July 6, 2012
Recent news reports about allegedly abusive activities by collection companies in emergency rooms has influenced new proposed regulations by the Department of the Treasury.
Accretive Health, a medical billing services company, has come under scrutiny by the State of Minnesota regarding its collection practices in hospitals, particularly emergency rooms. Minnesota Attorney General, Lori Swanson, started investigating Accretive after the company lost a laptop computer containing health information about over 20,000 Minnesota patients. The investigation uncovered claims of overly aggressive collection practices in certain Minnesota hospitals holding contracts with Accretive for billing and collection services. Minnesota has filed a lawsuit against Accretive Health for violations of state and federal privacy, consumer protection, and collection laws.
You can quickly find the Minnesota docket on WestlawNext by clicking on Dockets on the home page, then, narrowing to Minnesota. Run an Advanced search using the template for the following participant names:
Minnesota & Accretive
NEW TREASURY REGS
On June 26th, the Treasury Department proposed new regulations for debt collection practices in hospitals. New regulations appear in the Federal Register. I wanted to find those new regulations.
On WestlawNext, I clicked on the link to Proposed & Adopted Regulations from the home screen, and then clicked on the Federal Register link. Try the following terms and connectors search in the Federal Register:
treasury & hospital & collections & DA(last 1 month)
This brings back 77 FR 38148-01, which includes the proposed new regulation requiring emergency medical care policies to prohibit “debt collection activities from occurring in the emergency department or in other hospital venues where such activities could interfere with the treatment of emergency medical conditions without discrimination…” Track the reg using RIN 1545-BK57.