Medical Debt Collectors Target Sick People Entering Emergency Rooms

MN Attorney General Lori Swanson

A recent lawsuit filed by Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson reveals that medical debt collection companies are stationing debt collectors in emergency rooms where they confront patients about their existing medical bills as they enter the ER for treatment.  Medical debt collectors are also visiting patients in their hospital rooms to pressure them over their bills while they are still recovering from surgery.  Illinois-based Accretive Health uses these pushy tactics while advertising that they deliver “end-to-end revenue cycle execution” on behalf of medical providers. Accretive health often disguises its debt collectors as hospital employees who confront patients with confidential health information lifted from their medical files without notice or permission, which Minnesota AG Lori Swanson charges is a potential violation of federal privacy laws. Swanson also found that Accretive sought out pregnant women in delivery as easy collection targets, saying they “were most vulnerable in getting a pre-blanace paid.”

Source: Washington Post, April 25, 2012

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