WASHINGTON - A debt collection company accused of gathering too much sensitive patient information from Minnesota hospitals will be investigated by U.S. Sen. Al Franken.
Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson released the results of a months-long investigation of Accretive Health on Tuesday, alleging that the company violated federal and state privacy, consumer debt and fraud laws through its business practices. Some of the practices described in her report included company representatives attempting to collect payment from patients before admitting them to hospital emergency rooms and improperly using patient medical records in the debt collection process.
"If these allegations are true--and I do want to hear all sides of this story--they would be an affront to the health, privacy, and dignity of Minnesotans," said Franken in a news release today.
Franken, a Democrat, chairs a Senate subcommittee on privacy and also sits on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.
I used to work for this company I can attest to their violations of the FDCPA and also the EMTALA violations in th emergency department. When any employee speaks up about these violations they employees are often terminated for stating the obvious. They indeed have violated these regulations and Ascension Health CEO’s and other leaders were aware that Accretive Health was involved in these unfair practices; they decided to look the other way.
Has something like this happened to you? Have you been asked to prepay before being treated in a hospital? I’m a reporter with NBC and I would like to hear your story. Please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know what happened.