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Accretive cleared by Vermont regulators

Accretive Health did not violate Vermont debt-collection laws, officials in that state have determined after an investigation.

The company's revenue cycle management practices fell under national scrutiny in April after Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson published the findings of her office's investigation, which alleged that Accretive had been improperly aggressive in collecting payments from patients at a Minneapolis-based hospital system.

In a settlement with Ms. Swanson's office inked in July, Accretive agreed to exit Minnesota for at least two years.

Accretive had also received “regulatory inquiries” from two unnamed states on its business practices in those states, the Chicago-based company has previously said.

One of those states was Vermont, Accretive disclosed in a filing Friday with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

“To date the Vermont (Department of Financial Regulation) has not found that the company violated Vermont debt collection laws,” the filing states. “No further action will be taken by the Vermont DFR at this time.”

A spokeswoman for the agency confirmed that its legal department sent Accretive's lawyers a letter saying no violations were found. To the agency's knowledge, Accretive had contracts with only one medical system that served Vermonters.

An Accretive spokeswoman did not immediately return a call for comment.

The company's odyssey with the Minnesota attorney general started in January, when Ms. Swanson sued, alleging the company had violated state and federal collections laws and tried to collect payment from patients while they were still in the emergency room, among other allegedly improper tactics.

Ms. Swanson's investigation started after a thief stole a laptop containing personal data of 23,500 patients of two Minnesota health systems from the rental car of an Accretive employee.

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