How To Win Healthcare Outsourcing Business During COVID-19

How To Win Healthcare Outsourcing Business During COVID-19

In 2019, an article from NPR covered healthcare outsourcing for collections, the practice of hospitals suing patients and the financial strain it may cause. Since the pandemic, there have been several more news stories on healthcare collection tactics, bringing up the ethics of whether or not they should be taking place. 

Healthcare organizations care about the wellbeing of their patients. They must balance this, however, with the reality of collecting payments to keep operations running. If a patient has a bad experience while paying their bill, this can erode trust or lead them to find another provider. Dissatisfaction can also lead to negative reviews, costing them even more business in the future.   

These healthcare systems trust you to act as representatives who can collect from late-paying patients who may also be experiencing personal trauma or financial distress. It is your responsibility to collect with compassion and represent your clients with integrity.

How To Succeed in Healthcare Collections: Communication, Education and Empathy

Client Concerns About Collection

When choosing a debt collection agency, healthcare clients are looking for one with a positive reputation. They need to trust that your agents will practice empathy, will not cause unnecessary bad reviews and will work to provide the best payment solution, every time.

Aggressive Collection

Clients want your agency to be good at what you do but not at the expense of their reputation. If your agency is known for being harsh or has BBB complaints for harassing consumers, you may not be their first choice. When speaking to potential healthcare clients, consider showing them training materials or sample call scripts you give agents geared towards using positive language and improving call satisfaction: 

  • Practicing empathy during calls
  • Using validating language
  • Deescalation tactics
Payment Negotiation Tips for Accounts Receivable Teams

Poor Negotiation Training
While clients are concerned about maintaining relationships with patients, they also are looking for an agency that trains agents in proper payment negotiation tactics. Explain how you intend to deal with patients asking for long-term, low dollar recurring payment schedules. You may also discuss training practices for educating your staff on client-specific hardship programs or financial aid opportunities, so patients that qualify aren’t being burdened unnecessarily.

Show Clients You're Informed

Laws and regulations are always changing. Clients need to know your agency is up to date and can remain compliant no matter what. Updated policy and procedure processes and a strong compliance department are great assurances. Some collection compliance concerns health systems may worry about are:

  • HIPAA - HIPAA compliance (especially now that many call centers are operating remotely) is a serious concern for health systems. Be familiar with HIPAA compliance and choose software tools that reduce risk whether agents work on site or remotely.
  • PCI compliance - Healthcare systems that use your outsourced services for payment collection are trusting you to keep their patients’ sensitive payment data safe. 
  • CFPB new debt collection rule - Those outsourcing debt collection services depend on you to maintain the standards of the CFPB. Be prepared to comply when the new rule goes into effect.
  • State debt collection mandates - Many states have provided their own rules on debt collection during the pandemic. Make sure you are well-versed in all those that impact you and your clients.
Compliance Concerns for Outsourcing Healthcare Infographic
Click infographic to enlarge.
Share this image on your site.
<a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"><img src="" alt="Compliance Concerns for Outsourcing Healthcare" width=“400px" border="0"></a>

Strategies to Meet Client Expectations

Clients expect agencies to be proactive with new strategies that will produce high recoveries and low complaints. When looking for outsourced solutions, clients will pay higher fees for a white glove level of service if they feel confident you will deliver on your promises.

Collector Training
A solid training program can make all the difference in convincing clients you’re the right choice. Train your agents to strike the balance between overly empathetic calls that yield low recovery rates and aggressive interactions that spur patient complaints. If your training program could use a refresher, you can consult one of the many professional programs, like The Collection Advantage or The Collections Coach, to improve your operations.

Lean on Associations
Industry associations are a great way to access educational and current event resources that will boost your reputation. ACA International or its state chapters, RMAi, and others are just a few examples. When working in healthcare collections, you may also consider joining MGMA or other organizations that can help with medical collections, revenue cycle management tips and industry-specific regulations.

Invest in Technology

Technology can be used as a differentiating factor when looking to win healthcare outsourcing business. Taking advantage of software like PDCflow’s FLOW Technology, can set you apart from the competition. 

  • Immediate payments - Captures payments and authorizations immediately while consumers are still on the phone, allowing patients to privately enter payment information while agents stay in control of the call.
  • Increase engagement in the patient financial experience - Use the digital communication channels your patients prefer – email and text.

For more information on how FLOW Technology can reduce your risk, keep agents in control and help you maintain compliance, download the FLOW Technology for Healthcare Solution Brief.

Download the FLOW for healthcare Solution Brief:
Share this post!
Hannah Huerta - PDCflow Marketing Specialist
Hannah Huerta, Marketing Specialist

Hannah Huerta is a Marketing Specialist at PDCflow. She creates content for the accounts receivable and payment industry.

LinkedIn - Hannah Huerta

Related Articles
Managing Remote Staff in Healthcare Collections Long-Term
Transform Your Patient Collections with Technology