In the midst of constantly evolving regulations in the healthcare industry it can be difficult to keep up with changes that are not industry-specific. Through the blur of new issues arising from the Affordable Care Act, HIPAA concerns from constant data breaches, and the shift to ICD 10, the FCC's new declaratory ruling on the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) has gone largely unnoticed in healthcare organizations.
Many operators in the accounts receivable management (ARM) industry have been tying down their operations to brace for the hurricane force winds of change that have pummeled the industry in recent years. 2014 proved to be a continuation of new perspectives, regulatory turmoil, increased litigation by the consumer bar and internal office modifications as we look for common ground, understanding and agreement of how our industry should perform our services.
If you talk to any hospital revenue cycle executive, they will tell you the extreme importance of having a strong relationship with an ethical and compliant collection vendor. After all, it is the money collected that keeps the hospital in business. However, medical collections have always been a little bit different than other debt collections. Most people do not plan to go to the hospital, they find themselves there unexpectedly. After the illness or injury that landed them there, they enter an extremely confusing world of EOBs, deductibles, co-pays, per diems, capitated rates, and many other terms they do not understand. It has always been important for hospitals to choose vendors who understand these dynamics. However, in the face of non-profit healthcare collection reform under 501(r), it is even more important for hospitals to make sure their collection vendors are set up to comply with the new regulations.