Debt collectors are notorious for their persistent and hard line approach to collecting on what is owed. Although medical debt is a large contributor for the debt burden and bankruptcy filings among many Americans, most of their tactics have been fairly subdued, until now. One of the nation’s largest collectors of medical debts is being accused of aggressive and inappropriate collection tactics.
Not So Well Wishes
Hospital patients waiting in an emergency room or recovering after a surgery are required to put with the doctors and nurses doing constant well checks on their condition. However, many patients have begun to experience something far more annoying, a debt collector at their bedside. Accretive Health is being investigated by the Minnesota attorney general for reportedly visiting patients while in the hospital to discuss their impending medical debts.
Sometimes disguising themselves as hospital employees, some debt collectors have gone so far as to demand full payment of services before the patient was even treated for their condition or illness. Further problems arise in allegations of privacy violations when debt collectors accessed health information in order to persuade patients into paying their overdue bills. Although no formal charges have been brought against Accretive Health as of yet, investigation is expected to continue to determine if such actions violate the Fair Debt Collection and Practices Act.