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Accretive Health Settles With Minnesota Over Debt Collection Abuses | cialis online

Accretive Health Settles With Minnesota Over Debt Collection Abuses

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The largest medical debt collector in the United States, Accretive Health, has agreed to settle with Minnesota over debt collection abuses. Accretive has been accused of a host of reprehensible practices from breaching patient privacy to abusive debt collection tactics.

Accretive Health agreed to pay a fine of $2.5 million and to also leave the state of Minnesota, said Minnesota Public Radio News (MPR News). The actions are part of a settlement of a federal lawsuit brought about by Lori Swanson, Attorney General for Minnesota. The settlement was approved by a federal judge late yesterday.

Accretive Health garnered nationwide attention with, not only numerous breaches of privacy, but for practices that included, unbelievably, hounding patients for money in hospital emergency rooms and at their bedsides, noted MPR News.

According to a press release issued by the Minnesota Nurses Association, Jean Ross, a Minnesota grandmother, agreed to testify at a U.S. Senate field hearing about how her 13-month-oldgrandson was treated at Fairview Ridges Hospital, said NewsInferno. The child was rushed to the ER, suffering from encephalitis. Ross stepped away from the child momentarily, returning to find her daughter sobbing and shaking, according to the release. “I was sure the doctor had stepped into the room while I was out taking a bathroom break and delivered devastating news about my grandson,” said Ross, a leader of a national nurse’s union group. “My daughter explained to me that while I was gone, a woman had slipped into the room and asked her if she wanted to pay all or a portion of her bill right now.” Ross described the incident as inexcusable, said NewsInferno.

Yesterday’s settlement mandates Accretive to:

  • Create a patient restitution fund of about $2.5 million; remaining funds go to the state treasury.
  • Release all Minnesota patient data to the Twin Cities that contracted with Accretive.
  • Close down Minnesota operations by November and, unless the attorney general approves differently sooner, remain out of Minnesota


“A hospital emergency room is a high-stress place of trauma, of suffering,” Swanson said. “It should be a solemn place, not a place to shakedown patients for money. It’s good to close the door for Minnesota on this really disturbing chapter in our health care history,” Swanson added, said MPR News.

Accretive’s lawyer was outspoken in its rebuttal saying, “The attorney general rebuffed us and bushwhacked us; told us she would meet with us…. We turned over 100,000 documents to her in the spirit of cooperation. And then, what she did was she made them publicly available and that’s just not the kind of straightforward behavior that Minnesotans expect from their attorney general. And that’s what happened to us. In this environment, who wants to do business here?”

According to Accretive, Swanson’s actions, not its, have left more than 100 Minnesota residents unemployed, said MPR News. Swanson called the accusation “an absurd comment” and noted that Accretive advises it investors that it makes profits by outsourcing jobs to India.

In January, Swanson filed a lawsuit against Accretive when it was learned that a laptop containing information on more than 23,000 patients was stolen from the company, said NewsInferno. The lawsuit challenged Accretive’s collaboration with Fairview Health Services and North Memorial Health Care. Among other alleged violations, said Swanson, Accretive and North Memorial Hospital shared patient data for six months without the mandated agreement on securing data, only to create a backdated document to cover their tracks, wrote MPR News.

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