A front page article in yesterday’s New York Times (by Jessica Silver-Greenberg) reports that hospital patients waiting in an emergency room (or even convalescing after surgery) may find themselves confronted by a debt collector — right in the hospital!  The Minnesota attorney general, Lori Swanson, claims that one of the nation’s largest medical debt collectors (Accretive Health)

The Ohio Attorney General’s office recently settled a lawsuit filed against Allied Interstate, one of the country’s largest debt collectors.  According to the Columbus Dispatch, Allied Interstate agreed to pay $150,000 and make changes in its practices.  Allied faced two dozen allegations of misconduct after a state investigation — for instance, calling before 8:00