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Published May 30, 2012, 02:11 PM

Franken wants laptops with medical info encrypted

ST. PAUL — U.S. Sen. Al Franken says he plans to pursue legislation requiring encryption of all laptops containing private medical information, after holding a hearing Wednesday on aggressive debt collection practices in Minnesota hospitals.

By: Associated Press, INFORUM

ST. PAUL — U.S. Sen. Al Franken says he plans to pursue legislation requiring encryption of all laptops containing private medical information, after holding a hearing Wednesday on aggressive debt collection practices in Minnesota hospitals.

The hearing in St. Paul featured harrowing stories from patients who were asked to pay while waiting for treatment and apologies from executives from Minneapolis-based Fairview Health Services and Chicago-based Accretive Health Inc.

Franken is following up on Attorney General Lori Swanson's lawsuit against Accretive, which accuses the company of breaking health privacy, debt collection and consumer protection laws.

The issue originally came to light when an unencrypted laptop containing private information for 23,500 patients was stolen from an Accretive employee's car.

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Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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