Doctors have an intimate relationship with their patients. In order to successfully treat a patient, a doctor must first gain their trust. This can take only one or two visits for some, but many need up to ten appointments for a bond to develop. When this trust has been cultivated, patients begin to openly confide in their physician. The medical office staff also tends to build rapport with patients, albeit often not as strong as the doctor to patient bond.
The employees and doctors of a medical office often find it difficult to transition from caregiver to business person. Accepting payment for co-pays and insurance billings are relatively basic transactions. Insurance does not cover all costs, and patients’ balances can quickly add up to substantial sums for uninsured procedures. When patients do not pay these balances, it is challenging for the office staff to switch gears and become a debt collector.
Hiring a collection agency will take this difficult task out of the local office as a collection agency has a staff of professionally trained collectors. A debt collector will work with the patient to have outstanding balances paid. Often times, when people hear the term collection agency, an image that comes to mind is of relentless, callous callers who will stop at nothing to recover debt. While there may be a few who fit this description, the majority are more accurately described as well mannered, customer service representatives. A successful debt collector knows that they must walk a fine line between harassing a debtor and not being stern enough.
Choosing which collection agency is a good fit for your practice is important. The agency’s success rate – what percentage of outstanding debts are collected — average length of time to receive payment and fees charged are several points to consider. After signing with a company, a case manager from the agency will meet with the physician or business office manager to decide on a course of action. Guidelines for issues such as number of phone calls per patient, establishment of payment schedule parameters, and discharge of debt will then be established.
Referring a patient’s debt to a collection agency is not an easy task for a physician. Your agent will honor the bond between you and your patient with this in mind. At the conclusion of the process, having a check in your hand for payment will make the course of action worthwhile.
To get started today, call our toll free 1-877-680-6064 to speak with an associate or fill out the form above and we will contact you within 24 hours.