Accretive Health under scrutiny for its heavy-handed debt collection tactics. Were you harassed by representatives of medical debt collection firm Accretive Health while seeking emergency room care or other hospital medical services? Accretive Health, the nation’s largest collector of medical debt, has come under scrutiny for its heavy-handed debt collection tactics, which in some cases allegedly included stationing debt collectors in hospitals, including emergency rooms, where they demanded payment from patients before medical services could be rendered. In doing so, Accretive Health may have violated federally mandated privacy laws, debt collection laws, and consumer protection laws. If you or a loved one were approached by a debt collector from Accretive Health while seeking admittance to a hospital or hospital emergency room, you may be eligible to join a class action lawsuit against the debt collection firm. The consumer class action lawsuit lawyers at Parker Waichman LLP are offering free legal evaluations to anyone who was harassed by an Accretive Health representative while seeking medical care. To learn more about joining an Accretive Health class action lawsuit, please contact Parker Waichman LLP today.
Accretive Health Debt Collection Tactics
Accretive Health has contracts with some 50 hospitals throughout the U.S., including some of the largest hospital systems in the country. According to a report published by The New York Times in April 2012, some of these hospitals have turned over the management of their front-line staffing — like patient registration and scheduling – to Accretive Health. An investigation undertaken by the Minnesota State Attorney General has revealed that in some cases, these Accretive employees are indistinguishable from hospital employees, and do not reveal that they are in fact, debt collectors. These debt collectors demand that emergency room patients pay outstanding bills and “may discourage them (patients) from seeking emergency care at all, even using scripts like those in collection boiler room.” Some of these collectors also pressured patients to make “point of service” payments before they receive treatment. The Minnesota Attorney General has charged that Accretive’s tactics violated the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act, a federal law requiring hospitals to provide emergency health care regardless of citizenship, legal status or ability to pay. The Attorney General also alleges the company broke state collections laws by failing to identify themselves as debt collectors when dealing with patients, as well as the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (Hipaa) by giving collectors access to patient health records.