Issues with collection accounts owned by patients

Issues with collection accounts owned by patients

The following is the latest column from Stark CEO Mick Raich:

Recently, I read an article about a large health care provider who was being sued in a class action lawsuit because they used illegal collection practices to recover patient debt. The article noted many of the patients were upset because they were not notified they were being sent to collections, nor were they given the option to appeal the debt, therefore denying them the right of due process. 

Many patients complain they are not given enough information or notified of bad debt. Because most collection agencies send written dunning statements, but fail to send them via certified mail to require a signature of receipt, paper statements are often the culprit. Patients state they never received them or were never called. This is an age-old revenue cycle management collection issue.

The interesting thing about this particular case was the health system involved used a service that was adding a 25% fee plus interest to the debt. So, imagine you get a health care bill you cannot pay that also has a 25% fee and interest added to it? Really? 

Collect your debt; you have every right. But, to beat up the patient and add interest to an overdue medical bill? Not a good public relations move. If you have questions about your RCM process or collection process and want to remain compliant, please give us a call at 517-486-4262. We will do our best. 

Who’s watching your wallet?