When a debt collection calls to discuss overdue payments on medical bills, people might ignore the situation. Most of the time, they think this will eventually go. However, you must keep in mind that ignoring the problem only worsens things. Moreover, it can have a severe and negative impact on your credit rating and the ability to secure things like a mortgage or financing on a car later on.
It’s best to deal with the issue as quickly as possible, depending on an individual’s financial situation. Moreover, you can now negotiate flexible payment terms or even dispute the medical bill.
In this blog, we’ll focus on what a debtor can do if there’s a call from a healthcare debt collection agency.
Nobody enjoys receiving calls from collectors. However, the first step in dealing with a collection call is to quickly answer the phone or at least listen to the voicemail. If speaking with someone from debt collections, it’s vital to gather as much information as possible before agreeing to pay back medical debt.
Some queries include,
- Who is the debt for?
- Name of a specific contact person
- Name and contact information for the collection agency
- The amount owed
- Possibility to negotiate terms or dispute the debt
Negotiation of Disputing the debt
As per the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, more people contacted about debt said they were given incorrect information. If that occurs, it’s best to write down everything, including the bill in question and the name and address of the original creditor if the debt got transferred to another company.
If you wish to dispute the bill, request the appropriate mailing address for them, as they often request that any dispute be sent to them in writing. Now, the law dictates that they must pause their collection efforts for a period of time in order to investigate the dispute.
If the debt is legitimate, it’s best to contact the healthcare debt collection, especially when determining whether a repayment plan is available. Besides, revenue cycle management services can help you get the bill paid. In addition, they can often have suggestions that make it possible for you to pay in installments.
Debt collection rights
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act was passed back in 1978. As a result, it’s illegal for a collection firm to harass, abuse, and decisive debtors they contact. So when you get a call from a professional service provider, you’ll be speaking with someone who’s customer-oriented and willing to listen.
Collecting payment from those who fall behind in their bills is generally the same across most industries. However, healthcare debt collection can be pretty complex. As a result, most consumers spend a lot of time trying to avoid it.
Here are some tips for handling collections in healthcare:
- Empathize for patient experience
While the goal here is to help people, you need to ensure that your staff gets paid. You must hold on to empathy and assume patients want to pay. The key to establishing a connection is by providing a great experience. More often than not, people want to share their situations.
- Leverage technology
Healthcare debt collection agencies use tools to make sure team members treat patients with respect. So while you can champion the right attitude in the team, you’ll want to confirm that message is sinking in.
Debt collection is a complex topic. First, you need to ensure there’s a win-win situation. You must find ways to establish a realistic payment plan if payment is in full.