Cruel

Debt Collectors Pursue Patients in ER

Hospitals in Minnesota—and possibly across the country—have reached a new low in their debt-collection practices by employing collectors in emergency rooms and elsewhere to badger patients into paying up. The Minnesota attorney general revealed that Accretive Health, one of the nation's largest collectors of medical debt, regularly embedded debt collectors among hospital employees. The collectors, who looked like regular employees and sometimes had access to patients’ medical files, would demand payment before patients received treatment and sometimes discouraged them from getting emergency care at all.