FTC Approves Final Consent Settling Charges that Accretive Health Failed to Adequately Protect Consumers’ Personal Information

Following a public comment period, the Federal Trade Commission has approved a final consent order settling charges that a company providing medical billing and revenue management services to hospitals in multiple states unfairly exposed sensitive consumer information to the risk of theft or misuse because of its inadequate data security measures.    

The FTC alleged that the Chicago-based company violated the Federal Trade Commission Act. The settlement was first announced in December 2013.   It will be in force for the next 20 years, and it requires Accretive to establish a comprehensive information security program designed to protect consumers’ sensitive personal health information.  Accretive must also have its security program evaluated initially, and every two years thereafter, by a certified third party.   

The Commission vote to approve the final order in this case was 4-0.  (FTC File No. 122 3077; the staff contact is David Lincicum, Bureau of Consumer Protection, 202-326- 2773; see press release dated December 31, 2013.)

The Federal Trade Commission works for consumers to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices and to provide information to help spot, stop, and avoid them.  To file a complaint in English or Spanish, visit the FTC’s online Complaint Assistant or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357).  The FTC enters complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to more than 2,000 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.  The FTC’s website provides free information on a variety of consumer topics.  Like the FTC on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and subscribe to press releases for the latest FTC news and resources.

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