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Accretive Health approves $150M stock repurchase

CHICAGO (AP) -- Accretive Health Inc., which helps hospitals manage their revenue, said Tuesday its board of directors approved the repurchase of $50 million in company stock.

Accretive said it believes it will continue to generate cash to support its growth and said it has no debt. The company had 99.4 million shares on the market as of June 30 and said it had $200.9 million in cash and cash equivalents.

Shares of Accretive Health have lost about 55 percent of their value since mid-January, when the attorney general of Minnesota accused the company of using high-pressure tactics to get patients at hospitals to pay before treatment was given, and said Accretive Health misused private patient information and created an atmosphere in which employees were coached to aggressively collect debt.

The company settled that dispute in late July, agreeing to pay $2.5 million in restitution. Accretive also won't do business in the state of Minnesota for at least two years.

Shares of Accretive Health rose 50 cents, or 4.2 percent, to $12.39 in morning trading. The stock traded as high as $29.10 in November 2011 and reached a low of $7.75 in early May after the state of Minnesota released a report on Accretive's business practices.