St. Paul, MN— Service Employees International Union Healthcare Minnesota stands behind State Attorney General, Lori Swanson and her staff in an ongoing investigation over unfair bill collections practices by the Illinois consulting firm, Accretive Health, at area hospitals.
The Attorney General’s investigation, supported by independent reporting by credible news organizations such as, The New York Times, Minneapolis Star Tribune and others, uncovered information pointing to aggressive and possibly illegal attempts to collect payments from patients at seven Fairview hospitals and North Memorial Hospital, even as the patients were seeking emergency treatment and other health care services.
“In a letter to Attorney General Swanson, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has urged the matter be resolved out of the public eye,” says Julie Schnell, president of SEIU Healthcare Minnesota. “But here in our state, we support complete transparency of such issues especially when Minnesotans are not only seeking access to affordable and quality health care but are entrusting their very lives to hospitals they seek care from.”
SEIU Healthcare Minnesota members provide care to patients at Fairview and North Memorial facilities and have raised serious concerns about Accretive’s practices for months. As Minnesota Public Radio reported last week , in bargaining a new contract with SEIU Healthcare Minnesota members, Fairview and North Memorial have refused to provide all information their employees have requested regarding Accretive.
Schnell says whenever the public’s health and safety is at issue, it is critically important that disputes not be resolved behind closed doors. “The public should have all the information, and the Attorney General has done Minnesotans a great service by bringing these issues of debt-collection in maternity wards and emergency rooms to light.”
Note: Schnell is available for media interviews.
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SEIU is the workers who provide care and support for your family in hospitals, nursing homes, schools, childcare, and the Twin Cities’ largest public and private buildings. The SEIU Minnesota State Council coordinates the electoral, legislative and outreach work of the SEIU Locals in Minnesota to increase the effectiveness of their collective bargaining and new member organizing campaigns. By building the political involvement of approximately 30,000 SEIU members throughout the state, the State Council is working to improve the lives of all Minnesotans. The State Council’s board is comprised of elected leaders, members, and staff of the four SEIU Local Unions in Minnesota