Minn. Hearing Spotlights Hospital Debt Collection

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Health care executives face tough questions Wednesday at a U.S. Senate field hearing after a lawsuit from Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson revealed aggressive efforts to collect debt from patients in Minnesota hospitals.

Sen. Al Franken is holding the hearing of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee in St. Paul.

Franken is examining whether the debt collection practices broke federal laws.

Executives from Chicago-based Accretive Health Inc. and Minneapolis-based Fairview Health Services are listed as witnesses. Swanson sued Accretive in January, accusing the company of misusing private patient information and using high-pressure tactics to get patients to pay, sometimes before they were treated.

Two patients and a nurse are also expected to relay personal stories.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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