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You've tried to contact your patients many times already using various communication media like through email, voicemail, and personal mobile phone, and you have already dispatched a couple of notice for their past due to bills. But despite all your efforts to reach your patients, they still remain unresponsive. What shall you do next? If you have tried all these things already but to no avail, it is time for you seek help from a collection agency.
With a handful of options to choose from, sometimes picking which agency to work with can be quite confusing and daunting. To make it easier for you, we have here a few tips that can help you choose the right collection agency.
Check the license
Make sure that the collection agency has an active license and is authorized to operate within your locality as per state regulation. It is important to note that each state has its own laws that cover the operation of collection agencies. Also, check if the agency is insured and bonded. This will help keep you at ease.
Consider the agency's reputation
The collection agencies will collect the unpaid bills on your behalf and they will also be representing your practice. You don't want your dental practice to be stained by the negative feedbacks and other horror stories you hear from news about collection harassment which many agencies use to force debtors to pay their debts.
In this regard, you need to make sure that the agency has a good reputation and is definitely not the same as those you hear from the news. Ask around for feedback from their past and current clients.
Training and system
Ask the agency about the in-house tools and resources they have for their team as well as the detailed information on the collection process like how and when they will contact your patients. Also, ask the agency if they provide training programs for their team especially in handling stubborn debtors. You want the best team to represent your practice, right? If so, consider this information when picking a collection agency.
Trust account and financial audit
There are many collection agencies that use their clients as their source of capital. You surely don't want to be one of these types of clients, right? If so, then ask the agency if they can provide audited or reviewed financials and if they can set up an independent trust account for you where the collection from your patients will be placed. If the agency refuses, then move on to the next agency on your list.
Choose a collection company that can easily be reached through various communication media and not just through a phone call. You've got a hard time reaching your unresponsive patients and you surely don't want to work with an unresponsive collection agency, right?
Choose industry specific collection agencies
There are more than 5,000 collection agencies in the United States alone. Each of these agencies caters to different industries. Note that, different industries have different sets of regulations, laws, terminology, and standards when it comes to debt collection. A utility debt collector, for instance, may not be a perfect fit for your dental practice.
When choosing a collection agency, opt for the one with vast experience and knowledge about the ins and out of medical and dental debt collection.