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Medical debt-collector-scammers get caught
Accretive Health is one of the nation’s largest collectors of medical debt. Its scams include embedding debt collectors in emergency rooms, and pressuring patients to pay for treatment that patients have not yet received.
The debt collectors come to you as you are bleeding in an emergency ward. They claim that if you want to live, and if you want to see a doctor, then you must pay a whopping sum to the debt collector, over and above what the hospital would actually charge. The debt collectors steal the difference, and forward the money to their company, which will terminate them if they do not meet their theft quotas.
This is a direct violation of U.S. federal law, which says that hospitals must provide emergency care even if patients cannot afford to pay. Instead of a sanctuary for the sick and wounded, emergency rooms are hunting grounds for collector-thieves.
Accretive Health also breaks federal privacy laws by illegally obtaining confidential patient records, which they use to hound patients for money.
Accretive Health became so blatant about this, and so greedy, that they got caught. In April, Lori Swanson, the Minnesota attorney general, disclosed hundreds of Accretive’s internal documents that outlined these scams.
Accretive Health has agreed to pay a measly $2.5 million to the Minnesota state attorney general’s office to make this go away – but the company did not admit wrongdoing.
Accretive Health is also barred from continuing its scam inside hospitals within the state of Minnesota for two years.
Accretive is based in Illinois, and perpetrates its scam nationwide.