Monthly Archives: February 2014

Five Reasons You Should Put a Debt Collection Agency to Work for You

Collections 1Many companies are reluctant to put a debt collection agency to for them. The number one reason is that they fear adverse reaction from clients, which will result in a negative public perception of them. Companies that shy away from bringing a debt collection agency to the table would rather not collect on receivables then tarnish their brand.

This way of thinking is not cost effective, nor is it accurate. There have been a few badly operated debt collection agencies that have used unethical and illegal tactics to collect debt, but they are easily avoided when a little research is carried out.  Companies that only pick agencies that are members of the Association of Credit and Collection Professionals are assured that they are working with a top-notch agency capable of providing results, but not at the expense of the brand.

So, what are some of the best benefits to partnering with a debt collection agency?

1. In-house attempts are risky and not worth the effort.

It’s rare that a business will have staff members trained to collect on debt. It’s even more rare that these trained members will have the software and hardware that professional debt collectors use at their fingertips. Without the proper training, your in-house attempt could actually do more harm than good. Rather than pay staff members to do something they aren’t qualified to do, put them on more meaningful tasks associated with your industry and leave the debt collecting up to the professionals.

2. Debt collection agencies can have success when you don’t.

You might think that if a customer won’t pay you, they won’t pay the agency you’ve hired to get your money back. You’d be wrong. Debt collection agencies can report delinquent debt to credit bureaus, and consumers don’t want their credit score to be affected. Also, once the debt collection agency is brought in, the delinquent consumer realizes that the debt will not go unnoticed and is more apt to pay up.

3. Old debt is nearly impossible to collect for the average organization.

Once a debt goes beyond the 90-day mark, the odds that you will get anything are slim. However, debt collection agencies specialize in old debt and have methods of tracking down delinquent customers who have moved and consider themselves untraceable.

4. Early intercept recovery is often part of the strategy.

Debt collection agencies can help your company identify problems before they become an issue, which means the late-paying client will get extra attention and become less likely to pay late.

5. You retain access to all accounts.

If you’re afraid that you’ll lose control of your accounts once they’ve been taken over by a debt collection agency, consider that the top agencies have performance analytics tools that give you complete insight into the collection process. You’ll have complete access to all the information on all of your accounts.

The professionals at Omega-RMS are trained to industry standards and beyond. As a member of the ACA, Omega has staff members that are among the best in the industry and can help your business recover overdue payments in an ethical manner.

Are You Keeping Your Current Accounts in Check?

Economy 4As a small business owner, you know that cash is king. You also know that the amount of time it takes for you to collect on services rendered often gets in the way of your ability to keep cash flowing. Perhaps you’re struggling to grow your business for this very reason.

Many small business owners have focused on taking measurements of their cash flow situation to give them a better projection of where they might find difficulty. Some businesses only do this on a yearly basis while organizations that are truly struggling will take weekly measurements. It’s businesses like these that really need to consider an alternative to their current methods.

When looking at current accounts, you do your best to encourage your clients to pay as soon as they possibly can. To achieve this, you stay prompt on your billing, often getting invoices out within days of a transaction. Perhaps you’ve even demanded a certain percentage of the bill to be paid up front to keep your cash flow situation in a better place? But most of your clients will avoid paying for as long as possible so they can improve their cash situation.

Companies that demand full payment at the time of service have no problems with cash flow. However, they’re probably losing out on a very wide array of clients who can’t pay everything up front and rely on some type of credit or financing before they’ll do business. Keeping up on your current accounts and improving your receivables are vital processes for companies that extend credit.

What are some of the methods companies use to get their clients to pay faster? Start with offering discounts to clients that pay early. This develops an incentive for them to part ways with their cash on a timelier basis. Improving receivables also includes making sure your clients are credit worthy. In some cases, partnering with a third-party financing company can take the work out of the effort while flexible financing is offered to your clients. Keeping an eye on slow-paying customers also pays off in the end. If you know who has a history of slow payment, you can be more aggressive with them and keep payments current and your cash flowing.

