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Accretive replaces CEO Mary Tolan with former Dell exec

Mary Tolan, the embattled CEO and co-founder of Accretive Health, has been replaced by Stephen Schuckenbrock, former president of Dell Services, effective Wednesday, as the company looks to restate financials from 2010 to 2012.

Tolan has been elected board chairwoman of the Chicago-based revenue cycle manager, effective Wednesday, the company said in a news release today. Co-founder and current board Chairman J. Michael Cline will continue to serve as a director.

“In nine years Accretive Health has grown from a startup to a $1 billion company in market capitalization,” Mr. Cline said in the release. “As we continue to serve a rapidly changing healthcare marketplace, the new, enhanced management team is a natural evolution as part of our growth. Steve's strengths in technology, driving growth at Dell Services and operational execution will add to an already capable team.”

Tolan added: “For some time now, the Board and I have been looking to add to the intellectual and operational firepower of our senior leadership ranks. I am delighted to say we have found an extraordinary executive, Steve Schuckenbrock. We expect that his experience in scaling the $8.5 billion technology services business at Dell, which had significant healthcare focus and excelled in customer outcomes, will be an important catalyst for our company.”

In April 2012, Tolan's company, with the seemingly benign mission of helping hospitals boost revenue, was held up as a national example of “boiler-room tactics” by Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson. Accretive cavalierly compromised patient privacy and used strong-arming to collect payments from patients at a health system in Minneapolis, according to a federal lawsuit filed by Swanson, who portrays herself as a consumer crusader.

Accretive's revenue fell, after having shot up by an average 36 percent annually since 2003 and reaching $826 million in 2011. The stock price has slumped 46 percent, to $10 a share today, since the attorney general's April 24 report detailing her allegations.

Without admitting any wrongdoing, the company settled the case on July 30, agreeing to pay patients $2.5 million and leave Minnesota for at least two years.

Last month, Accretive said it would restate quarterly and annual financial statements spanning from 2010 to 2012 after the company determined that it had improperly accounted for revenue from its core revenue cycle management business.

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