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Archive for April, 2009

Massachusetts Collections Laws Info

Tuesday, April 28th, 2009

209 CMR 18.00: Conduct Of The Business Of Debt Collectors and Loan Servicers

Click on the link below for complete information from the Massachusetts Division Of Banks:

http://tinyurl.com/cna8zk

Dental and Medical Collection Legal Guidelines

Tuesday, April 28th, 2009

By Steve Austin

Every medical and dental practice has to deal with patients who do not pay. If it doesn’t deal with such patients, the costs will simply be passed on to other patients - the practice may simply suffer or fold.

Yet the very real dental and medical collection laws issues mean you should think carefully before reminding your patients to pay up. In the end, you may very well be better off outsourcing your medical or dental accounts receivables to one of the new medical and dental collection agency/accounts payable processing centers.

According to the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA), your medical or dental billing notices fall under essentially the same regulations as a mega-bank’s car loan collections.

Real-World Medical and Dental Debt Collection Law Quandaries
Anne, a secretary at Westville Orthopedic Associates, calls up a patient who just turned 18, to remind him of an outstanding copayment. The patient’s mother answers the telephone. Should Anne:

1} Take the issue of the co-payment up with the patient’s mother?

2} Leave a message with the patient’s mother to remind the patient of the outstanding co-payment?

3} Leave a message for the patient to call the Westville Orthopedic Associates back?

4} Say she will call back later and quickly hang up?

All but one of the four options above will be a violation of federal debt collections law. Can you guess which one? The correct course of action is option number 3. Why are the others illegal? Look at each of the options above:

1] It is illegal to disclose a debt to a third party.

2] See number one; remember that messages regarding a debt are essentially disclosures to a third party.

3] This is the only suitable course of action.

4] The FDCPA requires all creditors to identify themselves when making a call. While you can’t say what you are calling about, you must say the name of your business before hanging up.

Not ready for your medical or dental practice to become a law practice? You can get around medical and dental collection laws matters by outsourcing the entire job to a professional medical or dental accounts receivable processor or medical collection agency. This option also has the benefit of saving your staff a lot of work. After all, not only is your medical or dental practice not a law practice, it’s not an accounts department, either.

If you want to learn Collection Laws, then visit http://www.debt-collection-laws.com for the latest information on debt collection laws and collection agency regulation.

HFMA Region 1 2009 Conference

Tuesday, April 28th, 2009

Join us at Mohegan Sun Casino in Ledyard, CT for the Eighth Annual Healthcare Conference, May 12-13!  Please stop by our booth to say hello and learn more about ARS and how we can assist with your bad debt collections efforts.

For more info:  http://www.hfma.org/

The Fair Debt Collections Practices Act

Tuesday, April 28th, 2009

THE FAIR DEBT COLLECTION PRACTICES ACT

As amended by Pub. L. 109-351, §§ 801-02, 120 Stat. 1966 (2006)

As a public service, the staff of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has prepared the following complete text of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), 15 U.S.C. §§ 1692-1692p.

Please note that the format of the text differs in minor ways from the U.S. Code and West’s U.S. Code Annotated. For example, this version uses FDCPA section numbers in the headings. In addition, the relevant U.S. Code citation is included with each section heading. Although the staff has made every effort to transcribe the statutory material accurately, this compendium is intended as a convenience for the public and not a substitute for the text in the U.S. Code.

Click on the link below for the full article in PDF format:

http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/credit/cre27