Tips to Help You Collect Medical Debt During the COVID-19 Crisis

December 30, 2020 7:10 pm Published by

At Summit A*R, we’d like to salute all members of the medical industry, especially those fighting at the front lines. As a premier debt collection agency, we recognize that your industry has been severely affected by the COVID-19 crisis. 

With nearly 14 million COVID-19 cases across the United States and over 200 thousand deaths, hospitals are overwhelmed — health care facilities are overrun with patients, resources are running thin, and past due accounts are growing rapidly. In fact, many people in the health care industry have voluntarily taken pay cuts to help their industries survive. 

Fortunately, there’s an end in sight — U.S. biotech company Moderna’s mRNA-1273 vaccine is reportedly 94.5% effective in protecting against COVID-19. With millions of doses expected to be available soon thanks to a fast manufacturing process, the crisis should ease next year.

Until then, it’s essential for the health care industry to survive. If your practice is struggling to recover debt, then here are some timely tips to help you:

1. Don’t Lose Hope

It’s easy to feel pessimistic during this time if you’re a member of the health care industry. Many of our trusted clients have asked us questions like — can you still collect medical debt during the COVID-19 crisis? The answer is, yes, you can, but with some caveats.

  • While you can still collect medical debt, there is a statute of limitations. Depending on your state laws, you may have between three and seven years to collect payments. 
  • The Federal Trade Commission is taking unfair medical debt collection tactics seriously. You can’t harass, threaten, or lie to debtors, nor can you use unfair strategies. 

2. Partner with an Ethical Debt Collection Agency

During these exceptional times, it’s vital for your organization to partner with an ethical debt collection agency that’s well-versed in medical debt collection laws and has an excellent relationship with various leading medical clients across the United States.

At Summit A*R, we’re proud of our “P.H.D. Philosophy” (Preserve Human Dignity), which means that we bring humanity back to debt collection by being friendly yet professional with debtors. We use our P.H.D. Philosophy, whether we collect commercial or consumer debts. Not only does our P.H.D. Philosophy help preserve our clients’ valuable reputations and relationships, but it’s also effective. 

Most debtors want to pay off their dues. When they’re treated like human beings, they respond more positively. At Summit A*R we boast twice the national average recovery rate mainly because we do things differently. 

Our P.H.D. Philosophy is especially important for our popular hospital medical debt collection services. During this crisis, many Americans have lost their jobs and are drowning in debt. Those dealing with medical issues like COVID-19 or worse are under extreme pressure. 

Treating such patients poorly is simply inhumane. Not only are aggressive tactics usually useless, but they can permanently damage your practice’s reputation. Imagine seeing your patient on TV or YouTube talking about harassment because of medical debt. 

That being said, you can’t be expected to write off debts either. Your practice needs funds to run optimally, and you deserve to be paid for your services. At Summit A*R, we try to find a middle ground. We do our best to help patients meet their obligations while making sure their dignity is intact. 

If you’re concerned about the type of medical debt collection agency your practice partners with, then here are some facts for you:

  • We’re 100% full HIPAA-compliant in order to help preserve the privacy of your patients. 
  • We have a no-complaint policy. 
  • Our affable, knowledgeable, and licensed staff has longevity in the industry. Many members of our team have been with us for over ten years.
  • We are fully transparent — you can use our online portal to download reports, review payment activity, and track progress.
  • We have an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB). The coveted A+ rating is only given to businesses that maintain a record of excellence and strive to minimize customer complaints.
  • We are members in good standing with leading debt collection organizations like the ACA International and the International Association of Commercial Collectors. Both prestigious organizations promote ethical behavior from leading debt collection agencies like ours. Affiliations with them are a testament to our commitment to ethical debt collection practices.
  • We’re also affiliated with Rural Health Alliance and the American Association of Healthcare Administrative Management. Resources from these medical affiliations provide us with critical medical insight during the COVID-19 crisis.
  • We have countless testimonials from debtors and creditors alike, who appreciate our friendly and professional staff.
  • Aside from hospitals, we also help dental and veterinary clinics with their collection needs.  

While we sometimes recover payments almost immediately, it can take us up to 90 days to collect your revenue. Once the payment is recovered, it’s deposited into a state-regulated client trust account. Your share is sent to you on the 10th of the following month. 

If our regular methods fail to convert your unpaid invoices into money, we can use the services of our skip tracing department to find your debtor and their assets. We can also pursue legal action with the assistance of our affiliated attorney. Of course, we can also report accounts to the major credit bureaus. However, these serious measures are only taken with your consent. 

3. Pre-Collection Services

Aside from our excellent medical collection services — we also offer comprehensive pre-collection services. During these testing times, you may want to pass over your entire account receivable needs to a team of professionals who do it for a living. At Summit A*R, we like to say that collection is in our blood. 

By outsourcing your “busy-work” jobs in your A/R cycle, you can ease pressure on your staff and free up valuable resources. Without the pressure of collecting payments, your team can focus on doing what they do best — providing healthcare services! 

Whether you need help with patient billing, follow-ups on phone or email, follow-ups with insurance companies, you can rely on Summit A*R to represent you professionally and effectively. Remember, we don’t take a one-size-fits-all approach. Call us to learn more about our pre-collection services. After carefully listening to your needs, we can design a customized program that can empower your staff and help your practice generate new revenue. Likewise, feel free to take advantage of our ethical medical collection services to recover lost revenue and maintain relationships with your patients. 

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