Many companies have developed plans for surviving cash shortfalls. In this unfortunate situation, companies will plan for the day when they don’t have enough cash to make payroll if they pay all their utility bills or vice versa. Long before they find themselves in this situation they should have considered selling their receivables to a third party for quick cash.

Omega-RMS has solutions that get organizations strapped for cash out of the hole and on the way to growth. With the accounts receivables management solutions at Omega, clients sell off their receivables and gain a better cash position, instantly. It’s not only a method for increasing cash flow, it also takes away the burden of cashing down debt.

 

Effective Debt Collection for Dental Practices: A Few Simple Things Can Help You Get Paid

Dental Bills 1As you strive to be a dental practice where the patients’ well-being comes first, you might lose track of what’s going on in the front of the office where appointments are made – and most importantly – where the billing is handled.

If you’re not getting paid for your work, you’re not able to pay your staff and reinvest in your practice. Sometimes, the issue can be addressed simply by educating your patients on what’s expected of them when it comes to paying for services. Debt collection services can also be brought into the mix for a more positive outcome.

The best prevention to having delinquent accounts is to put provisions in place that deter late payment. If the patient doesn’t understand what’s expected of them, they can’t be held at fault for not paying “on time.” Prompt billing is a requirement. The patient should come out of your practice knowing exactly how much is owed and they should be asked, politely, how they would like to pay for that day’s service.

In many cases, the patient will have insurance and a predetermined co-pay, which should be paid up front. Due to insurance practices, the total amount after insurance is factored in won’t be known until a later date. However, a bill informing the patient of their out-of-pocket expense should be sent out as soon as the amount is determined.

Rewarding early paying customers is also a good incentive to keep accounts payed on time. Setting up a payment plan sets a clear understanding of what will be due and when. Should the patient pay it off sooner, offer a reward.

Unfortunately, many patients don’t understand their insurance plans. The office staff at dentist’s offices are often the middlemen who have to become on-the-spot interpreters for the patient. Instead of allowing a patient to hold off on payment because they’re disputing their insurance coverage, make sure to explain up front what their deductibles, premiums and other aspects of their policy will mean when it comes time to make a payment.

Another unfortunate situation that affects the dental practice and the patient is the cost-cutting decisions patients make when they sign up for their insurance plans. They’ll choose the least expensive one, which means there are high deductibles and high co-pays, which means their out-of-pocket costs go way up. This, of course, leads to non-payment. Now your practice has to make some difficult decisions – do you chase down this debt on your own or do you bring in a third party to settle these unpaid accounts?

It’s not a decision to be taken lightly. Partnering with a debt collection service can be intimidating because you’re afraid of what your patients will think of your practice when you bring professional debt collectors into the mix. However, when you choose a reputable firm, you’re going to see a positive return on investment as well as secure reputation with the public.

Omega-RMS is a debt collection company that also handles accounts receivables and early intercept recovery services. Instead of putting your staff through the debt collection process, which they’re likely not remotely trained to handle with any type of consistency, partner with professionals who will respect your clients while increasing your cash flow.

Debt Collectors: Three Things That Can Make an Agency Stand Out

Collections 5Making the decision to partner with a debt collection firm is not a decision that business owners come to without a good amount of thought. Taking an equal if not greater amount of thought and research is the process through which a business owner devotes to finding the right debt collectors to assist them.

Debt collectors are not made equally. One of the reasons there are so many regulations regarding the process of collecting debt is due in no small part to a handful of debt collectors that have tarnished the industry’s image. Business owners are looking for a firm they can trust with their customers.

One of the reasons it is difficult for a business owner to bring a debt collection solution into the mix is because of the perceived impact it might have on the clientele. The professionals behind every collection agency are very closely tied to the experience the customer has, which can and should be positive.

Considering the interaction, business owners need to have a very high level of trust that the collection agency will put its best foot forward and treat the customer with professionalism and respect as they arrange for repayment.

