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NextStep is a cloud-based electronic health records (EHR) system designed for behavioral health and substance abuse staff at inpatient, outpatient and residential care facilities. The ONC certified solution enables clinicians to t... Read more
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For nearly two decades, Sigmund Software has had the opportunity to create individualized Software Solutions for many diverse organizations. Sigmund’s enterprise, cloud-based platform, AURA, contains a robust features suite that ... Read more
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Patient health is, and will always be, the top priority for medical providers but medical practices are still businesses. Put simply, medical debt collection is necessary for all medical practices. It differs from other types of debt because it’s often caused by unforeseen accidents or health complications.
Larger practices often have dedicated teams devoted to medical debt collection, but that’s not always an option for small or midsize practices. That’s where debt collection services come in.
In this guide, we’ll cover:
- What are medical debt collection services?
- Common offerings of medical debt collection services
- What type of client are you?
- Benefits of medical debt collection services
- Key considerations
What are medical collection services?
Medical debt collection services are businesses that medical practices can hire to collect payments (late or otherwise) from their patients. Because medical debt is often unexpected, these services work as a mediator to set up payment plans best suited to ensure that practices get paid for their services while still giving patients a reasonable solution.
Medical debt collection services are also only called in once all other attempts at debt recovery have been made and are unsuccessful.
Debt collection services are committed to preserving both the collector and patient reputation because medical practices are reliant on maintaining a good reputation.
Common offerings of medical collection services
The first step toward selecting the right medical billing service provider is to understand their typical offerings. According to our research, the following are the common aspects you should be aware of:
|Debt recovery||Recover medical debts from delinquent accounts.|
|Debt negotiation||Negotiate with debtors to find the best solution possible. Can include payment plans or lowered overall costs.|
|Automatic payment reminders||Alert patients about due dates automatically to help reduce the amount of delinquent cases your practice experiences.|
|Skiptracing||Locate debtors who have defaulted or missed payments.|
|Asset discovery||Track and discover assets patients might have that can assist with debt recovery.|
|Legal services||Provide legal support should all other options be unavailable.|
What type of client are you?
The next step is to understand the types of medical practices that seek out debt collection services. This knowledge will help you select collection services based on your practice requirements.
Here are the examples of clients who might use medical collection services:
Medical practices with many delinquent accounts: Even if your practice has staff dedicated to collections, you might encounter a period of abnormal delinquent accounts. Every delinquent account is lost revenue, and if your practice is falling behind with contacting those patients you might think about hiring a medical collection service in the short term to get caught up.
Independent medical practices: While some medical practices are large enough to have dedicated teams to recover payments, independent or other small practices lose money by not having the time to get in touch with delinquent accounts. These practices benefit from using standalone medical debt collection services because they’re losing sources of revenue otherwise.
Benefits of medical collection services
Here are some important points to consider before you finalize a medical debt collection service provider:
Specialized debt collection expertise: If your practice doesn’t have a dedicated collection team, you’re more likely to be overrun with delinquent accounts. Collection services help practices manage these accounts and ensure practices are paid for the services rendered in a manner that maintains the reputation of both the debtor and the collector. They can also help with legal issues should those arise.
Enhanced patient care: By offloading the collection services, your team is better able to do what they’re there to do: provide patients with the best care possible.
Medical collection services help practices recover debt from delinquent accounts, but before you begin your search, here are a couple things to keep in mind:
Medical collection services aren’t free: When you’re looking for a service agency, pay close attention to how they receive their payment. Standardized payments are hard to determine because it depends on how much debt the agency is looking to collect. For small amounts, it might be $10-$50 dollars but larger amounts will be percentage based. Before you begin, figure out your budget and communicate that with potential agencies.
Brand impact: Whenever you’re looking for agencies, take a look at how their customer experience team handles things. The last thing you want is for your brand to be damaged because a collection agency is too aggressive or leads to negative press or word-of-mouth about your practice. This is especially important if you’re a smaller practice or a practice in a small community who might rely on word-of-mouth to retain and grow your business.