Minnesota’s attorney general released documents Tuesday spotlighting the aggressive tactics of a commercial debt-collection company hired by nonprofit hospitals in the state to secure payments from patients, Bloomberg and The New York Times write.
Agents from Accretive Health Inc. who were embedded among the staff at Fairview Health Services hospitals demanded payment from emergency-room patients before they were treated and used other methods reminiscent of “a high-pressure boiler-room-style sales atmosphere,” according to a report by Attorney General Lori Swanson. Her office is weighing legal action against the Chicago-based firm for alleged violations of patient-privacy and debt-collection laws.
Accretive works with several large hospital systems nationwide. “I have every reason to believe that what they are doing in Minnesota is simply company practice,” Ms. Swanson, said, adding that she is working with regulators in other states on a coordinated response to the firm.
In a statement, an Accretive spokeswoman said the company has “a great track record of helping hospitals enhance their quality of care. For example, we have helped over 250,000 patients get insurance coverage.”