Staff Directory 277764631

Christopher Snowbeck

Reporter | Business
Location: Minneapolis
Other languages: None

Christopher Snowbeck covers health insurers, including Minnetonka-based UnitedHealth Group, and the business of running hospitals and clinics. 


Since 1994, Snowbeck has covered health care stories at four newspapers including the St. Paul Pioneer Press, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the Daily Progress of Charlottesville, Va. He lives in St. Paul with his wife, two daughters and two cats. He graduated from Carleton College as a history major with a concentration in medieval studies. He serves on the board of directors for the Minnesota Society of Professional Journalists. He's also a runner.
Recent content from Christopher Snowbeck
Infusion Therapy Center nurse Heidi Leibold administered treatment to COVID-19 patient Jay Clark at Mayo Family Clinic Northwest on Thursday, Nov. 19

Mayo launches therapy to prevent COVID-19 hospitalizations

The clinic is the first in Minnesota to administer the antibody treatment.
Andy Barnes, RN, attended to a COVID-19 patient in the ICU at Mercy Hospital in Coon Rapids on Tuesday.

Minnesota reports 6,265 new COVID-19 cases, 51 more deaths

Since the pandemic arrived in Minnesota in March, the state's pandemic tallies include 262,952 positive cases, 14,745 hospitalizations and 3,201 deaths. With the latest numbers, an average of about 13.5% of reported tests have been positive over the past week.
Hospitals face uncertainty as exponential growth of COVID-19 is forcing renewed limits on nonemergency procedures.

Minnesota hospitals worry despite operating profits

Q3 operating income didn't fully make up for losses earlier this year.
Minnesota is slated to receive 25 staffed ambulances from FEMA to help hospitals transfer patients to other medical facilities because of the COVID-19

FEMA ambulances deployed to help transfer Minn. patients

The state is getting 25 staffed ambulances from the federal government to help hospitals transfer patients so medical centers are better prepared for a surge of critically ill patients.
The new COVID-19 drug bamlanivimab is for people with mild to moderate cases of the infectious disease.

State will get small supply of drug similar to Trump's treatment

Minnesota is beginning to receive limited supplies of a new COVID-19 therapy that could reduce the need for hospital stays and trips to the emergency…
HCMC paramedics on Friday, Nov. 13, transported a resident from Augustana Apartments who was having difficulty breathing.

Minnesota in 'desperate and dangerous place' with COVID-19

Health officials stressed the skyrocketing count wasn't due to a backlog or some other reporting anomaly, but rather, the rapid spread of a virus that will likely produce rising death counts and hospitalizations for weeks to come.
HCMC paramedics moved a patient who was having difficulty breathing from Augustana Apartments to a nearby ambulance Friday in Minneapolis.

Minnesota reports record 8,703 new virus cases, 35 more deaths

The latest reading continues a recent trend of steady increases in the "positivity rate" for tests across the state — a worrisome sign, doctors say, for COVID-19 spread. Newly confirmed deaths included 27 in congregate care settings.
St. Joseph's Hospital in St Paul.

Citing COVID-19, nurses push to preserve ER in St. Paul

Fairview says the ER closure will have no impact on care for COVID-19 patients at St. Joseph's. Many pandemic patients aren't admitted through the emergency room, the health system says.
Tyler Johnsen, left, 20, and Isaac Peterson, right, 19, both students at North Central University in Minneapolis, got tested with friends who had all

As cases surge in Minnesota, Midwest, hospitals scramble to keep up

Severe spike in COVID-19 cases, deaths has hospitals fearful of falling behind.
The MNsure call center in St. Paul is shown in an Oct. 28, 2016 file photo. (Photo by Glen Stubbe * gstubbe@startribune.com) ORG XMIT: MIN191224112053

As Supreme Court takes up ACA challenge, MNsure pushes sign-ups

MNsure enrollment urged despite ACA arguments before the Supreme Court.
Cheryl Odegaard, a medical assistant at St. Luke’s Respiratory Clinic in Duluth, administered a COVID-19 test in September.

Minnesota reports 4,647 new COVID-19 cases, 34 more deaths

Newly confirmed deaths included 18 in congregate care settings.
In 2015, UnitedHealth Group decided Max Tillitt's health plan would no longer pay for residential treatment of his substance abuse disorder. Within mo

Judge: UnitedHealth must redo 67K claims denied under 'overly restrictive guidelines'

Judge says insurer's initial coverage used guidelines "to protect its bottom line."
Andrea Walsh, president and CEO of HealthPartners, which is the latest insurer to offer financial help for customers in the midst of fewer claims.

