Category Archives: Debt Collections

Bad Debt Collection Solutions for Healthcare Professionals

Medical Bills 3As most healthcare providers are noticing, patients are increasingly becoming more responsible for a greater share of their medical expenses. This has led to a startling number of debts going to bad debt collection. Fortunately, the debt collection industry is able to assist healthcare professionals in recovering these funds.

Most people wouldn’t consider cash flow to be an issue at the doctor’s office, but that is increasingly the case with practices that don’t have bad debt collection solutions at the ready. The problem lies in the fact that while many more Americans are getting covered with insurance plans, too many of them are taking on insurance with low premiums and high co-pays. To combat the problem, more practices like yours are taking steps to get in front of the late payment behavior and establishing some guidelines to keep patients out of trouble.

Counseling at the point of service and getting more insights into the financial situation of each and every patient is a good start. You can no longer bill patients the way you once did. Why? Because patients were once only responsible for paying about six to 10 percent of their medical bills; now it’s as high as 20 percent on average. This means that as an industry, there are billions of dollars at risk.

Healthcare revenue directors are getting more creative in their billing practices in an attempt to keep accounts current. The proactive approach to billing patients includes contacting patients up to a week or more prior to their office visit and using various tools to determine their ability to stay on top of what they owe. Some have gone as far as bringing in teams of financial counselors to keep the payment planning on the right course.

Today’s billing strategy involves a lot more one-on-one action. Personal attention like this breeds better results. However, practices that get overzealous with their customer contact can be walking a thin line that some patients will perceive as badgering, which can lead to official debt collection practice complaints. Most states have regulators that will come down harshly on practices for overly aggressive collection practices, which is why professionals best handle bad debt collection efforts.

Healthcare providers are trying to give patients more control as well as a greater understanding of the charges on their bill. Patient portals offer a more insightful look at what they’ve being billed for while office consultations spell out exactly what is covered by insurance and what isn’t. With a better understanding of the charges, the patient knows what they’re responsible for and when they should be sending in their payment. Many offices are asking for payment on the day of service as well.

When medical offices partner with Omega-RMS, llc., they’re getting a bad debt collection service with many solutions. Clients enjoy the reporting gateways provided by us. They also like the performance analytics, tools and resources they’ve grown to rely on in their debt recovery process. Check us out today and see how we can improve your cash flow.

Debt Collection Agencies Work to Improve Your Position

Collections 4Collection agencies are responsible for recouping billions of dollars every year to companies who were never compensated for their services. Organizations that once wrote off many, many dollars from past-due accounts suddenly get an infusion of cash due to the work of the collection agency with whom they partner.

The decision to bring a collection agency on board is not always an easy one. Perhaps you’ve struggled with this dilemma in the past? The worry is that your customer base will react negatively to the collection attempts, spread a bad word or two about your brand, thus destroying your public reputation. However, when you partner with a reputable collection agency, these fears are unfounded. So, what should you look for in a collection agency?

Some of the debt owed to you is partially to blame on your inaction. Debt collection agencies know that instant action is the best response, and because they’re experts in this field, they’ll know when to act on an account that shows all the signs of being a potential problem. You can’t wait 90 days before you start the recovery process and reputable agencies know this.

A good collection agency not only knows when to act but also how to act. The agency that protects your brands as well as your profits is one that knows the laws of every state and abides by them completely. Some agencies are licensed to practice in all states, which means any debt you have tied to a resident of that state can’t be pursued, so try only to partner with one that can be of service to you wherever your clients might reside.

Many companies try to work their debt recovery from an in-house department. While these attempts are noble in their effort to cut costs, it’s actually something that can cost them more money in the long run. In-house collection offices aren’t equipped with the hardware and software that you’ll find in a professional collection office. The employees aren’t trained as well either, which could land you in court should your employee make misguided attempts at collecting debt.

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act was not passed to make your life difficult, it was passed to protect the consumer. Reputable debt collection agencies embrace this Act because it weeds out the agencies that use unfair, illegal and unethical methods to get debtors to pay. In some cases, the people paying don’t even owe anything. A reputable agency will not only act fairly and ethically, it will do what it can to improve the public perception of the debt collection industry. In doing so, it will represent your company with its best foot forward.

Omega-RMS, llc., is a debt collection agency that trains its employees above and beyond what is required. We also have the latest hardware and software that allows us to track debtors down better than any in-house system you might have tried. To find out how our solutions match your needs, contact us today.

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.

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.

