3 Key Actions Medical Collection Agencies Should Avoid

by Phil C. Solomon on September 27, 2013

in Medical Collection Agency,Revenue Cycle Management

Medical Collection Agencies See a Reduction of FDCPA Lawsuits and a Rise in TCPA Suits

Medical Collection AgenciesThe use of text messaging is exploding. With the acceptance and use of smartphones, consumers have become accessible to product and service marketers who seek to contact them. Collection agencies have joined marketers who are pitching their message through smart phones. Collection agencies are getting stung by their actions.

In an effort to maintain consumer privacy in this age of open connectivity, Congress made significant changes to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 (TCPA) in order to protect consumers. The TCPA, a federal law enacted in 1991 to alleviate consumers and emergency service providers from intrusive and aggressive telemarketing (47 U.S.C. Section  227). The TCPA prohibits three categories of contact marketing communications without the prior express consent of the recipient:

  1. Non-emergency calls to wireless phones and devices (purportedly even non-commercial, informational calls and text messages)
  2. Artificial or pre-recorded calls to residential wire line subscribers
  3. Facsimile messages to fax machines, computers and other devices

The act permits a harmed “person or entity” to bring an action to recover monetary loss from such violations, and statutory penalties of $500 per violation, and up to $1,500 if the marketer or collection agency knew they were making willful violation.

According to InsideARM, an accounts receivable management news and information source, TCPA suits in August rose 15.4 percent from July and 72 percent compared to August 2012. Year-to-date, TCPA suits are up 65 percent.

As medical collection agencies are getting squeezed by reduced contingency fees and lower liquidation rates, they invariably are searching for ways to make up the gap in lost revenue. It is important to talk with your medical collection agency and make sure they are not using tactics which violate the TCPA law. It is better to be safe than sorry. Provider beware!

For more information, read the article on InsideARM.

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Phil C. Solomon is a healthcare finance and revenue cycle sales executive and marketing strategist with experience spanning two decades. Phil has expertise in revenue cycle management, healthcare technology and business process outsourcing (BPO). He is the publisher of Revenue Cycle News, a healthcare revenue cycle blog and is a featured speaker at many HFMANAHAM and AAHAM healthcare educational conferences.

 

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