HealthPartners offering $40 million in pandemic credits

Bloomington-based carrier joins trend as insurers see fewer claims from patients.
Lori Kadlec, right, co-owner of Kaddy’s Kafe in La Crescent took the temperature of dishwasher Katie Konniff when she arrived for a shift.

A runaway October for infections in Minnesota

The number of positive cases reported Saturday topped the 3,000 mark for the second day in a row, reflecting a surge that's approaching what is now being seen in Wisconsin, Iowa and the Dakotas.
Finn Marube, a clinical scientist with North Memorial, administered a COVID-19 test to Sandra Lynn White, of Minneapolis, in Robbinsdale in July.

Minnesota reports 3,021 new virus cases, 20 more deaths

October's final COVID-19 data release continued Minnesota's recent trend of more virus deaths and escalating case counts.
Children's Minnesota is the state's largest pediatric medical center.

Children's Minnesota eliminating 150 jobs in midst of COVID-19

State's largest pediatric medical center cites financial losses from pandemic, need for efficiency.
“If I get it, I get it.” Eugene Tessmer, 86, who farms near Caledonia, is resigned to the virus’ spread.

After dodging worst of COVID, rural Minn. 'lit up with cases'

Case counts are surging in rural communities like never before. Since the beginning of October, the 10 Minnesota counties with the fastest case growth are all in rural parts of the state.
Health care workers at Bethesda Hospital with a COVID-19 patient in May. Hospitals across Minnesota say they still have room to treat those with serio

COVID-19 case surge stoking worries in Minnesota

Doctors fear more deaths and serious illness as big case growth continues.
Cheryl Odegaard, a medical assistant at St. Luke’s Respiratory Clinic in Duluth, prepared to administer a COVID-19 test to a patient in the drive-th

Minnesota reports 2,268 new virus cases, 14 more deaths

Newly confirmed deaths included nine in congregate care settings.
Tony Miller, CEO of Bind Benefits.

Minneapolis health insurance startup Bind Benefits raises $105 million

The startup is launching fully insured health plans in dozens of states in 2021.
Health care workers got a COVID-19 patient situated in the ICU at Bethesda Hospital in St. Paul in May. State data released last week showed that the

Health officials: New Minn. virus milestone shows significant transmission

Record number of cases come on high volume of tests.
A portion of the UnitedHealth Group Inc.'s campus in Minnetonka is shown in 2012 file photo.

UnitedHealth Group boosts outlook as more seek health care

Third-quarter earnings beat expectations despite commercial enrollment decline.
Cheryl Odegaard, a medical assistant at St. Luke’s Respiratory Clinic, administered a COVID-19 test to a patient in their drive thru testing site in

Minnesota reports 10 more COVID-19 deaths, 1,537 new cases

More than 110,000 confirmed cases have been reported in Minnesota since the start of the pandemic.
Someone receives a shot during the first-stage safety study clinical trial for a potential COVID-19 vaccine at Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Res

U.S. family health insurance premiums surpass $21,000

Kaiser survey finds premiums rise 4%, with concerns about mental health, surprise bills.
Cheryl Odegaard, a medical assistant at St. Luke’s Respiratory Clinic, administered a COVID-19 test to a patient in their drive-through testing site

Minnesota reports 14 more COVID-19 deaths, 918 new cases

The pandemic has now caused 106,651 confirmed cases in Minnesota.
M Health Fairview Southdale Hospital in Edina is shown in a 2017 photo.

