Business

Accretive falls as Minnesota sues over debt collection practices

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Accretive fell the most since its May 2010 debut as a public company after Minnesota’s attorney general, Lori Swanson, sued the Chicago company, alleging it put debt collectors in emergency rooms and at patients’ bedsides in violation of federal and state debt-collection and privacy laws. She said employees at Fairview Health Services, a Minnesota hospital chain, had to use a computer system derisively called Blue Balls to track whether patients paid their bills and push for payment before they got care. The system began after Fairview hired Accretive in May 2010, she said, adding Fairview may have jeopardized its tax-exempt status by partnering with Accretive.