Medically Necessary Equipment

Medically Necessary Equipment  Minn Stat §216B.098, subd. 5

A utility shall reconnect or continue service to a residential customer where a medical emergency exists or where medical equipment necessary to sustain life is in use, if the utility receives certification that failure to reconnect service or continue service will impair or threaten the health or safety of a resident of the customer’s household.  Certification shall be written, but may include an initial certification by telephone followed up by written certification within five business days.

Certification may be provided by any of the following:

  1. A licensed medical doctor
  2. A licensed physician assistant
  3. A nurse licensed as an advanced practice registered nurse
  4. A registered nurse (RN), but only to the extent of verifying the current diagnosis or prescriptions made by a licensed medical doctor

Certification is valid for six months from the date of the written certification.  However a utility may allow a certification to last longer.

Certifications may be renewed by the same or another medical professional that meets the above criteria.

A customer with medically necessary equipment whose account is in arrears must contact the utility and enter into a payment agreement with the utility to receive protection from disconnection.  The payment agreement must consider the customer’s financial circumstances and any extenuating circumstances of the household.  At the discretion of the utility, the payment agreement may contain provisions forgiving all or a portion of the amount in arrears.  If such a provision is included, the customer’s liability for the forgiven amount is extinguished.

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