Medicare shift could force changes for 10,000 in state

Humana says it's open to talking with both health systems, but M Health Fairview says seniors should consider changing insurers.
“I think there’s reason for optimism that this approach might be effective,” said Dr. Andrew Badley, chair of the Mayo Clinic COVID Research Tas

Mayo, U studying Trump's experimental treatment for COVID-19

Experimental therapy is the subject of ongoing research trials.
Cheryl Odegaard, a medical assistant at St. Luke’s Respiratory Clinic in Duluth, administered a COVID-19 test to a patient in the drive-through test

Minnesota reports 14 more deaths from COVID-19 and 1,434 new cases

The pandemic has now caused 102,787 confirmed cases in Minnesota.
In this Oct. 26, 2017, photo, a woman walks past an enrollment office for MNsure, (AP Photo/Jim Mone) ORG XMIT: MIN2017103117540497 ORG XMIT: MIN19070

Health insurance options expand on MNsure

Rates for individual policies are increasing by 1% to 4% on average.
A portion of the UnitedHealth Group Inc.'s campus in Minnetonka is shown in 2012 file photo. (AP Photo/Jim Mone) ORG XMIT: MER13a79d8ca40b1923102742ac

UnitedHealthcare launches big Medicare expansion

The nation's largest insurer will sell health plans in 291 new counties, including seven in Minnesota.
Travis Smith received his first COVID-19 test administered by Hien Bui Hien Bui during a free testing event at New Salem Baptist Church in Minneapolis

Minnesota marks 2,000 deaths from COVID-19 pandemic

State health officials reported Saturday 10 more deaths from COVID-19 across the state, exactly 27 weeks after Minnesota's first death report came March 21.
Children’s Minnesota plans a sweeping overhaul of its structure, resulting in "significant" job cuts, because of financial pressures from the pandem

Children's Minnesota considers 'significant' job cuts, service changes

No numbers yet, but some services could move from St. Paul to Minneapolis.
Tony Miller, chief executive of Bind Benefits

Bind expands health plan business to Florida, eyes other states

The Minneapolis-based startup company is now selling fully insured coverage.
The Saturday night gathering, outside the four “Superblock” residence halls on the Minneapolis campus, was held just before the start of in-person

U reviews video of weekend 'Superblock' gathering amid COVID-19 concerns

The gathering, attended by scores of students, took place outside dorms on the Minneapolis campus.
Juan Duran-Gutierrez kissed his newborn baby girl Andrea for the first time in his home after bringing her home from North Memorial Health Hospital.

A new mother's COVID death shines light on ethnic disparities

Among all expectant mothers, Black and Hispanic women are contracting the coronavirus in numbers that far exceed their share of the population.
Nurse Kathe Olmstead gave volunteer Melissa Harting, of Harpersville, N.Y., an injection as a study of a possible COVID-19 vaccine, developed by the N

Coming of fall brings more COVID-19 concerns in Minnesota

The state could see a spike with schools, indoor activities — and the flu.
Rachel Miller, an EMS with M Health Fariview, conducted COVID-19 tests during a free event at New Salem Baptist Church in Minneapolis on Aug. 28.

Minnesota reports 4 more deaths from COVID-19, more than 900 new cases

The pandemic has now caused 79,880 confirmed cases in Minnesota.
Nurse practitioner Sheyanga Beecher posed for a portrait in her PPE Tuesday at HCMC in Minneapolis.

Health worker COVID infections underscore state mask needs

Infections are occurring in clinics and hospitals, but state health leaders believe the majority of doctors and nurses are infected while away from work.
Hien Bui, an EMT with M Health Fairview and registered nurse, administered a COVID-19 test during a free testing event at New Salem Baptist Church in

State's one-day COVID tally hits 1,000, its second-highest yet

State health officials blame those who are disregarding guidelines for mask-wearing and social distancing.
Rachel Miller administered a test to Reverend Alfred Babington-Johnson during a free testing event at New Salem Baptist Church in Minneapolis. Babingt

Minnesota reports 4 more deaths from COVID-19, more than 1,000 new cases

The pandemic has now caused 74,257 confirmed cases in Minnesota.
Dr. Andrew Brooks, CSO and CEO of Infinity Biologix, with a COVID-19 saliva test.

New Oakdale lab would 'more than double' Minnesota's virus testing capacity

New processing lab in Oakdale would create up to 250 jobs.
A North Memorial health care worker grabbed a fresh COVID-19 test kit as a patient drove up at the testing facility behind the North Memorial Health S

Minnesota reports 8 more deaths from COVID-19

The pandemic has now caused 70,707 confirmed cases in Minnesota.
People ride through downtown Sturgis, S.D., during the 80th annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally on Monday, Aug. 10, 2020.

