Medical Debt Collection Agencies

by : Tristan Andrews

Medical or healthcare collection agents specialize in handling defaults of payment by persons availing healthcare. As the cost of healthcare is rising so are the defaults. There are various ways of paying for health care that a patient wants to avail of like through individual health plans, health maintenance organizations (HMO), corporate health plans etc. Because health care plans are complicated like part payment by the person availing health care and the rest by the third party healthcare service provider and various categories of the same, collection of overdues require special agencies for doing the job. Also it allows health care providers like doctors and hospitals to focus on their job of providing health care and frees them from the burden of pursuing defaults.

Health plans are offered under all sorts of hues and variations like co payment by the patients, deductibles, reimbursement of certain non medical expenses etc. There are also various other minute details involved that might not have been clear to the subscribers before the availing medical care. Because of these reasons, a patient might have exceeded the permissible limits. The medical collection agent becomes the fourth member along with the patient, the doctor and the third party health care provider involved in this maze of reimbursement of medical costs.

The medical collection agency has to follow legal procedure to recover the unpaid amount of delinquent cases. It may have to investigate who is at fault before proceeding with the recovery. Consulting the health care service provider and getting the details of the case would be the first step. Contacting the third party healthcare provider is the next step to find out if the patient was a subscriber at the time of availing the benefit. Also whether the medical procedures were included in the plan or not and whether the patient had exceeded the permissible limits are also to be probed.

Medical collection agencies alo have to be very sensative to the medical practice's reputation. A lot of specialists get referrals from other doctors, and using a collection agency that is to abusive can actually hurt a physician's practice. After all, doctors are supposed to provide care. So a medical collection agency must be sensative to these issues.

Finally the medical collection agency has to target the patient or the third party health care provider or both as the case may be in order to recover the dues. In all cases the provisions of law like Fair Debt Collections Practices Act must be strictly adhered to.