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Specified hospital collection rules sought

May 29, 2012 Philip Burgess

It is common sense that people who borrow money must pay back the person who gave them the cash. However, due to various unforeseen expenses, emergencies and other financial missteps, this does not always happen. It was with this theory in mind that debt collection agency Accretive Health was hired by various Minnesota hospitals to make sure payments could be secured before discussing treatment plans. Though the Huffington Post reported Accretive denied charges that they it led people to believe care would not be given if they did not pay upfront, the collection company has called for more specific regulations regarding collection for healthcare bills. After being accused of such tactics, Accretive has formed a group led by the former secretary of the federal Department of Health and Human Services, Michael Leavitt, and comprised of various former lawmakers, patient advocates and health experts. This panel is set to create standards on what is acceptable behavior for hospitals and collectors looking for payments from patients. "This collaboration is an effort to provide clear standards to help medical practitioners continuously improve - while at the same time, providing patients with tools to help them know which hospitals and doctors follow the national standards," Leavitt explained.