Accretive Health Apologizes For Emergency Room Debt Collection Practices

Accretive Health’s Senior Vice President apologizes for trying to collect money from patients while they are in the emergency room. The apology comes during a US Senate field hearing in Minnesota chaired by Senator Al Franken and was prompted by an investigation by Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson.

Franken, a member of the Senate Health committee and author of the End Debt Collector Abuse Act — a bill designed to protect consumers from abusive and fraudulent debt collection practices — arranged for the hearing after Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson issued a report looking into whether Chicago-based Accretive Health Inc.’s debt collection and patient privacy practices violated federal health, debt collection and privacy laws. After reading the Attorney General’s report, Franken wrote to Accretive’s CEO requesting information about the allegations. Accretive Health Inc. formerly was a contractor for Fairview Health Services in Minnesota.

Video of full hearing and selected highlights
Above: video of entire hearing. Below: selected highlights

Speaking at the hearing were Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson, Commissioner of Commerce Michael Rothman, Fairview Health Services Interim CEO Charles Mooty, Accretive Health, Inc. Senior Vice President Greg Kazarian, patients John Thomas “Tom” Fuller and Deb Waldin, former Fairview nurse and Co-President of the National Nurses Union Jean Ross, Everett Fraser Professor in Law at the University of Minnesota Michele Goodwin and Hospital Accountability Project Director Jessica L. Curtis.

Sen. Franken is also the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the Law. In November 2011, Franken held a Subcommittee hearing entitled “Your Health and Your Privacy: Protecting Health Information in a Digital World,” which focused on the privacy implications of electronic health records in hospitals.

Hearing highlights from Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson and Accretive Senior VP below:


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