There is one simple fact that we know from handling debt collections for health care professionals across the country for many years. Professionals that go to school to be able to serve others want to focus on just that. Doctors and other medical professionals need to focus their time on serving patients and providing the necessary care they require. Doctors should not have to take their eyes off the ball to run a thriving medical practice.
You might say that would hold true for just about any type of business but it’s all more important in the health care environment. Doctors and other health care practitioners need to maintain a certain amount of distance from the business end of their medical practice.
And a medical practice is a business, and it needs to be run as such. Healthcare offices that do not pay attention to proper billing and cash flow will have a challenge just like any other type of business.
Here are just a few reasons why a well-run medical practice needs to have a medical debt collection agency by its side.
There will always be patients that do not pay immediately
If you’ve been running your medical practice for any length of time, then you know there are a whole host of reasons why patients do not pay immediately. There are also an equal number of reasons why there can be confusion when it comes to medical bills. First, it could be as simple as the patient not having a method of payment at the time of visit. That would force you to send them an invoice for the visit or a copayment. But as you may know, there may be times when you cannot identify a patient’s copayment and you have no choice but to send them an invoice after a visit.
And if you’re serving a medical patient in an emergency, they may not be prepared to pay you during that time. Whatever the reason is, your medical practice will always have a need to follow up on various fees for services.
Limited internal resources require third party assistance
We manage medical debt collections across the country for various sizes of practices and one thing we see especially in smaller medical practices is the need for external resources to keep up with cash flow. Having a third-party collection agency to handle your medical collections is a smart move because it not only helps you manage your internal resources in your office but by outsourcing collections, financially it’s a smart move for your medical practice. It could cost you less in the long run.
Medical collection agencies remove awkward conversations
We mentioned making sure the medical professionals in your office can do their job and earn the trust of patients. The only way they can do that is by separating themselves from awkward conversations such as those that revolve around money. And you may want to extend that experience to other office staff. When a bill goes far too late, it makes diplomatic sense to hand that over to a third-party medical debt collection agency. Your front office staff can continue to maintain great relationships with your patients without putting them on the spot.
Changing laws and regulations in debt collections
There is a litany of debt collection laws on the books both federal and state. Using a medical debt collection agency is a smart move because they will keep up to date on all these laws and regulations.
And of particular note, the way medical debt is reported to credit bureaus is changing in 2022. You can learn more on our recent blog about medical debt reporting but in short, after July 1, 2022, all paid medical debt will not appear on a consumer’s credit report. And any medical debt under 365 days old, will also, not appear.
Medical debt collection agencies follow these laws and regulations meticulously because they must. So using an agency will help you stay in compliance when contacting patients about past-due debt.
Care and collections go together
An experienced medical debt collection agency will understand that diplomacy and respect are part of collecting fees from your patients. When you choose a third-party agency to represent your medical practice, make sure they understand that your patients need to be treated with dignity and understanding. Any reputable agency will make this a part of their standard business practices anyway. But it’s important to ask upfront.
Is your medical practice in need of a collection agency? Contact our team today and let’s get started!