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by Steve Timmer
May 9, 2012, 6:30 PM

The Pharaoh and the bill collectors

Many of you have undoubtedly heard about the charming firm of Chicago bill collectors named Accretive Health, and the equally charming practice of its representatives to chat up patients in the Fairview Hospitals emergency rooms about their bills. While they are still being treated.

Be a real shame if that appendix couldn’t come out, wouldn’t it?

The doc here tells me that you really need stitches for that gash. We need to talk.

 That’s some fever the kid’s got. Bet you want to help her out.

I am uncertain whether the root word of the firm’s name is “cretin” or “secretion,” or maybe both. At all events, the word “health” has no business anywhere near the sinister and reptilian “accretive.”

Word of the activities of Accretive Health came to the attention of Minnesota’s Attorney General, Lori Swanson. She commenced an investigation, which Mayor Rahmses called a plague on the city of Chicago:

In an undated letter to Swanson, [Rahm] Emanuel defends the Chicago-based Accretive. The company served as a financial consultant at Fairview hospitals until Swanson issued a blistering report that accused the company of violating federal and state laws on debt collection and patient privacy.

The letter from Emanuel, a former high-ranking member of the Obama White House, did not directly address any of the concerns Swanson’s report raised. The letter said Accretive “does important work for hospitals and good things for our City, particularly for our neediest citizens.” [Riiight.]

Let my people go, bellows Rahmses. No, I guess that’s Moses’ line. Anyway, leave ’em alone. So let it be written; so let it be done.

“I request that the parties cease efforts to publicly prosecute this matter and rather try to resolve the matter privately,” Emanuel’s letter read. “I also request that there should be no further contact between your Office and the company’s clients pending the outcome of the meeting. Please confirm to me that is the path we are on. …”

Whereupon, Attorney General Swanson says, Who let this guy in?

The Pharaoh replies, I let myself in. I’m a big deal.

Attorney General Swanson says, No shit? Well, she really didn’t say that, but she was undoubtedly thinking it.

In spite of the Pharaoh’s best efforts though, the investigation continues, and to add insult to injury, Sen. Al Franken is going to hold hearings, too.

Some Pharaohs get no respect.

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