Statement from Commissioner Mike Rothman on Accretive Health Settlement
July 30, 2012
For Immediate Release
ST. PAUL, MN – A $2.5 million settlement was reached today between the State of Minnesota and Accretive Health, Inc. The settlement bars Accretive from conducting business in the state for two years and requires the company to provide restitution to Minnesota consumers who were adversely affected by the company’s alleged misconduct, amid other penalties.
Investigations conducted by the Office of the Attorney General and the Minnesota Department of Commerce alleged that the company embedded unlicensed debt collectors in Minnesota hospitals and used illegal, unethical, and aggressive tactics to collect debts from sick and otherwise vulnerable Minnesota patients.
Upon the announcement of today’s settlement, Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman, whose Department regulates debt collectors operating in Minnesota and issued a cease and desist order against Accretive Health in February, issued the following public statement:
“Today’s settlement attempts to rectify the damages inflicted on Minnesota consumers who were deceived, lured into a false sense of security, and then taken advantage of. But no amount of restitution can repair the damage done to the trust and confidence of thousands of Minnesota patients who were subject to predatory collection practices at their most vulnerable moments.
“The alleged collection tactics we discovered during the course of our investigation were illegal and unconscionable. Debt collection laws in Minnesota are designed to protect the sick and vulnerable from exactly this type of predatory collection activity.
“Disregard for the rights and dignity of vulnerable Minnesota consumers will not be tolerated in our state. We will continue to vigilantly monitor the marketplace for any unlicensed, illegal, or improper collection activity in Minnesota – and make sure we protect the rights of Minnesota consumers.”