Do you owe medical debts? Are you thinking about how to go about debt collection without getting into legal trouble? If so, then you may want to consider using a medical debt collection agency instead of your own collection efforts. There are a few things you should know about these agencies before you decide to use one to collect debts for medical care providers.
Better Approach: Hire a medical debt collection agency instead of your own collection efforts. Many collections agencies have been around in the United States for many years, thanks to the effectiveness of the Internet, because no one can beat their efficiency, cost, and methods used to collect unpaid medical bills. It's easy to simply mail a letter to each insurance company listed on your patient's billing statement or contact each individual hospital to inform them of your pending invoice.
This is much more time consuming, and it doesn't always guarantee that the company will pay up. This approach is also very impersonal, since you won't really know whether the company's management team even remember to acknowledge your letter or actually has the authority to do anything about your past due account.
The best way to deal with past due medical bill collections is to contact a medical debt collection agency. These agencies work independently from providers' offices, working directly with providers to contact them about the outstanding bill. A good agency will also work quickly, making sure to contact the provider as soon as possible, which avoids further complications with legal issues and delays in payments.
Don't Be Left in the Cold: A good medical debt collection agency also works closely with patients and doctors. A doctor may refuse to accept payment via an agency, but many providers do allow it under certain circumstances. Providers often refuse because they believe collection agencies are taking advantage of the fact that most doctors are financially broke.
The providers may also refuse because they believe the agency is trying to pressure them into settling, or because of other privacy concerns. However, collection agencies can help the doctor in other ways, by not harassing the doctor or interfering with patient records.
HIPAA compliant collections agencies are more likely to settle than non-HIPAA agencies, as HIPAA compliance is stricter for medical debts. Additionally, the vast majority of HIPAA-compliant agencies will work directly with physicians and won't attempt to collect on accounts held by third-party providers.
Because most accounts are considered private medical information, third-party payers are not legally obligated to give the patients' permission to release their accounts to the agency, nor are they obligated to investigate their own claims if the agency determines that they were violated.
If you are a patient, it is important to work directly with a medical debt collection agency. This will help you avoid frustrating phone calls, letters, and other potential sources of stress that could damage your already stressful situation. While no one wants to be contacted by phone, you must remember that this is a necessary part of working with an agency. Agencies do it because they want to make sure you pay what you owe, not because they want to force you to.
Remember that while many of your communications with collection agencies will be done over the phone, there will be times when you will need to speak with a real person and you should only deal with an agency with a direct telephone number, which means a person that can answer your questions. Read through this related article https://www.britannica.com/topic/debt to get more enlightened on the topic.