The Minnesota Attorney General’s Office announced on Tuesday, July 31, that it had reached a settlement agreement with Accretive Health, a Chicago based debt collector. The settlement is the result of an investigation and subsequent federal lawsuit by the attorney general that alleged Accretive used inadequate privacy controls, accessed excessive information about patients, violated debt collection laws and used aggressive collection tactics.
Though Accretive agreed to settle case, the settlement includes no admission of liability or wrong doing by Accretive. Under the agreement, Accretive is required to cease all business operations in the State of Minnesota within 90 days, or by Nov. 1, 2012. Accretive must refrain from any business in Minnesota for a period at least two years, and after the expiration of the two year period, Accretive may not conduct any business in the state without the consent of the attorney general for an additional four years.
The settlement also requires Accretive to pay approximately $2.5 million to the State of Minnesota. In its press release, the attorney general’s office stated the money will be paid to a restitution fund used to compensate patients, with any remaining funds going to the state treasury. Additionally, the settlement requires Accretive to return to its hospital clients all data in its possession about Minnesota patients. An independent auditor approved by the attorney general’s office will confirm that Accretive has complied with the requirement to return patient information.
To learn more about the settlement, members can review the press release by the Attorney General’s Office as well as the press release by Accretive health.