Minnesota's Attorney General Lori Swanson has asked a federal judge to allow her case against Fairview Health System's former debt collector, Accretive, to move forward.
Accretive last week asked to have the case dismissed, arguing that the attorney general lacked standing to bring the lawsuit. But Swanson responded in court papers that Congress expressly empowers state attorneys general to enforce federal patient privacy laws.
The lawsuit accuses Accretive of violating federal and state laws by seeking payment from patients in hospital emergency rooms, operating for a time without a license and failing to safeguard more than 23,000 patient files containing their medical and financial information.
Swanson's office also released additional affidavits from former patients or their parents that had not been filed in court. But an office spokesman says they will be filed "at an appropriate time in the litigation."