Debt collectors are often the target of customer complaints, which makes sense considering it is their job to go after unpaid debt – and nobody likes to part with money. A reputable collection agency is prepared to deal with upset consumers – conflict comes with the territory. However, when you consider which debt collectors you’ll be working with, make sure you know how they communicate with your customers when conflict arises.

What assurances can the agencies you are considering give you in regards to how you can track progress? The best collection agencies offer complete visibility into their processes, which means you should be able to check up on all of your accounts with them at any given moment and see how much has been collected and where each account stands.

Some collection agencies are slow to remit payment back to you once they’ve collected on debt. You should be allowed to set the stage for when and how you get your money back. Also, if you have debts that will need to go to multiple destinations, make sure your agency has the organizational skills to process your reclaimed funds as you see fit.

Finally, make sure the company you select is licensed and bonded in all 50 states. If you partner with a debt collector with boundaries, a portion of your debtors will be off limits and that debt will go unclaimed, reducing the return on investment.

Omega-RMS is backed by more than 40 years of experience bringing positive outcomes to businesses that need a debt collection solution. As a member of the Association of Credit Collection Professionals, Omega-RMS has proven its professionalism over and over. If you’re looking for a debt collection partner you can trust, you’ll find it in Omega.

Medical Practices Seeing Bills for Those Who are Insured Going to Collections

The Kaiser Family Foundation released a report recently that says as many as one inCollections 4 three Americans are having a hard time keeping up with healthcare-related debt. The problem isn’t exclusive to the uninsured – people covered under various health insurance plans are also falling behind on their medical bills.

Too many Americans are choosing the lowest rung of health insurance plans, which means that when they get sick or become injured, their deductible is too high for them to easily pay. When limited income meets a high cost-sharing plan, the result is often a scenario that includes collections.

Most working and insured people believe that their insurance will pick up the tab should they ever become seriously ill. What they don’t know about their insurance plans came back to haunt them later.

Other scenarios that lead to collections includes a person who is too sick to work, which means there is no money coming in as the medical bills pile up. Others incur unexpected expenses related to out-of-network care, which is almost always more costly than care provided within the health plan’s network.

How are patients keeping up with these costs? In some unfortunate cases, high APR credit cards are being used, which means the patient will have an ongoing cycle of debt that is difficult to escape from.

The end result, according to the Kaiser report, is that these patients experience bankruptcy, problems keeping their housing, emotional stress, badly damaged credit and a loss of long term assets. The study proves that medical debt can affect just about anyone. Looking at a range of patients from age 20 to 60-plus, some were making $100,000 a year yet had medical costs high enough to put a strain on their finances.

Of course, the poor and lower middle class are probably the most affected demographic. Four in 10 adults with incomes below 200 percent of the federal poverty level said they had issues paying their medical bills. People with larger families also had more trouble paying their medical-related costs.

Surprisingly, the larger group of people who said they had trouble with their payments had insurance through their employer. Fifty-four percent said they had employer-sponsored private insurance. Thirty percent said they were uninsured. Only nine percent were on Medicaid, four percent had private/individual insurance and three percent were on Medicare.

What does this mean for medical practices? Clearly, a plan to recover as much that is owed to them as possible is in order. In many cases, establishing best practices in billing can reduce the amount of patients that come to the office with outstanding debt. Bringing in a third party debt collection firm is also a good move toward ensuring that cash flow will go uninterrupted.

Omega-RMS offers collections solutions that keep medical practices in the black. Whether its accounts receivables management, early intercept recovery services or contingent collection services, Omega has flexible solutions that are a perfect match for the healthcare industry.

Collection Strategies That Are Customer Specific

Collections 14Almost every organization that extends credit to its consumers will experience delinquent accounts. These organizations, big and small, want swift and easy resolution to these delinquent accounts, which is not an easy task. By creating customer specific collection strategies, resolving delinquencies becomes a little less daunting.

It’s important for companies to treat their clients with respect and professionalism. All the work that goes in to establishing loyalty can be lost if a delinquent client is treated unfairly during collection attempts. Companies that are aware of this slippery slope will refuse to bring in collection strategies that involve a third party collection agency. However, many of these collection companies are using customer specific methods that help maintain loyalty and resolve debt.

