Accretive to pay $2.5M in settlement

Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson
Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson speaks July 30, 2012, about the state's lawsuit against Accretive Health. The Chicago-based company has agreed to pay a $2.5 million fine and withdraw from leave the state to settle a federal lawsuit.
MPR photo/Elizabeth Stawicki

Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson today announced a $2.5 million settlement under which Chicago-based bill collector Accretive Health has agreed to stop operations in the state.

The state's federal lawsuit drew national attention because of allegations that Accretive used abusive collection practices such as approaching patients for payment in emergency rooms. The company also allegedly lost 23,000 patient medical files when an employee's laptop was stolen from a rental car.

Accretive did business at Fairview hospitals, North Memorial Hospital, and Maple Grove Hospital.

The settlement money will be part of a restitution fund used to compensate patients, with any funds remaining going to the state treasury. Accretive must also return to its client hospitals all data on Minnesota patients in its possession.

A federal judge has approved the agreement. Accretive denies any wrongdoing.

In a statement the company accuses Swanson of being unnecessarily aggressive and says the settlement will cost more than 100 Minnesotans their jobs.

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