Mental health care is in greater demand than ever before. Thanks to increased awareness, reduced stigma, and a global pandemic in 2020, many therapists have more patients than they can handle. With increased patient load comes increased billing, and unfortunately, more unpaid invoices. While most practitioners collect their fees at the time of service, many issues can result in billing outside the time of the visit. Insurance changes and errors and cancellations are a few of the most common and most contested.
Challenges of Mental Health Care Collections
As with any other medical practice, most billing issues arise with insurance errors and additional fees that come up outside the time of the visit. If insurance coverage changes or denies a claim, the patient might be responsible for more of your fee than they expected. You may also have to bill clients if they don’t show up for an appointment or otherwise violate your cancellation policy. Because these types of bills are not required payment before the patient receives services, they are the most common bills to be disputed.
As a mental health professional, your duty is to your patients’ mental well-being. That can make collecting past due payments especially challenging. If you work independently, you may have to wear all the hats in your practice, from therapist to receptionist, and even bill collector. This can create a jarring experience for your clients, especially when there are disputes. If you work in a practice, the experience is a little different. Administrative staff typically are the ones to handle billing and disputes, but the client may still find the dispute to be disturbing. This could lead them to be uncomfortable and find another provider altogether.
Why Choose Professional Debt Collection?
Mental health practitioners often delay or refuse to place outstanding debts in collection. Often, they think keeping the debt in their office will maintain the patient’s trust and sense of loyalty. They also tend to think that handling collection themselves will be more cost effective than using an agency. However, research has shown that people are more likely to pay their debts when a collection agency takes over. Handling overdue accounts internally often costs more in time and productivity than you would spend on a professional collection agency. Additionally, outsourcing your outstanding debts will give you peace of mind and preserve your relationship with your ongoing clientele. Finally, recovery agents are familiar with collection laws in your state. This way, you can be sure not to make any legal errors that would compromise your ability to get paid.
Why Southwest Recovery Services?
Southwest Recovery Services has over 15 years of experience in debt collection and has spent years specializing in collection of medical debt. Our founder, Steven Dietz, has over 30 years of experience in debt collection, and has helped develop our unique collection style. We are especially qualified to handle mental health care collections because of our compassionate approach to collections. You can be assured that your patients will be treated with the same kindness and care that you would extend, while still confidently pursuing a resolution. Since we are a contingency collection agency, there is no risk to you when you outsource to us. We debit our fees only when the client pays. Give us a call today to learn how we can help your practice!