according to the authority granted by the Social Security Act
and therefore constitute payments made pursuant to the
United States Social Security Act. " Id. at
237 (quoting Minn. Stat. § 548.251, subd. 1(2)). Accordingly,
the court held that the payments were excepted from offset.
granted Peaces petition for review.
issue before us is whether discounts negotiated for Medicaid
beneficiaries under Minnesotas Prepaid Medical Assistance
Plan are "collateral sources" subject to offset
under Minnesota Statutes section 548.251, subdivision 1(2).
"When an individual or entity other than a tortfeasor
compensates a tort plaintiff for his or her injuries, the
plaintiff has received a collateral-source benefit. "
Swanson v. Brewster,784 N.W.2d 264, 268 (Minn.
2010). Examples of "collateral-source benefits"
include payment of ...