Monthly Archives: April 2014

Collection Strategies That Keep Cash Flowing in Your Medical Practice

Collections 1With around half of consumers in the U.S. now enrolled in online bill payment, it’s obviously something people are not only comfortable doing, but have come to expect. However, regardless of how many payment methods you offer your clients, there will undoubtedly be a percentage that pay late or may not pay at all. What can you do to protect your business? Collection strategies are important.

There are several advantages to offering an online payment method to your patients. How important is it? An American Medical Association study revealed that half of the people who responded to its survey said that if their doctor refused to offer an online payment method, they would consider switching to another practice that did, it’s that important.

Yet effective collection strategies involve more than just offering an online service for paying medical bills. A high-functioning practice will have a front office that is well educated in the various tactics needed to help patients realize their financial responsibilities. It starts with making sure the patients’ insurance benefits are verified. Then, the patient must be informed what their co-pay will be and when it should be paid. Some offices will require the co-pay on the same day as the visit.

Not all patients have health insurance, which means your office will have to come to an agreement about exactly how much will be required of the patient per visit. Obviously, the best time to collect is when the patient is physically in the office, and most practices, as part of their collection strategies, make a point of pushing hard for a payment that day. The key to keeping the patient happy and the practice flush with cash is to make certain the patient is educated and isn’t presented with any surprises.

One of the biggest complaints doctors have is the number of third parties that are involved with their business. The insurance companies are the biggest problem, mostly because of the time it takes them to let the patient know what they’ll cover and what will be expected of the patient to pay out of pocket. This can be confusing for the patient, and they might not know exactly what is expected of them. Your front office staff needs to run through the terminology and make sure they know what deductible, co-insurance, co-pay and explanation of benefits actually means.

One of the fastest ways to lose track of a patient is to get lazy on updating the patients’ contact information. It is tedious, but it has to be done with every visit and should definitely be part of your collection strategies. When a patient moves, collection strategies can go out the window because future bills will go unseen, and if the patient changes their number, your attempts to collect via phone will also be fruitless.

Partnering with a debt collection specialist is something that intimidates many healthcare specialists, but it shouldn’t. Reputable collection specialists use collection strategies that keep the client’s best interests at heart. Omega RMS, llc., is a company that prides itself on customer service and collection strategies that work well with all parties involved. Call us today to find out how we can help you.

Collection Specialists Lend Hand to Medical Community

There is no doubt that the healthcare industry is going through some interesting times. Physicians with small to mid-sized medical practices are focused on providing the best care to their patients, but as the industry braces for change, the health of the business doesn’t always get the same treatment as the patients. In many cases, collection specialists can help keep cash flowing.

More and more patients are opting for cheaper insurance plans that lower their monthlyMedical Bills 2 premiums but raise their deductibles.  One of the challenges with this is co-pays are much higher under these bargain insurance plans, which means your patients who are opting in to these new plans might experience some sticker shock when it comes to their bill from you.

If your practice is like most, you don’t have a dedicated professional to help you fix the financial problems you experience. The one thing in your favor is that most cash flow issues only have a handful of sources so getting to the bottom of the problem may not be too difficult. Let’s take a look at some of the most common areas where cash flow issues crop up.

Examine Your Overhead Costs

First, take a look at your overhead costs. Have you hired too many staffers or have you invested too much in equipment that doesn’t get enough use?

Another area where overhead becomes an issue is within your inventory. When the “pantry” is too full of medical supplies that have the risk of dying on the shelf, consider taking a closer look at how you’re ordering supplies and make the appropriate changes.

One of the most common issues you’ll see at practices is services offered at a loss. Take close inspection of every penny that goes into every service you offer and you’ll see where you’re spending too much time and money without the proper return.

Do You Have a Cash Reserve?

The second problem for low cash flow for many small- to medium-sized practices like yours is an insufficient cash reserve. This means that when cash flow issues do crop up, you don’t have enough in your reserve to make your monthly bills or your payroll. This is probably more common in newer practices than it is in established ones, but adding capital to the reserves is a smart decision for businesses old and new

Managing Billing is Crucial

Finally, if you haven’t directed your staff on the appropriate measures to take in getting your patients to pay on time, you’re doing the greatest disservice of all to your practice. Getting your front office trained on prompt billing and updating patient contact information is very important in keeping a positive cash flow position.

Unfortunately, as hard as you work to keep your patients informed on what is expected of them financially, there will be a percentage that pay slow or refuse to pay at all. In these cases it’s wise to choose collection specialists who know exactly how to get patients to pay, but with an ethical and professional approach. Omega-RMS, llc. uses an innovative approach to receivables management and will partner with you in several ways, all of which will keep your cash flowing and your business growing.

