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Tuesday A.M. Report

Hospitals try to improve patient experience, Iowa insurer fined for state annuities sales, prosecutors seek max sentence for Petters, and Schweigert to provide franks for Twins ballpark.

Hospitals try to improve patient experience: For a long time in health care, the phrase was not “The customer is always right.” It was “The hospital is always right.” That attitude is changing, and health care executives are using the phrase “patient experience” a lot these days. Whether it’s providing patients the food they want or making sure staff are helpful and polite, Twin Cities hospitals are starting to follow the maxims that are taken for granted in other areas of business: serve customers in a timely, courteous manner, and give them what they want. Read full story

Iowa insurer fined for Minnesota annuities sales: The Minnesota Department of Commerce has fined West Des Moines, Iowa-based American Equity Investment Life Insurance Co. $275,000 for allegedly selling unapproved annuity contracts in the state. Consumers who purchased the contacts were subject to higher surrender charges and less favorable terms, according to the Department of Commerce. Between 2002 and 2008, American Equity allegedly issued 541 annuity contracts in the state on forms that had not been approved by the department. Read full story

Prosecutors seek max sentence for Petters: U.S. District Attorney Todd Jones has asked the U.S. District Court to sentence former Minneapolis businessman Tom Petters to 335 years in prison for his role orchestrating a $3.7 billion fraud Ponzi scheme. Petters was convicted by a jury last fall of 20 counts of fraud, money laundering and conspiracy. U.S. district judge Richard Kyle is expected to issue a ruling on his sentencing April 8. Read full story

Schweigert to provide franks for Twins ballpark: Schweigert Meats, a subsidiary of Cargill, will provide four types of Minnesota-made hot dogs for the concession stands at Target Field, the Minnesota Twins announced Monday. The offerings will include: the Original Twins Dog, the Twins Big Dog, the Dugout Dog and the Dinger Dog. Read full story