Author Topic: Collection Agencies  (Read 5109 times)

taxlady28781

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Collection Agencies
« on: February 10, 2011, 03:59:18 PM »
How do you all handle past due collections that are ready to be sent to collection agency?  Do you send it back to the provider for them to contact a collection agency or do you send it on to a collection agency on their behalf?  Any other information/advice you can give on this subject is greatly appreciated.

PMRNC

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Re: Collection Agencies
« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2011, 07:59:36 PM »
My clients get a patient aging report at which time the accounts I flag for further instructions are sent to them and they can send it back to me with what they want done. I flag accounts I think should be sent to collections, payment plan suggestions and accounts I feel are not worthy of any further action (write-off).
Linda Walker
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dekenn

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Re: Collection Agencies
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2011, 08:19:05 AM »
At what point do you determine what to write-off?  After how many bills, and what is your cut-off dollar amount?  I know that for a $5.00 missed copay, it's ridiculous to continuously bill and then file small claims, but just curious as to what other people cut it off at???  :-\

PMRNC

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Re: Collection Agencies
« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2011, 08:46:22 AM »
I can't say what "I" would consider to be write-off per Se'  I always have a copy of each client's office policy along with their financial policy, so I am following their policies, which is how it's supposed to be to keep things fair and reasonable.

If I have helped my client with their office / financial policies generally speaking the time frame for write-off's would be 4 billing cycles and one soft collection letter. Consumer laws prohibit providers/debtors from Threatening collections w/out follow-through so I usually have it in writing from the provider that that is what they wish to do for each individual account referred/recommended for collections. I also always use the Mini Miranda on all statements and correspondence.  As for the amount, that will depend on again different situations/amounts by client and taking into account their policy and patient's circumstances.  For example, one of my clients does not seek collection on a patient who has been billed for 4 billing cycles on missed appointments beyond 2. Another client has a $50 threshold to which he will not send to collections and either write it off and/or continue to bill and formerly dismiss the patient.

It really is a good idea to always have every client's office/financial policy in your possession to refer to. Keeps them in compliance and covers your butt as well!
Linda Walker
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Michele

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Re: Collection Agencies
« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2011, 09:01:32 AM »
If you work with a specific collections agency, they may have a limit on how small they will take.  We had one that wouldn't attempt collections on less than $25.  Not sure if that's common, and we don't work with them, I just thought it might be worth mentioning.

Michele
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PMRNC

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Re: Collection Agencies
« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2011, 09:19:07 AM »
Quote
If you work with a specific collections agency, they may have a limit on how small they will take.  We had one that wouldn't attempt collections on less than $25.  Not sure if that's common, and we don't work with them, I just thought it might be worth mentioning.

I work with a few and that is true, there is one that I really like, they don't limit PER account but they do have $100 total minimum.
Linda Walker
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dekenn

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Re: Collection Agencies
« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2011, 09:52:59 AM »
I do the billing for my husband, so I'm really the one who sets the policy... just curious where other people/providers cut it off.  I send 3 bills, then decide whether to send to small claims court (usually over $150), or write off, but keep the bill in the patient's chart in case they come back in.  Sometimes, though, when the amount is like $8.00, it seems a waste of time, money and effort to bill three times when the patient hasn't even been back in.... they just ignore it.  Even when we take them to small claims court, they don't usually pay.  I have judgements against several patients....

PMRNC

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Re: Collection Agencies
« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2011, 09:59:55 AM »
I would go ahead and set one policy for yourself to take out the guesswork per account. Yes 8.00 is a waste of time. 3 Billing cycles is sufficient, I do 4 because I include a dunning message on the bottom with the mini Miranda that says "Your balance is now 120 days past due and your immediate attention to this matter is required or we may take further actions on this account".  This way we are not threatening specific tactic's and we have the wiggle room to write it off after that. If we are going to refer it to collections we send out a letter that states if the account is not paid within 15 days it will be sent to our collection agency for further collections.  All my offices have a ONE policy per office. The only exceptions would be the financial hardship cases, also which are clearly account documented.

Oh also of course, have every patient sign it and if changed have them sign the amended one as well. keep a copy in every patient file.
Linda Walker
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QueenAlicia

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Re: Collection Agencies
« Reply #8 on: February 16, 2011, 01:10:28 PM »
How do you all pick the collection agency?  Do you base it on their fees or do you give the provider the option of picking the collection agency themselves and dealing with it?

PMRNC

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Re: Collection Agencies
« Reply #9 on: February 16, 2011, 02:40:41 PM »
If they have one they have worked with, great. I however network with a few collection agencies. Some have become long term business associates and even friends. The one I use the most is actually a member of our Chamber of Commerce here.. another great networking tool.. I like networking with all types of businesses because you just never realize the links involved..accountants, collection agencies, etc.. I like my chamber better than any medical billing network really for that purpose (networking)

If you don't have any you know, it would NOT hurt anyone to get a hold of a few, meet and offer to exchange biz cards and just network :)
Linda Walker
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QueenAlicia

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Re: Collection Agencies
« Reply #10 on: February 16, 2011, 02:44:53 PM »
Thanks for clearing that up, I was a bit confused as to how that works.  I will research them to see how the charge.  I am working on my contract and want to make sure my fees cover the fee for collection agencies.

Michele

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Re: Collection Agencies
« Reply #11 on: February 16, 2011, 05:36:54 PM »
We do about the same as Linda.  We have more than one that we stay connected to, one is in the chamber.  We let the provider chose but we 'advise' them. 
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PMRNC

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Re: Collection Agencies
« Reply #12 on: February 16, 2011, 07:05:10 PM »
I've never met another business to whom I could network with ever tell me to "buzz off" LOL  I even keep in touch with Pharmaceutical reps as that's how I get most of my consulting work!
Linda Walker
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aksharhealth

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Re: Collection Agencies
« Reply #13 on: April 13, 2011, 10:13:21 AM »
Who pay charge to collection agency? Doctor or Billing Service?

Michele

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Re: Collection Agencies
« Reply #14 on: April 13, 2011, 11:50:54 AM »
It should be spelled out in your contract but personally we defer collection costs to our providers.
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