A Continuing Commitment to Quality
In 2001, State Collection Service made a commitment to establish a meaningful quality assurance program. In making the commitment, we worked in conjunction with the Association of Credit and Collection Professionals (ACA) to establish the Professional Practices Management System (PPMS). State Collection Service became, in 2001, the third agency in the world to obtain the PPMS certification and has attained re-certification every year since that time.
This year’s internal audit was recently completed and we were notified on June 7, 2012 that we met all the requirements for continued verification. Since PPMS certification is important to us, we want to share with you the commitment required to obtain certification.
At a high level, PPMS certification involves auditing, training, logging and tracking of issues, management review and submission of evidence of all of these items to an independent accounting firm for review. On another level, the certification process is actually a daily activity, requiring a commitment by all State Collection Service employees to actively work within and abide by our processes and business practices. Each employee is responsible for maintaining a high standard of quality on a day-to-day basis. In addition, each employee is responsible for informing management and others of any issues that do not meet those standards and to review practices to take advantage of continuous improvement opportunities. We want to ensure that all client issues are handled promptly and effectively, that all internal processes are working as planned, that proper training is occurring and tracked, and that all technical support issues are addressed. All these types of issues are logged and tracked by us daily.
As mentioned, PPMS certification requires a routine audit of all our processes and business practices. The audits are performed internally on an annual basis and externally on a regular basis. The annual audit involves employees from all departments and various levels of the company. The audits occurred this year over the course of four months. This year, 18 diligent individuals performed audits of 56 written procedures.
Each auditor is responsible for reviewing the procedure being audited and determining whether the procedure is being followed. The auditor is given the authority to ask any and all questions and review all documents necessary to complete a thorough audit. Once completed, the auditor determines whether the audit was satisfactory, needs improvement or is unsatisfactory. Any procedure that is determined to be unsatisfactory by the auditor is logged into our PPMS software. After it is logged, the fixes are made and a re-audit is performed to ensure that the procedure is being followed.
In addition to performing the audit, annual training is required in order to obtain certification. The annual training provided to each employee includes such topics as: the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, Fair Credit Reporting Act, Security Awareness and ACA’s Code of Ethics. Management is also provided with a legal review, a security review and an update on disaster planning.
Alongside the audit and training detail, we provide a log of all client issues, non-conformities and continuous improvements handled during the certification year to the independent accounting firm reviewing our certification documents. It is important in submitting these logs to ensure that all issues opened are appropriately tracked and handled.
Finally, we submit evidence that management is tracking the necessary and appropriate measurements to ensure that State Collection Service is meeting our internal standards and therefore meeting our commitment to our clients to provide service that is second to none.
We believe it is important to have both internal and external review in order to improve our procedures and business practices. We are pleased to continue to participate in ACA’s PPMS certification process for that reason and welcome any questions you may have concerning PPMS.
About State Collection Service, Inc.
Since 1949, State Collection Service has provided quality collection service to countless healthcare organizations.
Through experience and innovation, State Collection Service has grown to become a tremendously credible and nationally-recognized collection agency offering services from pre-registration to bad debt. It is upon the basis of ethical behavior and a dedication to integrity that each State Collection Service employee works to uphold the company’s vision – Partnerships for a Lifetime.