"We share many of the same concerns that (Swanson) raises in this report," Davenport said. "We've begun to take actions. We'll continue to review concerns that the attorney general's brought to us."
Nancy Chockley, president and chief executive of the nonprofit, nonpartisan National Institute for Health Care Management Research and Educational Foundation, said hospitals have used debt collection agencies for years, but usually to manage collection of funds after services are rendered, not beforehand.
Chockley said hospitals need to collect debts to stay in business, but she called the allegations against Accretive troubling.
"In this country, we operate on a principle that hospitals can't turn you away," she said. "They are targeting very vulnerable people at a time when they are most vulnerable."
Associated Press writer Amy Forliti in Minneapolis contributed to this report.
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