Accretive Health to exit Minnesota under settlement
By Zeba Siddiqui
Jul 30, 2012
Medical billing services provider Accretive Health Inc said it would wind down its Minnesota operations to settle a 6-month-old lawsuit by the state that has led to the loss of a contract for the company.
The lawsuit, brought by state Attorney General Lori Swanson in January, followed an investigation into the Chicago-based company's debt collection practices. It alleged that Accretive had violated state and federal health privacy laws through aggressive collection tactics, including having its management "imbedded" into the staff of Minnesota hospitals and managing hospital employees engaged in collections and patient registration.
Accretive must pay $2.5 million and stop all business operations in Minnesota within the next 90 days under the settlement. The money will partly be used to compensate patients, with the rest going to the state treasury.
Accretive said in a statement that it has not yet determined when it will complete the wind down process.
Following the 90-day period, "Accretive will be subject to an outright ban on operating in Minnesota for two years," the office of the Attorney General said in a statement.
The company would not be allowed to reenter the state for six years after that, unless it enters an agreement with the Attorney General Lori Swanson.
"A hospital emergency room is a place of medical trauma and emotional suffering for patients and their families. It should be a solemn place, not a place for a financial shakedown of patients," Minnesota Attorney General Swanson said...