#BillingTips 6: Hire a Collection Agency
As a healthcare provider, it can be frustrating to deal with patients who have outstanding balances that have not been paid despite multiple attempts to collect payment. It is important to understand that collecting outstanding balances is critical to the financial success of your practice.
If a patient has an outstanding balance after receiving three statements, it may be time to consider hiring a collection agency. A collection agency is a third-party organization that specializes in collecting unpaid debts. They have the tools and resources necessary to recover the money owed to you and can help you avoid wasting valuable time and resources on trying to collect from unresponsive patients.
When selecting a collection agency, it is important to do your research and choose a reputable agency that complies with all state and federal regulations. Additionally, it is important to understand that the agency will usually charge a fee for processing each account. The fee is typically a percentage of the amount collected, which is usually around 35%.
Hiring a collection agency can help you recover outstanding balances and free up resources to focus on patient care. It is important to understand that patients who are sent to collections may become upset or angry, so it is important to communicate clearly and effectively with them throughout the process. Explain to the patient that hiring a collection agency is a last resort and that you are willing to work with them to create a payment plan or discuss any concerns they may have.
It is also important to remember that hiring a collection agency should not be your first option when trying to collect outstanding balances. Prior to sending an account to collections, it is important to make multiple attempts to contact the patient and collect payment through other means such as payment plans or working with the patient's insurance provider.
In conclusion, hiring a collection agency can be an effective way to recover outstanding balances, but it should be considered a last resort. When selecting a collection agency, it is important to choose a reputable agency that complies with all state and federal regulations. Communication with the patient throughout the process is also critical to maintaining a positive relationship and ensuring that they understand the importance of paying their outstanding balance.
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