Accretive's CEO takes shot at AG Lori Swanson over Fairview controversy

Categories: Health Care
Accretive's CEO isn't pleased Swanson (pictured) issued a scathing public criticism of her company.
On Tuesday, Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson blasted Chicago-based Accretive Health, the debt collection agency formerly used by Fairview hospitals, for using "boiler-room-style" tactics to try and get emergency room patients to pay their bills upfront.

Today, Accretive's CEO shot back.

During a brief interview with Chicago Health Care Daily, CEO Mary Tolan implored journalists to "do your own research on this attorney general and her approaches, and that's all in the public record."

Tolan wouldn't detail which of Swanson's "approaches" she finds so interesting, but instead said her company is "focused on our positives, our company track record, and I think the truth will come out."

Swanson, a DFLer, first won election as AG in 2006, defeating her Republican challenger by more than 10 percent. She comfortably won reelection in 2010.

In 2008, she found herself mired in controversy when she rejected then-Gov. Tim Pawlenty's request that she consider having Minnesota join more than a dozen other state Attorneys General in suing the federal government over Obamacare's individual mandate. Swanson not only declined, but went as far as informing T-Paw that she'd file a friend-of-the-court brief defending the law.

Two years prior to that controversy, Swanson found herself taking heat from liberals for opposing a union organizing effort within her office.

Say what you will about those "approaches," but they still fall far short of hassling emergency room patients to pay their bills before they're cared for or while they're convalescing in a hospital bed.

Perhaps Tolan had little choice but to try and fire back in hopes of taking some heat off her company. Yesterday, the day after Swanson went public with her criticism of Accretive's tactics, the company's stock plunged 42 percent. If things don't turn around quick, Accretive may soon find itself in intensive care, on life support.

Previous coverage:
-- AG Lori Swanson blasts aggressive, illegal bill collection practices employed at Fairview
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