Changes in the Industry

We have shared several articles on the prevalence and importance of cell phones in our billing and collection efforts in the past. Many of them focused on the ever changing legal challenges facing all of us as we try to resolve outstanding receivables. We wanted to readdress the topic because of the importance of getting valid contact information to use in the recovery process.

As we wrote in prior articles, 66% of Americans had a cell phone as far back as 2004. By 2010, as many as one in six American households had chosen to use cell phones instead of more traditional landlines and that trend continues to change in favor of cell phone use. The balance of cell phone versus landline use has changed so much in the past few years that it is hard to find accurate statistics to measure the true rate of households only utilizing cell phones at this time.

One thing however, is certain – the ability to contact customers by phone to recover money owed is a critical component to our success. Patient sentiment around use of cell phones is changing and asking for that information and permission to use it is becoming more accepted by patients. That said, as the regulatory environment continues to change the best thing we can all do is to capture consent at all points of contact with the patients. Getting our systems and patients agreements modified to carry the correct consent language and tracking that consent when obtained is the best way all of us can prepare.

At State Collection Service we continue to strive for efficient means by which to recover your receivables and in doing so feel there is more education that needs to take place with patients and within all of our processes and systems to gain and retain permission to contact patients on their cell phone. Should you desire more information on how to update your registration intake forms to obtain cell phone numbers and the consent to use them, please give us a call. If you are currently obtaining the information and consent, thank you, and keep up the good work – you’ll be glad you did.

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.

*This article first appeared in “A State Collection Service, Inc. Newsletter Volume 19, Issue 4, Fourth Quarter 2013”