Things To Ensure Before Hiring a Healthcare Debt Collections Agency

The revenue cycle stage of healthcare debt collection should only be used as a final option.

Things To Ensure Before Hiring a Healthcare Debt Collections Agency

It's time to hand off the process to a healthcare collection agency if your internal collection process has run its course and the bill is still unpaid.

Choosing a third party debt collection agency to handle your past-due accounts can be difficult. First, you want a company that respectfully and professionally represents your hospital or healthcare facility. You want a partner that can work with your hospital's EMR and operational procedures while delivering a decent recovery rate and maintaining your good name with patients.

Many healthcare companies choose an agency primarily on the basis of price, as though collections are a commodity. But as is valid for the majority of things in business and life, you receive what you pay for. Therefore, price should not be the main reason you pick an agency.

When hiring a healthcare debt collection agency, a few crucial considerations must be kept in mind in order to safeguard your patients and your business's bottom line.

Services Across The Healthcare Revenue Cycle:

The revenue cycle stage of healthcare debt collection agency should only be used as a final option. Before the account ages into lousy debt status, implementing effective early-out and insurance denials management strategies should also be a top priority for covering all potential payment sources (when it becomes more challenging to collect.)

Think about collaborating with partners who can provide you with services beyond primary and secondary bad debt collections, such as:

● Pre-Registration Call Campaigns

● Early Out Self-Pay AR Management

● Presumptive Charity Scoring and Assistance

● Medicaid Billing & Enrollment

● Customized Call Campaigns

● Insurance Denial Management and Follow Up

Industry Experience:

Ensure the agency you work with has the abilities and expertise required to collect patient accounts successfully. In contrast to every other commercial debt, medical debt is frequently not a debt of choice. As a result, the approach to these accounts should be very different from what you would find in a collection agency that is more focused on business.

Additionally, there is strict regulation and oversight of both the healthcare and debt collection businesses. You must have a partner who is knowledgeable and obedient in both. A partner who has created and put into place a tried-and-true set of rules and procedures that are regularly reviewed and updated to reflect the constantly shifting healthcare business landscape.

Recovery Rate

Undoubtedly, the recovery rate is crucial. Pay close attention to the response the agency gives when you inquire about the expected recovery rate. You might want to think about working with a different agency if the sales agent immediately provides you with a percentage without first asking you a number of questions. Recovery rates will vary greatly depending on a variety of factors, including the demographics of your patients, age at placement, and previous collection efforts, among others. No two organizations are the same. To match the unique needs of each engagement, the services offered and the consequent recovery rate should be tailored.

Also, listen for crucial indicators about recovery practices. Any healthcare debt collection agency should need its collectors to take the ACA Pledge and fully commit to treating debtors/patients as partners in seeking a solution to resolving a debt with dignity and respect.

Procedures And Policies

You must feel at ease working with your healthcare debt collection agency. After all, they are a representative of your company; however, don't forget to inquire about the following:

● What collection practices does the agency employ from the moment it starts working on your accounts?

● When does work on an account start using letters, phone calls, or other forms of communication?

● What are the letters of collection saying?

● How are their staff trained? Are HIPAA, data security, and regulatory compliance courses offered to all collectors?

● The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), CFPB guidelines, and other consumer protection laws are crucial for third-party debt collection firms. How can they ensure that they are working in compliance with these laws?

● How are financial and health information about patients protected?

These guidelines ought to get you going in your search for an experienced and reliable healthcare debt collection agency.

Final words

Collecting past-due patient balances is a duty that few people enjoy, and it is frequently relegated to the dreaded "to-do" list. However, with private practice operating margins eroding and patient liable amounts increasing year after year, it is critical that you take steps to capture these payments. The easiest and most cost-effective method is to collect patient fees at the time of service.

As you can see, hiring a healthcare debt collection agency takes careful planning. With average patient liability increasing annually and the law of diminishing returns eroding that debt daily, tackle that to-do pile today with the help of a reputed debt collection agency for healthcare.

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