Ascension Signs 5-Year Contract With Accretive Despite Debt Collector's Legal Woes

St. Louis-based Ascension Health signed a new contract worth up to $1.7 billion with Accretive Health, the debt collection agency recently banned from contracting with Minnesota hospitals for two years over its alleged violations of privacy and collections laws, according to a St. Louis Post-Dispatch report.

Ascension nor Accretive disclosed how many of the health system's 80 hospitals will use the debt collector under the new five-year contract. The two organizations have shared close financial ties: As of March 2012, Ascension owned 7 percent of Accretive's stock, according to the report.

Accretive recently agreed to a $2.5 million settlement with the office of Minnesota State Attorney General Lori Swanson, who filed suit in January, claiming the debt collector violated state and federal health privacy laws and state debt collection laws.

The attorney general later amended her suit to allege the company engaged in aggressive collection practices in hospital emergency departments. In addition to the monetary settlement, Accretive was barred from contracting with Minnesota hospitals for at least two years.

More Articles on Accretive Health:

Accretive Agrees to $2.5M Settlement, 2-Year Ban From Minnesota
Minnesota AG Wants to Expand Lawsuit Against Accretive Health
Fairview Receives Credit Downgrade Amid CEO Departure, Accretive Probe

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