I'm trying to figure out the best method for accounts that have been sent to collections. After marking a patients account that has been sent to collections how do people typically proceed with the outstanding balance. Should it be marked as balance uncollectible? Or is there any particular code used when sending an account balance to collections? I would preferably like to keep that amount separate from any future charges incurred, if we do end up seeing that patient again.
Thanks for any advice!
In our office, if an account is in collections we won't schedule the patients on the account until the balance is paid. We do have a few exceptions, but those are rare.
In our office we mark patients that have been sent to collections inactive. They have the used codes I and C. Also it is marked in the transaction history that the balance was sent to collections. We do not schedule those patients until the balance is paid.
We place a CL on the Account Screen and hit apply that to all patients within the account. We do not mark them Inactive until the balance is paid in full, the patient is deceased etc. When AR reports are run exclude CL for current AR totals and include CL for overall debt to practice. Marking accounts Inactive is not such a harmful thing in respect to collection type of accounts, obviously, this would eliminate them from receiving recall notices and the like. However, this could be problematic for certain reports if only inactive status was applied.
Additionally, and respectfully, I would discourage scheduling a patient with an active collections debt to your practice, unless perhaps they are paying in full with cash prior to appointment.
We also add a code for when the account was turned over to collection, mark account and patients with the C and also make a team talk for the account and each patient. Covers all the bases.