Skip to main content

Regulators: Billing practices at Fairview violated federal patient-protection laws

The aggressive practices used by the Chicago-based Accrective Health to collect debt from patients could put Fairview's University of Minnesota Medical Center at risk of being terminated from Medicare and Medicaid, according to the Star Tribune. Federal documents obtained by the newspaper show patients and their relatives were subjected to "abuse and harassment'' from debt collectors while waiting for treatment.
  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:

The aggressive practices used by the Chicago-based Accrective Health to collect debt from patients could put Fairview's University of Minnesota Medical Center at risk of being terminated from Medicare and Medicaid, according to the Star Tribune.

A state official indicates that won't likely happen because Fairview Health Services is working on corrective measures to avoid the ultimate penalty.

Federal documents obtained by the newspaper show patients and their relatives were subjected to "abuse and harassment'' from debt collectors while waiting for treatment.

Accretive denied any wrongdoing at the Minneapolis-based hospital, but in July it ended a legal feud with Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson. The consulting firm agreed not to conduct business in the state for at least two years and would pay $2.5 million to Minnesota patients.

The controversial collection tactics prompted Fairview to terminate its contract with Accretive in April.

Fairview's board of directors also chose not to renew President and CEO Mark Eustis' contract. Board chairman Chuck Mooty took over as interim CEO last month.

Next Up

Pexels - face mask covid holding

Walz announces $2 million to distribute KN95 masks in Minnesota

The announcement comes after federal officials have updated guidelines to recommend KN95 and N95 masks.

southwest light rail metro transit construction

Southwest LRT may now cost $2.75B, won't open until 2027

Met Council said last year it would open in 2023.

Aaron Rodgers

Broncos hiring Packers OC sparks speculation Rodgers could follow

What about both Rodgers and Davante Adams teaming up in Denver?

Minneapolis Fire Department

Fire tears through House of Charity building in Minneapolis

The charity serves hundreds of meals to those in need daily.

Kwesi Adofo-Mensah

Here’s what the Vikings owners say about new GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah

The Vikings announced his hiring on Wednesday night.

raiaing canes brooklyn park crop

After 3-month delay, newest Twin Cities Raising Cane's opens

The restaurant was originally scheduled to open in October.

st anthony armed robbery screengrab

Armed man robs Twin Cities thrift store, flees in carjacked pickup

He pulled out a handgun shortly after chatting with the cashier about his scarf.

red wing 6

Gallery: Pagoda-inspired home on Lake Pepin for sale for $2M

The home has 425 feet of private shoreline on the Mississippi River.

Walz, Flanagan

Walz proposes legalizing marijuana in massive supplemental budget

It's among the provisions in his "Budget to Move Minnesota Forward."

Plow 2 (1)

Photos reveal damage from gunshots to Minneapolis snowplow

A hydraulic line and three tires were damaged in the shooting.

unsplash - school classroom students

Minneapolis schools confirm return to in-person teaching Monday

The school district shifted to online learning almost two weeks ago as rising COVID cases led to staff and bus driver shortages.

Flickr - Superior National Forest Boundary Waters

Mineral leases for proposed Twin Metals mine near Boundary Waters canceled

A review by the DOI found "significant legal deficiencies" with the leases' 2019 renewal.

Related

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.

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.

Lori Swanson: Medical bill collector overly aggressive

Minnesota's Attorney General released an investigative report Tuesday into Accretive Health Inc. It accuses the Chicago-based consultant, who was hired by Fairview Health System, of imposing collection quotas and pressuring hospital employees to collect money from patients before treatment.

Fairview Health plans building boom

Minneapolis-based Fairview Health Services is making construction plans after freeing up cash from the recent sale of its Red Wing Medical Center to the Rochester-based Mayo Clinic. Finance & Commerce reports major construction projects appear to be in the works for Southdale Hospital in Edina and Ridges Hospital in Burnsville.

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.

Accretive files motion to dismiss lawsuit, says allegations are 'simply wrong'

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.

New Franken legislation aimed at aggressive patient debt collection tactics

Responding to complaints about Fairview Southdale Hospital's former debt collector Accretive Health, U.S. Sen. Al Franken Wednesday introduced legislation Wednesday designed to stop debt collectors from approaching patients in emergency rooms, delivery wards and intensive care units. The legislation also take steps to protect patient medical information.