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House Lawmaker Seeks U.S. Probe of Accretive’s Debt-Collection Practices

(Bloomberg) A Democratic lawmaker asked U.S. health officials to investigate the practices of debt collector Accretive Health Inc. (AH), accused of demanding that emergency room patients pay their bills before receiving care at a hospital group in Minnesota.
Federal law prohibits hospitals from denying emergency care to anyone, regardless of their ability to pay. Minnesota’s attorney general, who is suing Chicago-based Accretive for its debt collection practices at hospitals in her state, said in a report issued April 24 that the company trained hospital employees to give patients the impression they wouldn’t get care before paying bills.
“This is corporate greed at its worst, abuse of patients’ rights to dignity and privacy, and I believe a violation of several laws,” Representative Pete Stark of California said yesterday in a statement.
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