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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.
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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.

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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.

Accretive Health CEO pokes back at Swanson, media

Without getting into specifics, Accretive Health's CEO suggested to an interviewer: "Do your own research on this attorney general and her approaches." The AG in question is Minnesota's Lori Swanson, who issued a report this week slamming Accretive's high-pressure tactics in collecting payments from hospital patients. The CEO says Accretive will weather the "current media blitz."

Swanson, Accretive trade barbs over new documents

Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson released a new batch of patient affidavits Thursday on Accretive Health Inc. – including accounts by parents who said they were hounded for payment while their crying children waited for care – as she and the Chicago firm traded filings over the merit of her lawsuit. The firm first filed for dismissal in late April and said that the new documents are a rehash of "baseless allegations and mischaracterizations.''

Accretive says it's addressing concerns raised in Swanson's report

Accretive Health says it's working with advisers on addressing the concerns about high-pressure tactics that Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson raised in her report last week. But the medical debt collection agency calls it a "flagrant distortion" to say the company solicited payments from patients in their hospital beds.

Twin Cities hospital parts ways with controversial bill collector

Maple Grove Hospital has apparently had enough of Accretive Health. The hospital, jointly owned by Fairview Health Services and North Memorial Medical Center, announced Friday that it was severing business ties with the bill collecting service, which is the subject of a state probe over patient privacy issues and its bill collecting tactics.

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.

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.

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.