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Fairview Health drops bill collector after AG probe alleges violations

Star Tribune, April 25, 2012

Fairview hospital employees used high-pressure tactics in emergency rooms, cancer units and delivery wards to try to collect money from patients before they were treated, according to a blistering report issued Tuesday by Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson. The collections strategy, designed by an Illinois consulting firm called Accretive Health, was so heavy-handed that several doctors complained it might discourage patients from seeking medical care, the report found. Swanson said the practices, uncovered during a review of Fairview's management contracts with Accretive, appear to have violated federal and state laws, including those regulating debt collection and patient privacy.