Debt collectors trolling hospitals??
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|Wed, 04-25-2012 - 11:25am|
Hospital patients waiting in the emergency room or convalescing after surgery could find themselves confronted by an unexpected visitor: a debt collector at bedside.
One of the nation’s largest medical debt-collection companies is under fire in Minnesota for having placed its employees in emergency rooms and other departments at two hospitals and demanding that patients pay before receiving treatment, according to documents released Tuesday by the Minnesota attorney general. The documents say the company also used patient health records to wrangle for more money on overdue bills.
The company, Accretive Health, has contracts with dozens of hospitals around the country. Since January, it has faced a civil lawsuit filed by Attorney General Lori Swanson of Minnesota alleging that it violated state and federal debt-collection laws and patient privacy protections.
Whoa... that reeks of a huge violation of HIPAA.