Credit union members who are struggling to pay their loans can use a little extra compassion. Our CEO spoke to Credit Union Management magazine about CCMR3’s approach to compassionate collection, and why it’s important.
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Rethink your collection strategy: How a digital-first mentality can boost collections
Customer preferences evolve. Whether due to the development of new technologies or significant events such as the COVID-19 pandemic, consumers today prefer digital experiences over traditional communication methods like phone calls and letters. This extends to the collection industry. According to a McKinsey study on the customer experience of credit delinquency, customers prefer communicating digitally, primarily over email and then texting. However, despite this preference, many businesses and collection agencies haven’t adopted a digital-first approach—potentially impacting their collection rates and customer sentiment. Analyzing the current landscape of collections Many collection agencies see the usage of digital communications as a risk. They’re concerned about possible litigation. As such, many businesses have yet to implement them. However, through their establishment of Regulation F, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has laid out clear guidelines that help agencies to leverage digital channels (like email and text message), so long as they provide instructions to consumers on how to opt-out of future communications. Regulation F also puts new restrictions on collection practices that used to be allowed. For example, before this regulation, a collection agency could call a debtor as many times as they wanted between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. Now, a debt collector may call an individual seven times within seven days, but—after speaking with that person over the phone—the same debt collector isn’t allowed to call again for seven days. This change makes it impossible for debt collectors to operate like they did in the past. It also requires them to rethink their strategies to optimize revenue recovery. However, based on customer data, this realignment could be a positive opportunity. Evaluating consumer trends in repayment The same McKinsey report we mentioned above demonstrates that digital channels have a substantially better success rate for collecting payments than traditional contact methods. 58% of customers in the study made full or partial payments after getting an email 77% made payments after getting a text message 88% made payments after getting a push notification 92% made payments after seeing an online pop-up In comparison, only 48% of customers made full or partial payments after getting a phone call from a collector, and only 50% made payments after receiving a physical letter. Customers are clearly showing their preference for online transactions, and collection agencies have the opportunity to act on this data to decrease the accounts receivable for their clients. Choose a customer-centric partner that puts digital first Consumer preferences are already having an impact on the accounts receivable industry. Collection partners not prioritizing customer feedback are missing a big opportunity to positively impact the bottom lines and reputations of their clients. At CCMR3, we utilize a digital-first approach. Driven by data, we email and text our clients’ customers. CCMR3 leverages a full omni-channel communication strategy. We connect with customers based on their preferences, creating a uniquely positive experience built around empathy. Both in relation to consumer preferences and regulatory expectations, the collections environment continues to change dramatically. Our team moves quickly to stay ahead of shifts in the landscape—and we can help your business thrive by taking advantage of new technologies today.Read Article
Two Types of Collection Services—And How They Benefit Your Practice
As a healthcare provider, protecting your revenue cycle is critical, but your focus should be on serving your patients, not battling with insurance companies or working to track down earned revenue. Accounts Receivable Management partners can relieve this burden and provide a much-needed service not just for you, but for your patients as well. If you’re a provider looking to get away from the stress of managing your accounts receivable process, here’s a high-level breakdown of how a partner might be able to help. Determining the Right Approach Accounts Receivable Management partners work directly with healthcare providers on either a first or third-party basis, or both, depending on the specific needs of the practice. The goal for both approaches is to provide account resolution that protects your revenue cycle and your patient relationships. In First-Party Collections, the agency acts as an extension of your business office, operating under your name and brand when interacting with your patients. In this approach, the healthcare provider guides outreach to active patient accounts. Meanwhile, the revenue recovery partner works as a hybrid customer service support and debt collector. With this strategy, both parties must collaborate diligently to follow compliance and regulation guidelines. In Third-Party Collections, the agency operates independently from your office, using their name when interacting with patients on your behalf. Here, your practice has a more hands-off role, and the partner takes on full efforts for recovering revenue. This approach is typically for accounts more than 90 days past due and is often centered on recovering revenue than customer service. No matter what type of accounts receivable support you need, a good partner should work to protect your brand, and be a steward of the relationships you’ve built with your patients. They have a responsibility to offer guidance and resources that allow you to: Help patients navigate the murky waters of insurance, deductibles, and copays Assist qualifying patients in securing financial assistance from care providers or governmental resources Resolve any clinical or billing issues on behalf of the patient Educate patients on third-party payment solutions or payment plans offered by care providers Ensure care providers are credited appropriately for all insurance payments and adjustments Whether you are looking for a resource to supplement in-house collection efforts or looking to outsource this service altogether, the right agency should be able to work fluidly as a full-service partner to meet your needs. Understanding the different ways an Accounts Receivable Management partner can support your healthcare practice is the first step.Read Article
Mastering the First 30 Days of the Healthcare Revenue Cycle
For many healthcare practice owners, creating and maintaining a healthy revenue cycle is a major challenge. Balancing insurance billing and managing patient responsibility can be as stressful for staff as it is for payers–but it doesn’t have to be. Here are the steps you can take to set your practice up for success within the first 30 days of your revenue cycle: Streamline patient intake and data collection. First, ensure that all patient documentation has proper TCPA disclosures, and captures contact details like email addresses, cell, home, and work phone numbers, and place of employment. Completing all customer information and procedure consent before their procedure will make admittance easier and set internal or third-party accounts receivable partners up for success, should they be required. Establish a system for estimating patient responsibility. While many patients use insurance for their procedures, most will have out-of-pocket costs as well. Providing an estimate of financial responsibility before a procedure will help reduce patients’ pre-procedure anxiety. It will also help set you up to have a productive conversation about how they will pay for their portion. Ask for a full or down payment before the procedure. Requiring upfront payment rapidly expedites the revenue cycle and eliminates additional administrative costs in tracking down outstanding balances once the procedure has been completed. This also creates an opportunity for you to discuss payment options and resources available to help your patients get the care they need. Hone your billing process. If your practice prefers not to take payment at the time of service, you should be swift and diligent in billing patients after their procedures. Send the bill as soon as possible, utilizing an electronic system if possible. Set a regular cadence for communication, either through letters or e-statements, until the bill is paid. From an insurance perspective, be sure to review any denied claims so that you can improve your internal processes of charge capture, utilization review, and coding. Clean claims get paid out sooner, and streamlining your billing system can mean faster and more complete payouts for your practice. Find the right partner. There are a variety of partners you can work with to optimize your practice’s revenue cycle, but it’s important not to forget your accounts receivable solutions provider. Consider engaging with an agency that can provide first-party accounts receivable services, working under your name to recover revenue before accounts become delinquent. The sooner you connect with patients regarding their payment, the better your chances of recovery. If your staff doesn’t have the bandwidth to be as vigilant in pursuing accounts at the early stage in the billing cycle, your AR partner should be able to provide the support you need. Finding the right combination of outside support for your revenue cycle means more income for your practice, and more time for you and your staff to do what you do best: care for your patients.Read Article