Debt Collection Industry Hears the Complaints of Customers

Mobile Phones 1Thanks to smartphones and tablet computers, society is constantly wired in to what’s going on around them. News sites let you create an email alert whenever your favorite topic gets a mention. Your Twitter feed is full of opinions from people you know and don’t know, and it’s all available in the palm of your hand. Whenever something negative happens to a customer, anyone connected with them through social media will immediately find out what happened.

This lightening-fast connection to one another is something many companies have a public relations strategy to handle when things go wrong. Just think about how damaging a complaint that goes viral can be for a company. In one instance, a United Airlines passenger had his $3,500 guitar broken by a careless baggage handler. United’s response to his complaints prompted the musician to make a video about his experience. It went viral and within four days of its release, United’s stock fell 10 percent, representing a $180 million loss to stockholders.

The message is clear: treat your valued customers like they mean something to you or you will experience the consequences.

The Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB) has made it easy for unhappy customers to make official complaints on its website. An item on the CFPB’s home page allows users to click on it and choose a product or service where they’ve experienced something negative. What’s in the top three most common products or services? Mortgage, debt collection and credit reporting top the list.

When submitting a complaint on debt collection, it can be about anything, from credit cards to mortgages and anything in between. Consumers are asked what type of debt they have that prompted the offending collection practice, what type of violation the collector made, a box where a full description of the event can be entered and another box where the offended party can state their desired resolution.

The database, as of early March, had hit more than 10,000 complaints, which averages out to around 200 complaints a week. Unfortunately, there are a few debt collection firms that have the expertise to do their jobs right, but for the sake of profits, push the boundaries of what’s ethical and what’s legal. In doing so, they hurt the image of the industry, which provides a vital piece of the puzzle for successful businesses. Yet there are reputable debt collection companies

Too many businesses are finding their growth potential hampered by late paying or non-paying customers. Reputable debt collection agencies offer these companies a service that allows them to get their money back while also keeping their public image in a positive light.

Organizations that are wary of debt collection agencies quickly have their opinions turned around when they partner with Omega-RMS, llc. Proper training, state-of-the-art hardware and software are what keeps Omega-RMS on top of what companies need to protect their brands while recouping losses.

FDPCA Enforcement Ensures You Can Trust in Reputable Companies Like Omega RMS Collections

Trust 1In an industry where trust is an issue, word from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) that it has increased its law enforcement action is welcomed from ethical debt collection firms.

Historically, the FTC delivers an annual report on the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) to Congress. However, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) recently took over the majority of the responsibilities outlined in the FDCPA. The FTC helped the CFPB prepare its first report, which included a letter delivered this week outlining its work on nine debt collection cases that occurred in 2013.

The FTC actually has a number of actions it can take to resolve issues related to debt collection violations, but is most effective by using consumer education, research and enforcement. The FTC said that since the recession, the most valuable tool they have is enforcement.

As an example of its enforcement proceedings, the FTC was able to stop illegal debt collection activities seven times in 2013 by obtaining court orders. The FTC also sent two cases to the Department of Justice. Restraining orders are also employed to halt the activities of potentially illegal debt collection operations.

Debt collection firms operating outside of the law can receive swift action. For instance, Asset & Capital Management Group and Goldman Schwartz Inc. each had their assets frozen and their operation was appointed to other firms as it went through court proceedings. Forensic Case Management Services, Inc., received some severe punishment from the FTC in the form of a lifetime ban from ever operating within the industry.

In a first of a kind move, the FTC took action against National Attorney Collection Services, In., for using text messages inappropriately for debt collection purposes. The Glendale, California based firm was ordered to pay $1 million in a settlement over federal violations.

NCO Group incurred civil penalties of $3.2 million after it violated the FDCPA last year. This marks the largest penalty ever levied against a third party debt collector. The violations included calling debtors multiple times a day, continued calls after requests to cease contact had been made, calling debtors at their work and leaving messages that disclosed information that is illegal to divulge.

It’s behavior like this that keeps business owners from seeking out the services of a debt collection agency. The fear among business owners is that when collections are brought into the mix, the customer base will react negatively and hurt the reputation of the company. A reputable company will treat debtors with respect, which helps to keep the brand of the company they represent in the good graces of the public.

Reputable debt collectors like Omega-RMS collections applaud swift action taken by the FTC. They work hard to satisfy clients by treating debtors ethically, professionally, responsibly and with respect. Omega-RMS collections works with clients to provide a meaningful and positive experience. It’s this approach to quality that has brought us to the front of the industry and recognized as a valuable member of the Association of Credit and Collection Professionals.

