Accretive: AG’s Latest Allegations Are “Simply Wrong”

Accretive Health moved to dismiss an amended lawsuit filed last month, which accuses the company of overly-aggressive debt-collection tactics and includes sworn statements from hospital patients.

Chicago-based Accretive Health, Inc., is again defending itself against allegations that it broke privacy and debt-collection laws while under contract with Fairview Health Services—stating that Minnesota’s Attorney General is “just plain wrong” and her lawsuit should be thrown out.

Attorney General Lori Swanson sued Accretive in January, accusing the company of violating privacy laws after corporate laptops containing confidential data for Fairview Health Services and North Memorial Health Care patients were stolen.

In a multi-volume report released in April, Swanson leveled new allegations against the company, claiming that it imposed quotas on hospital staff to collect money from patients—sometimes before treatment was provided. The report accused Accretive of using tactics “commonly utilized in high-pressure, boiler-room-style sales atmospheres.”

Accretive has repeatedly denied those allegations and in May asked that Swanson’s original lawsuit be dismissed.

Then last month, Swanson amended her original lawsuit against the company, adding in the accusations raised in the April report and tacking on a series of sworn statements from hospital patients who claim to be victims of the improper collection tactics.

Accretive has now moved to dismiss that amended complaint, arguing that it fails to raise a new issue for the court to consider, according to a report by the Pioneer Press.

In its court filing, Accretive said that many of the lawsuit’s “so-called ‘facts’ are simply wrong,” adding that they “amount to a rehashing of allegations already publicized by the Attorney General as a part of her ongoing media campaign against Accretive Health,” the Pioneer Press reported.

Following the release of Swanson’s April report, Fairview cut ties with Accretive and subsequently chose not to renew the contract of CEO Mark Eustis, who, according to a report by the Star Tribune, was instrumental in the hiring of Accretive.

In its motion to have Swanson’s amended lawsuit dismissed, Accretive reportedly argued that none of the patients whose statements appear in the suit were asked for payments by Accretive employees; rather, each one “complains about practices at Fairview hospitals.”