Minnesota links 7 more COVID-19 cases to Sturgis

Health officials say a total of 22 Minnesotans with infections attended motorcycle rally.
Michael Osterholm of the University of Minnesota

COVID-19 still is spreading among Minnesota's young adults

Roughly one-quarter of new cases reported Saturday were in people age 15 to 24, officials said. Cases connected to the Sturgis rally could still grow.
Kristin Anderson, a medic with the Minnesota Air National Guard’s 133rd Medical Group, administered a free COVID-19 test to Jimmie Turner, 65, of St

Minnesota reports 8 more deaths from COVID-19, more than 700 new cases

The pandemic has now caused 68,867 confirmed cases in Minnesota.
Motorcycle riders gathered in Sturgis, S.D., on Saturday, Aug. 8, 2020, for its large motorcycle rally.

Minn. officials expecting more COVID cases tied to Sturgis rally

The Minnesota Department of Health received the first case report on Thursday and 14 more Friday, said Kris Ehresmann, the state's director of infectious diseases. One person was hospitalized.
The Mayo Clinic's Gonda Building in Rochester, Minnesota, in 2014. (Glen Stubbe/Minneapolis Star Tribune/TNS) ORG XMIT: MIN2008052208164303

Bolstered by federal aid, Mayo Clinic saw operating income of $153 million in Q2

Health system says it might return up to $130 million in CARES Act money.
Elizabeth Santoro, a medic with the Minnesota Air National Guard 133rd Medical Group, administered a free COVID-19 test to a passenger at the drive-up

Minnesota reports 8 more deaths from COVID-19

The pandemic has now caused 68,133 confirmed cases in Minnesota.
An intensive care unit at Fairview's COVID-19 treatment center at Bethesda hospital is shown in March.

Pandemic drove combined Q2 losses of $151 million at Allina, Fairview

Statewide halt to elective procedures with the pandemic slashed revenue.
Health care workers monitored a COVID-19 patient after proning the patient in an ICU at Bethesda Hospital in May in St. Paul.

COVID-19 study finds racial disparity in hospitalizations in Minnesota

A new study finds that African-Americans in Minnesota and 11 other states are being hospitalized for COVID-19 at a rate that exceeds their share of the population.
Kris Ehresmann

COVID-19 case growth now stabilizing at a higher level in Minnesota

Health officials are wary of the chance case growth could accelerate this fall.
A UV cleaning robot is one of the tools Twin Cities hospitals are using to prevent patients who come to the emergency department from being infected w

Minnesota reports 6 more deaths from COVID-19

The pandemic has now caused 64,413 confirmed cases in Minnesota.
Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison.

St. Paul man accused of selling N95 masks at unreasonably high prices agrees to pay $6,800

It's part of as a court agreement announced Friday by Attorney General Keith Ellison.
Blue Cross is offering millions in rebates because of decreased procedures due to COVID-19.

Blue Cross offering $70 million in premium rebates, discounts

As their customers forgo nonemergency procedures, costs fall.
Byron Obando comforts his daughter Helen, the youngest person ever to receive a gene therapy for sickle cell anemia, before a surgery in Boston. Unite

UnitedHealth Group studies COVID-19 risks with sickle cell

The new study, financed by Minnetonka-based UnitedHealth Group, asks if there's also a greater risk for carriers of sickle cell trait — a much larger group that includes about 8% of Black Americans.
Minneapolis Federal Reserve President Neel Kashkari, above, has joined the U's Michael Osterholm in calling for a lockdown of up to six weeks to allow

Prominent Minnesotans pitch lockdown to slow COVID-19

A prominent University of Minnesota health researcher and the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis are calling for a strict, state-by-state lockdown to…
The VenueScreen system scans the temperature of employees as they enter Boston Scientific in Minnetonka.

Minnesota pushes past 60,000 cases of COVID-19

The pandemic has now caused eight more deaths in Minnesota.
Medical workers prepared for their next COVID-19 tests last week by getting tests ready and shedding used protective gear behind North Memorial Health

Latest virus data alter school planning for 27 Minn. counties

The state Department of Health reported 867 new lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases and seven deaths. Twenty-seven counties are seeing enough changes in a week to end up in different categories when it comes to their school reopening plans.
Community members and HealthPartners workers demonstrated against the Riverside Clinic’s closure in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood, which is among

HealthPartners workers push to reopen Minneapolis clinic

The permanent shutdown, which followed a temporary closing this spring because of COVID-19, was surprising given the coronavirus spread and also troubling considering the need for health care among immigrants who live nearby.
A hospital worker holds a bottle of disinfectant outside the North Ridge Health and Rehab nursing home in New Hope. Minnesota health officials credit

Minnesota COVID-19 deaths hit 4-month low

Health officials warn the trend might not continue as new cases emerge.
Finn Marube administered a COVID-19 test to Sandra Lynn White, of Minneapolis on July 29 at the North Memorial Health Specialty Center in Robbinsdale.

