Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Debt collector disguising employees as emergency room personnel

A debt collections company, Accretive Health, is under scrutiny by the Minnesota attorney general. The debt collector is accused of hiring debt collectors as employees in emergency rooms and demand that patients pay before receiving treatment. Patients may think they are hospital employees until they realize they are demanding payment and may even discourage them from seeking medical help. In some cases, the debt collectors had access to health information.

The Accretive Health employees may have broken the law by not identifying themselves to patients as debt collectors. The Minnesota attorney general has not brought action against the debt collector, but has discussed the situation with state and federal regulators. However, a suit had been filed against Accretive Health when a laptop containing patient information was stolen, stating the debt collection company had violated state and federal debt collection laws and patient privacy protections.

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