HFMA works with credit professionals to improve patient collections

The Healthcare Financial Management Association created a joint effort with the Association of Credit and Collection Professionals to develop best practices for collecting medical debt, according to Forbes.

The HFMA and the collections lobby, which goes by ACA International, have been meeting since March to develop guidelines that would improve collections while preserving relationships with patients, Inside Patient Finance reported.

The proposals include providing patients up to 120 days to pay a bill before posting a negative report with the credit reporting agencies, reporting all payments to agencies and increasing the practice of point-of-service collections in the hospital.

Forbes suggested this last practice would continue to grow despite Chicago-based Accretive Health agreeing to withdraw from the Minnesota market for several years in response to overly aggressive collections practices at hospitals operated by Fairview Health in the Minneapolis area.

The HFMA announced the draft collection guidelines at its annual national institute conference in Orlando, Fla., last month, but has yet to release them in full.

To learn more:
- read the Forbes article
- check out the Inside Patient Finance article

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