Minnesota reports 6 more deaths from COVID-19

The pandemic has now caused 55,188 confirmed cases in Minnesota.
People in Forest Lake were wearing their masks Saturday as the state's mandate went into effect.

Statewide mask mandate begins just as COVID-19 confirmed in all Minn. counties

The order from Gov. Tim Walz about face mask use indoors generated mixed reactions from merchants and customers.
All fairgoers at Head of the Lakes Fair in Superior, Wis., on Friday got a wrist temperature check before entering the fairground.

COVID-19 cases top 50,000 in Minnesota

The state reported a net increase of 803 new infections and five deaths.
The stress “just piles on”: On the eve of a chemotherapy appointment, Teri Woodhull had blood drawn by nurse Kim Rohde at M Health Fairview’s La

A double burden: COVID-19 amplifies burden of cancer

Thousands of mammograms and colon­oscopies were delayed in March and April — and now, as the health care system slowly returns to normal, patients still seem to be seem to be steering clear of care.
Troy Kettwick, 25, came down with COVID-19 in late March. He spent 23 days in the hospital including 12 days on a ventilator.

Young adults are driving new COVID-19 cases in Minnesota

Among all age cohorts, people in their 20s have emerged as the single largest group testing positive for COVID-19 in Minnesota.
Mississippi Market in St. Paul is among retailers requiring masks.

Minnesota reports 5 more deaths from COVID-19

The pandemic has now caused 45,470 confirmed cases in Minnesota.
UnitedHealth Group headquarters in Minnetonka.

UnitedHealth profit doubles to $6.6 billion with COVID-19 slowdown

Fewer claims were filed as hospitals and clinics delayed elective surgeries because of the pandemic.
Michael Osterholm of the University of Minnesota Michael Osterholm convened a work group to develop a consensus statement that could help evaluate the

University of Minnesota leads work group on infectious dose of COVID-19

Data from animal studies and evidence from other viruses could provide important clues, the U's Michael Osterholm said.
Dan Cates demonstrated how used 3M N95 masks will be placed onto plastic racks to be sterilized with ultraviolet light at Regions Hospital in St. Paul

Minnesota reports 4 deaths, surge of COVID-19 cases

The state reported one of its biggest tallies in new cases since May.
Dr. Regina Cho, an OB-GYN specialist at M Health Fairiview Clinic, right, chats with Kelsey Alexander, a PA at M Health Fairiview Clinic, prior to the

CDC study reinforces COVID-19 cautions with pregnancy

As more young people test positive for COVID-19, doctors are reiterating the importance of social distancing for a subset of younger Minnesotans — expectant mothers.…
HealthPartners headquarters in Bloomington.

HealthPartners eliminating at least 200 jobs as it closes clinics

The cuts come as the health system cites financial challenges with COVID-19.
Duluth Human Rights Officer Carl Crawford greeted Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz with an elbow bump last month.

Walz is urged to mandate masks in Minnesota in COVID-19 fight

State health officials say evidence is mounting that masks make a difference in slowing COVID-19 spread.
HealthPartners headquarters in Bloomington.

HealthPartners closing 7 clinics with COVID-19 changes

The pandemic has shifted many visits from clinics to online health care.
Minnesota Health Action Group President and CEO Mamie Segall

Nonprofit that helped lead efforts on health reform to close

In the 1990s, employers across the country followed the group's pioneering health insurance program where employees shopped for care based on cost and quality. More recent work promoted better care at clinics and enhanced mental health benefits.
People gathered to drink on the patio of Kollege Klub in Dinkytown on June 17. It was one of four bars identified by Minnesota health officials as con

Mankato bar owner defends efforts to avoid spread of COVID-19

Steve Wegman, owner of the 507, said he's invested in masks, gloves and cleaning supplies and taken many other steps to protect the health and safety of both customers and employees since Minnesota bars and restaurants reopened at limited capacity this month.