Chicago-based Accretive Health Inc.'s stock was down more than 11 percent after it was announced Thursday that aggressive collection practices at a Minnesota hospital formerly affiliated with the company violated federal patient protection laws, the Chicago Tribune reports.
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The Chicago-based consulting firm wants a federal judge to throw out a second amended complaint filed by Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson after more patients came forward accusing the company of overly aggressive billing and collection tactics, the Pioneer Press reports. Accretive Health is accused of violating state and federal privacy laws, state debt collection laws and state consumer protection laws through its work with Minneapolis-based Fairview Health Services.
Accretive slashes forecast as Minnesota exit hits profits
Accretive Health Inc.'s quarterly results missed analysts' expectations, and the medical billing services company cut its full-year forecast after it settled a lawsuit and shut down its operations in Minnesota. The company in July said it would wind down its Minnesota operations to settle a 6-month-old lawsuit by the state. The suit accused Accretive of aggressive collection tactics.
Accretive Health to answer questions on Capitol Hill
Executives from the medical debt collector will be in Washington, D.C. on Friday to address concerns about the companies practices. Last week, Minnesota Attorney General accused the Chicago-based firm of using aggressive collection tactics at Fairview Health Services. Accretive Health has denied any wrong doing.
Mayor of Chicago weighs in on dispute between AG Swanson and Accretive
Rahm Emanuel, who was also chief of staff in the Obama Administration, has asked Minnesota's Attorney General Lori Swanson to "cease efforts to publicly prosecute this matter and rather try to resolve the matter privately." Swanson has accused the Chicago-based collection company of overly-aggressive practices to retrieve payments from patients. Emanuel also defended and praised Accretive Health.
Accretive's 'money-hungry' tactics raised alarms
Records show that just months after consulting firm Accretive swept into the Fairview health care system with a new approach to collecting money from patients, hospital employees were expressing alarm and frustration, the Star Tribune reports. "We are giving the image that we are money-hungry," one employee said. Said another: "The patients are being bombarded by phone calls."
Swanson beefs up Minnesota suit against Accretive
Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson has filed more court papers expanding on the state's lawsuit against Accretive Health Services. Two dozen affidavits from hospital patients say the collection agency pressured them for payment while they were awaiting treatments. The suit claims Accretive violated collection laws and patient privacy rights. The company says the lawsuit contains mischaracterizations and distortions.
Settlement bans Accretive from Minnesota for at least two years
A settlement agreement in Minnesota's lawsuit against Accretive Health Services will keep the consulting firm from doing business in the state for at least two years. Accretive also agreed to pay $2.5 million in restitution to patients, although the company says it is admitting no wrongdoing. Attorney General Lori Swanson sued Accretive over aggressive payment collection, alleging the company invaded patients' privacy and subjected some to emergency room shakedowns before they'd been treated.
Fairview Health Services terminates contract with Accretive Health
The health care system felt it was necessary to cut its ties with the debt collector. Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson accused Chicago-based Accretive of using high-pressure strategies to get Minnesota hospital patients to pay for their treatments. The Business Journal reports Fairview began reducing its contract with the collection firm after a laptop with unencrypted patient information was stolen. Meanwhile, a Democratic Congressman from California is now calling for a federal investigation.
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