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Shareholder Sues Accretive Collection Agency After Claims Of High-Pressure Tactics

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Scales Of Justice

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CHICAGO (CBS) — The saying, “what goes around comes around” might be applied to a Chicago-based hospital bill collection company that used high-pressure bill collection tactics.

As WBBM Newsradio’s David Roe reports, once the story broke about the hard-sell collection strategies that Chicago-based Accretive Health was using in Minnesota Hospitals – urging patients to pay up front for treatment and trying to collect bills at their bedsides, the company’s stock plummeted $7.63 per to close at $10.86 share.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s David Roe reports

It was a one-day decline of 41 percent.

Shareholders didn’t take kindly to that development, and now, Accretive faces a class-action shareholder suit that seeks unspecified financial compensation.

The lawsuit was filed in Chicago on behalf of investor Linda Wong.

The suit filed in Cook County Circuit court Thursday seeks class-action status suit on behalf of other shareholders who bought Accretive shares from March 2, 2011 to April 24, 2012.

Accretive created “high-pressure, boiler room-style sales atmospheres” in Minnesota hospitals, urging patients to pay upfront for treatment, trying to collect bills at their bedsides and engaging in other aggressive tactics that led some patients to skip treatment altogether, according to a report released Tuesday by Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson, who sued the company in January.

Crain’s Chicago Business reported Thursday that Accretive chief executive officer Mary Tolan is decrying what she is calling a “media blitz” against the company.

Tolan said the company’s customers are “very supportive” and that is what will “carry the day,” Crain’s reported.

She didn’t go into details on the allegations, but said reporters should “do their own research on (Swanson) and her approaches,” Crain’s reported.

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.

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