Contributing Editor Evan J. Albright is an award-winning writer with a lengthy resume in journalism, corporate communications, marketing, public relations, and advertising. In addition to his work with insideARM, Evan is a freelance writer, usually loaning out his pen as an executive ghostwriter. In his spare time he writes history, for peer-reviewed journals (most recently, “Three Lives of an African American Pioneer: William Henry Lewis 1868-1949” in Massachusetts Historical Review, Vol. 13, 2011), and for books and magazines (including the forthcoming Man Who Owned a Wonder of the World). Evan was born and raised in Oregon, and currently lives on Cape Cod in Massachusetts.
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The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s expanding supervision program is not only essential to American consumers, it also seeks to engender an equitable field of play for all participants—large and small, bank and non-bank—in the U.S. credit markets. So says John Tonetti, debt collection program manager in the Research, Markets, and Regulation Division of the Consumer [...]
While most healthcare organizations understand their responsibility to protect patient data, they are less vigilant about how that same data is protected by outside contractors, such as collection agencies, according to a recent survey of healthcare professionals.
Some 36 percent of young adults aged 19-25 have had problems paying medical bills or are carrying medical debt, according to a new survey released Friday.
The hearing also may serve as a portent of future changes, as Franken, who has in the past sponsored legislation tightening restrictions on collections practices, has promised that the hearing represented only a beginning and that he would “look into whether we can do more to strengthen our federal laws” regarding patient debt and collections practices.
The action follows in the wake of the PR debacle that erupted from last month’s scathing report by the Minnesota Attorney General. In it, she criticized the Minnesota hospital chain’s fee and debt collection practices, and its relationship with its revenue cycle vendor, Accretive Health.
Accretive has assembled a panel to be led by Michael Leavitt, former Secretary of U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, and three-term governor from Utah. Leavitt will be joined by former U.S. senators Tom Daschle and Bill Frist and numerous health care industry experts.
Accretive wrote a 29-page response to questions from Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.), who has been investigating the claims against the company made by the attorney general. As part of his investigation, Sen. Franken announced that the Senate Health Committee will hold a hearing in Minnesota later this month.
The Minnesota Attorney General’s scathing report into collection practices by Accretive Health may have attracted the attention of the federal U.S. Health and Human Services Department. It’s the latest group to wade into the medical debt collection fray, a group that includes a state attorney general, a federal agency, U.S. Representatives and Senators, and the mayor of a major city.
If you practice health care in Minnesota, apparently you are a villain if you attempt to collect a fee for service in advance, at least in the eyes of the attorney general. Last week Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson issued a scathing compliance review of Minneapolis-based Fairview Health Services, a not-for-profit chain of seven hospitals [...]
The attorney general’s complaint “includes allegations that are factually baseless and legally indefensible,” states the company. “What is worse is that rather than litigate this case in the courtroom, the Attorney General orchestrated a nationwide media campaign against Accretive Health.”