Collection strategies that are customer specific are important for many reasons. Developing new clientele is time consuming and expensive, which is why it’s important to establish loyalty that keeps existing customers coming back for more. Furthermore, when existing customers show how they respond during times of economic difficulties, they’ve proven their value and should be dealt with on a customer specific level.

Customer-centric delinquency resolution can include analyzing data that offers more insight into a customer’s account behavior. Some debt collection specialists will use automated tools that help establish a list of clients at risk of becoming delinquent. Looking at credit history, assets and any liens, warrants or previous bankruptcies can alert a company to possible problems in the future and provide ideas for more customer specific strategies.

Most consumers have several bills that are due each month, from credit cards to utility bills. Making your company’s invoice a priority when it comes time to sit down and write the checks or make online payments is important. Even the best billing practices and incentives for early payment won’t entice some clients to keep their account from falling into delinquency. The solution that works involves bringing in a third party to help resolve these issues.

Collection agencies should handle your accounts with the type of professionalism they expect from you, so bringing on the right partner is important. They should also take a customer specific approach while offering you transparency into your accounts. When you follow your portfolio every step of the way, you’ll have constant assurance that the agency is doing everything they can to regain your financials while protecting the loyalty you’ve built up in your customer base.

Performance analytics are also a valuable tool that every collection agency should offer. Analytics offer clients a chance to make decisions based completely on facts, which is important when taking a customer specific approach. With state of the art technology and the right staff to take advantage of it, collection agencies can outperform any in-house attempt at collecting on delinquent accounts, especially those that have neglected your invoices for more than a month.

Omega-RMS has the experience and the tools to give its clients the customer specific solutions they need. As a member of the Association of Credit and Collection Professionals, Omega has also proven that it is a trustworthy collection agency that leads the way with professional collections.

Collection Solutions to Help Your Medical Practice Thrive Financially

Collections 1The medical industry is constantly in flux. New regulations replace the old. The way patients are treated has evolved, as has the way patients pay for your services. Unfortunately for medical practitioners, patients seem to have less responsibility when it comes time to pay for the care they’ve received.

As you know, operating a successful medical practice comes with a great deal of overhead, whether it’s from insurance, staff or medical equipment. These expenses get passed on to your patients, so when a group of them don’t pay, it negatively affects the cash flow.

Many patients are on insurance plans with high deductibles, which means they’re paying more out of pocket than ever before and getting into delinquency situations more often. You know how difficult it is to get payment from an insurance company, and you also know that it is from three to five times more difficult to get payment out of a patient. This means a solution is in order and one of the best is collection solutions that involve a reputable agency that will protect your brand as a healthcare provider while improving your cash flow.

When you’re providing care to your patients, you’re focused on getting them well or keeping them well. You know that around half of the time you’re prescribing courses of treatment, you won’t be aware of how much their insurance will cover and how much will be expected of them to pay out of pocket. Your Hippocratic oath does not include a responsibility to exam their financial situation, nor should it. However, you must have collection solutions set up if you want to stay financially viable as a practice.

There are a few ways you can start to ensure that your practice has some cushion when it comes to patient payments. First, your patients should know what’s expected of them when they first come through your door. Set the rules early and they are more likely to stay current on their payments. They should be informed early when their account will be sent to collections for non-payment. For many practices, 60 days of no payment equals a transfer to collections.

You need to determine what course of action you’ll take with that patient once they’ve been sent to collections. Will you continue to treat them or will they be informed up front that no further appointments will be accepted until the delinquent balance is collected? Every practice is different and every patient/doctor relationship is unique. However, establishing a rule of thumb for everyone provides the consistency your staff needs to enforce the rules so that everyone will follow them.

Collection solutions are not an easy item to tackle. If you’re struggling with cash flow or having your staff spend too much time dealing with delinquent accounts, partner with Omega-RMS, llc., where your accounts will get consistent treatment and your staff will be free of the burden of chasing down debt from your patients.