A scenario that is playing out in healthcare practices across the country these days likely looks the same — the stack of folders representing individuals who still have unpaid balances and are overdue on their payments is probably looking more valuable as kindling than as assets. But that does not have to be the case. Even though the country is experiencing a disaster on a scale that it has not seen in some time, and it looks like the financial situation for most Americans will not get better anytime soon, healthcare practices should not give up yet on those accounts. There are steps that can be taken to keep the line of communication open during this crisis and then start working together again as people get back on their feet.
Nobody ever thinks of a collection agency as a lifeline, but that is what it can be to a medical practice or facility. Collection agencies specialize in getting in touch with people and they have dealt with similar disaster situations before. They know how to stay in touch with an individual and help them through tough financial situations.
Collection agencies also know how to ask questions about an individual’s financial situation. People may have lost their job or had a family member test positive for COVID-19 or be forced to shelter in place and may not be able to pay all their bills. Getting to the heart of an individual’s situation allows for a customized repayment plan to be built that is not onerous and is flexible enough to help individuals get through this difficult time.
Many healthcare practices have been forced to lay off staff during this pandemic and may not have the usual amount of resources to perform tasks like staying in touch with people who have overdue accounts. Placing those accounts with a collection agency does not automatically create an adversarial relationship with your patients. Collection agencies know how to collect with empathy and to ensure that your relationship with those patients is not damaged. Collection agencies can be used as an effective communication partner for practices that need it.
One trend we have noted during this crisis is that we are receiving more calls from individuals with older debts who are looking to take care of them. The thinking is that, with more people at home, they are looking at their credit reports and doing what they can to take care of negative items so they can improve their credit scores. This is yet another sign that healthcare practices should not just write off old debts and move on. By working with a collection agency to build a proactive and empathetic communication plan, healthcare practices can help themselves through this crisis.
PPMS is a management system for recovery agencies based upon developing, implementing and adhering to a set of strict industry-specific professional practices and policies.
PPMS certiﬁcation, much like a SAS-70 audit, requires independent CPA attestation that an agency has in place written policies, procedures, and work processes that ensure regulatory compliance and adherence to industry best practices. The agency must also demonstrate that it has procedures in place to identify and remediate any variance from these. PPMS certiﬁed agencies are subject to annual surveillance and must re-certify every ﬁve years.
An agency that has voluntarily undergone the PPMS application and certiﬁcation process is, quite simply, a better business partner than one which has not. This rigorous process results in:
This strict accreditation insures that you as HCI clients, receive the very best service.
"Clients come to us when good isn't good enough. They demand the best. We love it and wouldn't have it any other way."
— Christian Lehr, VP/COO