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AG Sues Debt Collector for Patient Privacy Violations

PRIVACY LAW—U.S.

January 20, 2012

CBS News reports that Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson has sued a debt collection agency for allegedly violating state and federal health privacy laws, state debt collection laws and consumer protection laws. According to the suit, Accretive Health, a debt collector that works with hospitals, accessed medical information through its relationship with two Minneapolis hospitals, used the data to score patients on their likelihood of future hospitalization and then shared that information with its investors--all without patient consent. The incident was discovered when an Accretive Health employee lost a laptop containing the personal information of 23,500 patients.
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