Debt Collectors – Selecting One That Works For You

Collections 4With more than 5,000 debt collection companies from which to choose, you’ve got some research to do if you want to partner with the right one. Before you make a decision, consider a handful of guidelines to follow to help you find the one that’s right for you.

One thing to consider is your industry and looking for collectors that have worked within that industry. If you’re in the healthcare field, you wouldn’t necessarily want to work with a collector that deals with collections related to the automobile industry. You can significantly reduce the field of finalists by simply choosing collectors who have experience with or deal exclusively with your industry.

Your decision to take on a debt collection agency to help you regain some of your receivables probably didn’t come easy. There is a stigmatism hanging over the collection industry, which is caused by collectors that don’t comply with rules and regulations that control how debt is collected. For this reason, you need to make certain that your finalists have clean records. You don’t want a disreputable agency to get anywhere near your clients.

You probably want to keep costs in mind, but if you’re simply shooting at the lowest bidders, you’ll get what you pay for. This doesn’t mean that the most expensive agencies are the best, but it pays to choose reputable collectors over the ones that save you money.

While you’re checking into the background of the collectors, look to see that they are fully licensed and can operate in each and every state. Also, make sure they’re bonded and insured. This protects your company should anything go wrong in the collections process.

Look at the age of your debt. If you have collections that are beyond 90 days late, you’ll need a agency on your side that can handle older debt as opposed to receivables that are only a couple of weeks late. These agencies operate differently and you’ll probably pay more for the one that can collect on really old debt.

Not all collectors are created equal. Some will only want to talk to you on very rare occasions, which might be fine if everything is going smoothly. However, most companies want to have an open line of communication with their collectors. Interviewing the firm will provide you with the type of communication you’ll be getting once you partner up.

Ask for audited financials. Leave no stone unturned when it comes to this part of the selection process because you don’t want an agency that uses its clients as its main source of capital; an audit will reveal this to you.

Omega-RMS, llc. has the kind of reputation that keeps companies coming back to them year after year for their collection needs. As a member of the Association of Credit and Collection Professionals, we are more than capable of representing you when we reach out to your clients to collect on debt. The mark of a good agency is one that makes the transaction positive for all parties involved, which is what Omega strives to do.

4 Things to Consider When Hiring a Debt Collection Agency

It’s not without trepidation that many companies finally make the decision to bring a collectionDebt 7 agency in to help with their unclaimed receivables. The fear is that the company’s client base will react negatively to the attempts of the debt collector to make arrangements for payment. These fears are usually unfounded, but it would do you well to consider some of these tips when you start your search for a debt collection agency.

1. Choose an Agency That Will Represent Your Interests
When the debt collection agency assumes your debt or works on commission from the debt they are able to reclaim, they are acting on your behalf and should be treating your clients in such a way that they will want to keep doing business with you. When a debt collection agency acts as an extension of your business, they are ensuring that your clients will not be motivated to spread bad feedback about you on social media, which is something that happens when a debt collection agency uses tactics that are less than ethical. This is probably your biggest worry, and it should be. Look into their collection processes and determine if their treatment of debtors matches your expectations.

2.  Choose an Experienced Debt Collection Agency
If you’ve done your research, you’ll have picked a debt collection agency that has been around for many years and has a clean record. If you choose a new group to assist you in collecting debt, you will have no idea if their personnel are trained to listen to your clients and then act accordingly. They might have a business model that includes tactics that focus on strong-arming the debtors, which will eventually result in negative feedback for you and lawsuits for the new debt collection agency.

3. Do Your Homework on Your List of Finalists
You’re looking not only for an agency that has kept itself out of court, but an agency that has the reputation for providing an excellent service and ability to please everyone involved. An agency can reach this status if they take the time to study the debt associated with each account that they are going after. For instance, the agency must understand all the details behind each account, how that debtor relates to your business and how debt will be collected.

4. Unlicensed and Uninsured Need Not Apply
Your debtors might be scattered throughout the U.S. If this is the case, there is no need to consider any debt collection agency that isn’t licensed to practice in all 50 states. Also, only choose a debt collection agency that has insurance that includes an errors and omissions liability policy. This will protect you should anything go wrong.

If you shop long enough, you’ll run across the stellar performance reviews of Omega-RMS, llc., a company that offer a variety of services to its clients. At Omega, we have developed a reputation for working well with debtors and have years of experience in quality debt collection services.

Collection Solutions Top the List for Solving Revenue Cycle Issues

Debt 8Regardless of what your industry is, the way you handle your revenue cycle management can be the difference between a successful business and one that is struggling with cash flow issues.