Debt Collection and Other Top Ways to Improve Cash Flow at Your Medical Office

Economy 4More medical practices are finding their patients’ out-of-pocket costs are going up, which means they’re not paying their medical bills in a timely matter. One of the reasons for this is the influx of more insurance plans that offer lower monthly premiums in return for higher deductibles and co-pays. How can your practice stay on top of this trend and keep patients current in their accounts?

Here are some tips to improve cash flow for your medical practice:

Timely invoicing and deposits

Maybe you’re not invoicing patients fast enough. It’s true that medical practices that bill their patients faster have a better payment rate than those that don’t. Perhaps your practice has to wait until the insurance company gets back to you on what they’ll cover and how much the patient will be responsible for? You should be tapping into the paying party’s system to get a better idea of what the deductibles are, which means you’ll have the information you need to bill them faster.

When the patient does pay you, don’t hold on to it for a week – deposit it as soon as possible. There are many banks that allow automated solutions that get money into your account faster. From lockbox services to remote deposit, banks are more willing to work with clients, including your medical practice.

Merge to one database

It’s quite common to find medical practices using different databases for claims and explanation of benefits. Your staff is using up valuable time to manually post the payments, claims and EOBs associated with reimbursements into different databases. However, they can now use one database to accomplish this. The solution is offered through back-office outsourcing software that some banks and other financial institutions offer.

Outsource your debt collection

As you continue to look for ways to better treat the health of your patients, you should also consider methods that can benefit the cash flow of your medical practice. Debt collection that brings a third party into the mix is one of those ideas.

An increasingly popular decision being made by medical offices is to partner with a professional, third party debt collection group that has the expertise to guide you through a process that can keep cash flowing. Your medical practices should consider a third party that can take some of that hassle off of your hands and free up your time for your patients.

Omega-RMS, llc. is a debt collection agency that has many tools at its disposal that can help your medical practice in many ways. You can’t afford to let unpaid medical debt go unnoticed. When you partner with us, you’re getting a team of professionals armed with knowledge, training, software and hardware that can do what your staff cannot.

At Omega, we’re dedicated to treating your patients with respect and professionalism, just as you do as you dedicate your expertise to improving their health.

Debt Collection Service: When to Send Your Medical Practice Accounts to a Third Party

When you decide to invest in software to automate your medical billing, it is usually because it makes financial sense and helps to smooth out office operations. Whether or not your office uses this kind of software, it’s important that your patients are billed promptly and correctly. Yet even when every effort has been made to bill on time and communicate payment expectations clearly, some accounts languish.

Slow and Stagnant Accounts
Some patients are slow to pay and others never make payment. It is important that your officeCollections 5 staff understands how to deal with these accounts since persistent and polite contact can help to keep the amount of unpaid debt your offices carries to a minimum. On the other hand, there is a reasonable point at which your staff should be redirected toward more immediate patient activity. That is the time to engage a reputable debt collection service.

A Better Approach
Hiring a debt collection service is not a hard-nosed move on the part of the doctor, rather it is a sound business practice much like hiring qualified staff or utilizing medical software. This is another way to keep the office fiscally strong and on solid financial footing.

Put a Policy in Place
Since making the decision to outsource to a third party can be difficult it’s wisest to have a standard policy on the matter. Most experts agree that 90 days is the dividing line between when your staff is likely to collect on delinquent accounts and when it is time to bring in outside help.

Your billing staff should be trained to spend the first 90 days making repeated contact with patients to remind them of their unpaid bill. Your staff should know how to balance cordiality with professional expectations during each contact. Keep in mind that every 30 days that the account continues unpaid, its value drops as much as 15 percent. After three months, statistics show that your chances of collecting begin to drop precipitously.

It’s About Confidence
When you’ve reached that watermark and it’s time to choose a third party debt collection service it can be hard to know whom to trust. It will require a bit of questioning on your end, but the peace of mind knowing you have the right partner is worth the effort.

Look for a company that understands the importance of patient retention. You want to close the debt gap, but you’d like to hold onto your patients at the same time. If you choose a service with proper licensure this is one sign that they will comply with the highest standards of professionalism and makes it more likely that patients will not leave as a result.

Ask the company how much experience they have working with medical practices. Ask about credentials. Ask how they plan to pursue your delinquent accounts in a way that is consistent with your valuable community reputation.

Turning to a third party for help collecting on delinquent accounts can be a tough decision. But, in fact, it is just one of many business decisions you make in your office all the time. With a little investigating on your part, you can feel confident that you’ve found a partner that will prove to be an asset to your medical practice. Omega-RMS has years of experience helping medical practices just like yours recover on languishing accounts. Give us a call today to see how we can get you started on the right path.

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.