Patients in Fairview Hospital cancer wards and emergency rooms have been subjected to such heavy-handed, high-pressure bill collecting tactics that they may have been discouraged from seeking care, according to Lori Swanson, the Minnesota attorney general.
Fairview employed a bill collecting company named Accretive Health, which "employed collection quotas, cash inducements and in-house competitions
using National Football League team names to motivate staff members to
squeeze upfront payments from patients," according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune. "In one case, a child who sought treatment at the University of Minnesota
Amplatz Emergency Room reportedly was kept waiting while the parents,
who were uninsured, met with an Accretive 'financial counselor.' The
incident prompted the hospital's own employees to question whether
Accretive was violating federal law, which requires emergency rooms to
see patients without such delays."
Read about it in the Strib, or in the New York Times.