Medical Debt Collection Company Accretive Settles Suit With Minnesota
Chicago-based Accretive Health agrees to pay $2.5 million and end operations in the state for at least two years to settle charges that it violated federal law requiring hospitals to provide emergency care even if people cannot afford to pay.
The New York Times: Medical Debt Collector To Settle Suit For $2.5 Million
Accretive Health, one of the nation's largest collectors of medical debt, has agreed to pay $2.5 million to the Minnesota state attorney general's office to settle accusations that it violated a federal law requiring hospitals to provide emergency care, even if patients cannot afford to pay (Silver-Greenberg, 7/30).
Kaiser Health News: Hospital Debt Collector Settles Minnesota Case For $2.5 Million
Accretive Health, the former bill collector for Fairview Health Service in Minnesota, has agreed to pay a $2.5 million fine and leave the state as part of a settlement of a federal lawsuit brought by state Attorney General Lori Swanson. A federal judge approved the settlement late Monday. The case against Chicago-based Accretive attracted national attention with allegations of repeated privacy breaches and abusive collection tactics, such as approaching patients in emergency room for payment (Stawicki, 7/31).
(St. Paul) Pioneer Press: Accretive Settles With Minnesota Over Hospital Debt-Collection Practices
Filed in federal court in January, Swanson's lawsuit alleged violations of state and federal health privacy laws by the Chicago-based health care consulting firm, which worked under contracts at hospitals operated by Minneapolis-based Fairview Health Services and Robbinsdale-based North Memorial Health Care. Swanson claimed Accretive Health also broke state debt collection and consumer protection laws -- points she underscored in April with the release of a report that alleged overly aggressive collection techniques in emergency rooms and maternity wards by Accretive Health and Fairview (Snowbeck, 7/30).
Minneapolis Star Tribune: Accretive Is Banned From Minnesota
Accretive Health will be barred from operating in Minnesota for two to six years under a settlement agreement announced Monday by Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson. ... Accretive, one of the country's largest health care consulting firms, has consistently denied any wrongdoing. In a statement Monday, the company said there were "no findings of fault," and that it agreed to the settlement "in order to prevent this matter from being a continued distraction" (Kennedy and Lerner, 7/31).
Modern Healthcare: Accretive Health To Pay $2.5 Million Settlement
The company agreed to destroy or return health and financial information of its Minnesota clients within 60 days of closing down its Minnesota operations, the agreement said. Accretive will also pay for an independent consultant to verify it did so. Minnesota's attorney general will have the power to oversee Accretive's return to Minnesota's market for four years after the company's two-year exile ends. The company must provide 120 days notice of plans to do business in Minnesota and enter into a consent decree with the attorney general (Evans, 7/30).
MarketWatch: Accretive To Halt Minnesota Operations, Pay $2.5 M
Accretive Health Inc. has agreed to cease its operations in Minnesota and pay $2.5 million to settle a case brought by the state’s attorney general, according a Securities and Exchange Commission filing posted Monday. Accretive promises to stay out of Minnesota for two years after Attorney General Lori Swanson leveled charges against Accretive — a health-care billing consultant — alleging that it employed overly aggressive collection tactics in the emergency rooms, cancer wards and delivery rooms of its clients Fairview Health Services, based in Minneapolis (Britt, 7/30).
Reuters: Accretive Health To Exit Minnesota Under Settlement
Medical billing services provider Accretive Health Inc said it would wind down its Minnesota operations to settle a 6-month-old lawsuit by the state that has led to the loss of a contract for the company…. Accretive must pay $2.5 million and stop all business operations in Minnesota within the next 90 days under the settlement. The money will partly be used to compensate patients, with the rest going to the state treasury. Accretive said in a statement that it has not yet determined when it will complete the wind down process (Siddiqui, 7/30).
The Associated Press: Minn. Settles Suit Over Hospital Debt Collections
Attorney General Lori Swanson announced a legal settlement Monday that will bar a Chicago medical revenue company from doing business in Minnesota for six years after she accused Accretive Health Inc. of intrusive efforts to collect money from patients in several hospitals. The settlement requires Accretive to stop operations in Minnesota by November. Accretive will be banned for two years outright and another four years after that unless the attorney general approves. Accretive also will pay $2.5 million to set up a restitution fund for patients and return patient data to its client hospitals in the state, which include Fairview Health Systems hospitals, North Memorial Health Care and Maple Grove Hospital. Fairview terminated its contract with Accretive in April (Lohn, 7/30).