If you’re in the medical industry, operating a successful practice, in your eyes, has always been about providing the best quality care you can give your patients. However, if you’re not experienced in revenue cycle management or have an office manager who is, you’re probably not going to have a very easy time regulating your cash flow. This can happen due to many factors, the biggest of which is patients who refuse to pay you. If this is the case with your practice, consider bringing in a professional that provides collection services.

Do you have a person on staff that is knowledgeable in coding? If you don’t, you’ll likely get short-changed to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars. The coding person is only one piece of the puzzle, though. Every member of your office should know exactly what they’re there to do, and be trained accordingly.

You might have to invest in some hardware and software to make sure everything is running as efficiently as possible. This would include bringing card scanners into the mix because they can help in your billing automation goals. Most of these hardware and software services will come with training provided, so you’ll know you’ll get a return on your investment.

If you are like other physicians who are fully committed to their patients and lose track of their finances, you’ll also be like them in that you’re probably seeing a 20 percent loss in your business. Maybe you’re invested in the revenue cycle management automation process, but you haven’t effectively communicated what’s expected of your staff after you implement the new technology. Meeting with your office staff at least once every two weeks will help you stay on top of what is happening with your finances and what’s expected of your staff.

Have you mastered the workflow? If not, you really need to consider what you can do to create more effective workflow consistency. You need to know how many staffers to have in the office depending on the amount of patients that are coming in on that day. This can be assisted through tools that help you streamline this process, but it should also be something your office manager has some control over.

When you believe you’ve got your revenue cycle dialed in perfectly but are seeing some issues regarding receivables, consider partnering with a third party to help you collect on debt. In some cases, these debt collection companies will purchase your receivables, which means you’ll get your money and leave all the paperwork to the third party. Collection solutions aren’t your specialty, so leave it up to the professionals.

Omega-RMS, llc., is a company that offers many services to several industries, including collection services for the medical industry. When you’ve done everything you can do to train your staff and run a tight ship, leave it up to us to handle all the loose ends with our excellent collection services.

Debt Collection Agencies Respond to Consumer Concerns

Nobody likes being contacted by a debt collector, and it’s pretty easy to figure out why. Getting behind on bills and playing catch-up often means having to scrimp elsewhere on the budget as amends are made. According to complaints filed by consumers, it’s not the way debt collection agencies are conducting business that is upsetting them; it’s the simple act of the industry doing its job.

Debt 9For a debt collection agency to stay in business, they have to operate within the rules and regulations outlined in the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA). The FDCPA was created to protect consumers from unfair practices that embarrass, harass or unfairly reclaim debt. When a debt collector operates outside the rules, it damages the reputation of the industry and leads to that agency losing its license.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has been taking complaints from consumers regarding the debt collection industry since July of last year. ACA International, a group made up of the best debt collection agencies in the world, looks at these reports on a quarterly basis. The ACA determines if the complaints are a result of actual infractions of the FDCPA or just annoyed debtors airing their frustration.

With more than 30,000 complaints from which to review, the ACA has apparently found the biggest motivating factor leading to a complaint rarely involves an actual infraction of the FDCPA. According to an ACA news release, most complaints are the result of the consumer not liking being contacted by a collection agency. Despite these complaints, debt collection agencies provide a vital service that results in reclaiming billions of dollars for businesses, dollars that might not otherwise be captured.

According to the ACA, 96 percent of the complaints were responded to within the timeframe the CFPB had established. Around 94 percent of those complaints were resolved, which means the ACA is doing its part in addressing the issues that consumers seem to be concerned with.

Reputable debt collection agencies want to be treated fairly, but they also applaud the efforts by the CFPB in doing what it can bring to light the issues that some agencies are causing. The debt collection industry doesn’t exactly have the best reputation, some of which is just part of the nature of the industry, but it is also affected by disreputable agencies that use unfair and illegal tactics to get money out of consumers.

Reputable agencies want you to know that if you are a business that is looking to partner with a debt collector, they will never ask for payments on debt that hasn’t been verified. Furthermore, reputable agencies will gladly show any record of complaints that have been filed with the CFPB, most of which will show that there was never anything more than consumer frustration that lead to the complaint rather than unfair practices on the part of the debt collection agency.

Omega-RMS, llc., has done its part over the years in helping to keep the public opinion of debt collection agencies in a better place. At Omega, we offer the personalized services that keep your clients happy while showing you a positive return that will put you in a better cash position. If you’ve got too many debtors that are resisting their responsibility to pay you back, bring us in to work out arrangements that will be sure to keep you in the good graces of your customer base.

Omega-RMS: Steps Medical Practices Can Take When Patients Don’t Pay

Collections 2Few things are more difficult than asking someone for money, even when they’ve gotten behind on their payments. Health concerns remain the same, even during an economic meltdown that has depleted the savings of many Americans, making it more difficult for them to stay current on payments for their ongoing medical needs. What can your practice do to keep your patients healthy while maintaining your cash position?

