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Mar 19

How Evaluating Collection Agencies Needs to Change with the Times

There was a time when medical practices seeking to hire a collection agency only had to consider a few things:

  • Price
  • Experience in their specialty
  • Results in their specialty
  • And sometimes the friendliness of the rep who would stop by the office to pick up folders of accounts

But the world has changed and so has the collection industry. Now that more and more companies have been targeted by hackers, you also have to consider the data security of the vendor you hire.

  • How are they protecting your patients’ data and avoiding HIPAA violations?
  • Do they offer a secure electronic interface to send data because you don’t know where those paper folders are going to end up and if they will be properly shredded? Faxing is also not a secure form of transmitting PHI.
  • How are they protecting the payment information of patients who have provided credit card or bank routing information for ACH drafts (i.e. check by phone)?

You also have to consider their compliance policies as debtors are savvy and some make a living out of suing companies whether their claims are legitimate or not. Some attorneys are looking for patterns with which to file class action suits.

  • How are they monitoring their collectors to make sure they are adhering to all facets of the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA)?
  • Are they verifying they have the right party before disclosing the nature of the call?
  • Are they providing a mini-miranda before making a demand for payment?
  • Are the calls recorded and are they reviewed for compliance?
  • What is their ratio of consumer complaints to calls made?
  • Are they manually dialing cell phones in order to be compliant with the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) which does not permit automated dialing to cell phones, only to landlines? And are they using auto-dialers for landlines in order to maximize contacts?
  • Do they provide their clients with a “hold harmless” agreement which indemnifies the client from Legal and Financial liability should a debtor claim that their rights were violated?

What kind of technology does the agency employ to ensure that the accounts with the highest probability of payment receive the greatest attention in order to maximize return?

  • Is every account handled the same way?
  • Do they just work the large balances and basically ignore the small ones (skimming) ?
  • Do they employ more sophisticated modeling where balance is only one of many variables that’s considered in the collection strategy?

How about out of state licensing? Some states and even some cities require a specific collection license.

  • If your patient moves to one of those areas, does the agency farm it out to another agency or just not work the debt or work it even though they are not licensed to collect in that state?

If these questions have made you uncomfortable about your current agency, let’s talk. Transworld Systems Inc (TSI) is one of MicroMD’s preferred collections vendor and even has a built-in MicroMD interface at no cost to you. Data is transmitted in a secure, electronic manner with no paper involved. TSI employs 65 people in our Compliance Dept alone and calls are recorded and then reviewed for compliance. Our complaint ratio is .0017% of contacts made and we hold the highest levels of data security and encryption in existence. We also have a proprietary model (CollectX) based on 47 years of data which is superior to other models in determining probably of payment. As for results, we deliver extremely high recovery rates at extremely low pricing.

Let’s talk.

Contact MicroMD’s designated TSI representative Karen Cooper at 732-704-7626 x101 or Karen.Cooper@transworldsystems.com. Even if you’re happy with your current agency, it doesn’t hurt to get a 2nd opinion.

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