Now that you know how to choose the right healthcare collection agency for your practice, and you understand when to send delinquent patient accounts out for collection, now it’s time to make sure your collections partner is doing their job while also delivering the results they promised.
There are a few red flags when working with a healthcare collection agency that can be a sign of bad things to come. Keep an eye out for these three warning signs of a potentially unsuccessful partnership, and as a result, a poor return on investment.
Warning Sign #1: “Cookie Cutter” Service
When working with a healthcare collection agency, the last thing you want is to feel like just a number on their long list of clients. If you and your staff aren’t treated or communicated with properly, then don’t hesitate to start considering other options. After all, there are lots of qualified and proven medical debt collection agencies out there!
Make sure your needs are being met and that they are catering their collection processes to your specific goals and requirements. Are they transparent and do they respond to your requests in a timely manner? Are they flexible in their recovery techniques and are you receiving a personalized service as opposed to a “one size fits all” collections approach? These are just a few of the important questions to ask yourself when assessing your healthcare collection agency’s performance.
Warning Sign #2: Patient Complaints
Is your office regularly receiving phone calls or complaints from disgruntled patients? Are your valued clients not being treated properly during the billing and collections process? Is your collection agency acting too aggressively or unprofessionally when working with your patients? This can be a major sign that it may be time to call it quits with your collections partner – especially with how important patient satisfaction and retention is in today’s healthcare environment.
Repeat, long-term patients are your most valued assets and you simply cannot afford to jeopardize these crucial relationships if you want to remain profitable and stable. So make sure your collections partner has strong compliance standards in place and shares the same goals and values as your practice! This means always treating your patients fairly, with respect, and in a manner that does not result in complaints or payment disputes.
Warning Sign #3: Poor ROI
The most obvious metric to keep a close eye on is your overall return on investment and the recovery rate your collections partner is achieving. Recovery rate is simply the percent of the accounts outsourced that are successfully recovered by your collection agency and should be carefully monitored. It's also important to pay close attention to how long, on average, it takes your collection agency to recover your accounts. The recovery rate and timeliness of collection you achieve however will ultimately depend on the accounts receivable management processes you have in place and how swiftly you send patient accounts out for collection.
For example, you may be targeting a 35% recovery rate and for all accounts to be recovered within three months of placement. If your healthcare collection agency isn’t meeting these goals then it may be time to start vetting new potential partners.
Look out for these three warning signs and make sure you are partnered with a healthcare collection agency you can trust and will deliver consistent results.
YOUR TURN: Are there any other red flags or signals we didn’t discuss that may be a sign that a collections partnership has run its course? How do you ensure your healthcare practice is getting the most out of your collections partner? Let us know!