Consumers are searching for options that allow them to claw their way back to where they were before the recession. One way they’ve cut costs is to cut corners. When it comes to health insurance, everybody wants to be covered, but the extent of that coverage has been compromised lately. In order to save money, more Americans are choosing health insurance plans that have higher deductibles and higher co-pays. In return they get lower monthly premiums. Unfortunately, many people don’t find out how difficult it is to keep up on their medical bills under these new and cheaper plans until the bills mount up.

Some patients simply don’t understand the insurance/co-pay process, which means your staff has to be armed with not only the right information, but also the training to patiently deal with people who don’t understand and might be a little bit agitated as they find themselves in a bigger hole than they think they deserve. One effective method of communicating with patients is to make it clear that when they elect not to stay current on their co-payments, they are violating their agreement with their insurance group.

Of course, there will be patients who say they can’t pay, regardless of how small the bill might be. They’ll have a variety of reasons, sometimes it’s a simple matter of they forgot their checkbook. To circumvent a situation like this, offer them pre-addressed envelopes that are also stamped. If your medical practice does this, you will likely see a 90-plus percent return rate.

You need to have your payment policies in writing, which is a strategy that many practices use to avoid difficulties with patients. New patients should be required to read the policy and sign it, leaving no doubt that they are knowledgeable about what’s expected of them. Consider a policy that requires a minimum payment for service when they enter the office on their next visit.

At some point, you will want to take action against patients who continually disrespect your staff’s attempts at arranging payments. Your practice cannot thrive if you’re giving away your services to patients who refuse to own up to their responsibilities. One way to take action is to call Omega-RMS.

Partnering with a debt collection professional is what most successful medical practices have done to keep their unpaid debt from becoming unreasonable. Some medical practices will sell their receivables to the debt collector, which gives them the authority to chase down the bad debt but gets you paid immediately.

Companies like Omega-RMS, llc., offer accounts receivable management, early intercept recovery and contingent collection services that allow your staff more time to focus on the welfare of your patients and less about haggling over debt. With Omega RMS on your side, we will respect your patients while working out a repayment plan that will benefit you and them. Call Omega RMS today and see how our services fit with your practice.

Medical Practices Working to Collect on Delinquent Accounts With Changing Payer Tactics

The recent changes in healthcare have affected many across America. For the insurance companies that have opted in to the insurance exchanges money has been lost because enrollments have been low. Companies that opted out of the exchange have also lost money because they have had to drop clients from enrollment. This has a trickle-down effect that will impact your medical practice.

Insurance companies are looking for ways to recoup their losses. One way they do this is to hold on to their money longer so they can earn more interest. You probably expect your insurance companies to pay you within 15 or 20 days. That is likely going to change soon and you’ll probably have to call them to ask for your money before it is released to you.

The networks that insurance companies create are getting much more narrow. This meansMedical Bills 1 patients are going to have a difficult time finding providers in their network. It’s possible that some of your patients who come to you because you’re in their network will find themselves in a different situation soon. Narrowing networks could push you out, which means your patients will have more out-of-pocket costs if they stay with you. Deductibles and premiums are also going up, which means the potential for a higher percentage of delinquent accounts is very real.

In order to find more areas of revenue, insurance companies have begun to hire auditors to review claims. If they find something amiss, they’ll come after that money they gave you. You’ll have to pay it back, even if it’s pennies, and you’ll have to relay this to the patient who suddenly has more out-of-pocket costs that you need to collect. This is another problem area that is expected to create more delinquent accounts.

Like any business, you rely on positive cash flow to not only keep the business afloat, but to experience some growth potential. The changes in the healthcare industry are creating a perfect storm for cash flow disruption. Your ability to make payroll, pay monthly expenses and invest in your practice will be hampered. You’ll also be spending more time and money on administrative expenses related to tracking down debt.

The fear is that you’ll be spending more to track down that old debt than you’ll get in return. There are several tweaks you can make to your billing procedure that will help collect from potentially slow-paying patients, but bringing in a professional debt collection company is a scenario that ultimately pays for itself and then some.

Your patients come to you seeking help with their medical issues and you do everything you can to keep them healthy or cure them of their ailments. Your expertise isn’t in delinquent account collections. By bringing in a third party, you’re freeing up your staff’s day to focus on healthcare instead of debt collection.

Omega-RMS, llc. has many years of experience in assisting companies from many industries with their delinquent accounts. Let us work with your open invoices and bring your debt load to more reasonable levels. Medical practices that have teamed with us find their cash position in a much healthier place soon after we begin delivering our services.