How do I know if my medical accounts are collecting dust?

by JR Rooney

Do you know how many patients your medical collection agency collected from last year? If you don’t, how can you evaluate their effectiveness or your return?

Most patient balances forwarded to a medical collection agency are often considered “lost causes,” there would be little point in using such services if that were always the case. Some patients simply do not respond to practice statements or internal collection letters. They will, however, respond when a collection agency states it will report their failure to pay to credit bureaus.

It is a given that most medical practices acknowledge the need for collection agency services but they should evaluate and manage this collection method just like any other. Practices should have a full understanding of the terms of the agreement with their collection agency and the results of such arrangements; they must also understand how their own internal processes affect the agency’s success.

Here are six questions you should ask when evaluating your current medical collection agency.

What is the total dollar value of accounts placed with the collection agency last year? What is the protocol for turning accounts to collection? What is the average age of transferred accounts? What percentage of transferred accounts had balances less than $50? How much did the agency collect last year? What fees does the collection agency charge? What reports does the agency provide?

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