Master Your Self Pay Collections Despite TCPA
If TCPA is not an acronym that you are conversant with yet—i.e., if it makes you crave TCBY frozen yogurt or if your mind strays to TGIF instead—keep reading. Simply stated, changes meant to protect patients from collectors and unsolicited callers are hurting the self pay collections process for healthcare facilities. But breathe easy—we’ll unveil the massive scope of the problem, but we’ll also show you exactly how you can alleviate your burden and risk.
What is TCPA, and why you should care?
The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) made a clarification in July of 2015 that has taken many healthcare providers back to doing business “like it’s 1980” when it comes to how patients are contacted.
The FCC Ruling
First, the ruling affirmed the term “auto-dialer” to mean any device that is capable of dialing numbers predictively and store numbers, even ones that aren't currently used. That description covers the dialing technology that most revenue cycle management partners (and a few healthcare providers who have invested in this type of technology) use across the US. Second, the burden to prove that patient consent has been granted lies with—you guessed it—the healthcare provider. Yes, you.
So, the new normal in our industry is that, in the absence of verified and recorded consent from the patient, you must manually dial (read: human interaction) any patient who is reached via mobile phone.
The language is plain: patients may no longer be auto-dialed on their mobile phones without consent.
The requirements of mobile phone consent for auto-dialing is immensely difficult and therefore overwhelming for most providers. The manual identification and maintenance of mobile numbers requires resources—time, money and usually additional employees, and puts the provider at risk of non-compliance. Further, at any given time, a patient may revoke consent, which may leave the provider unable to communicate with the patient verbally.
Asking a patient at the time of pre-access what for a primary phone number just isn’t enough anymore. Providers must identify the type of phone number provided to stay in compliance.
In order to comply, a revenue cycle host billing system should have separately identifiable fields to track mobile vs. landline and consent vs. revocation, and all of this information must pass to any third party who uses the information to establish patient contact.
If you’re left wondering how to tackle this large-scope dilemma, outsourcing to a firm like MediRevv who has invested heavily already in patient segmentation technology, will minimize your risk and maximize your results in volume of successful, legal patient connections so that conversations regarding self pay collections can continue.
Patient-centric tactics have always been our priority and specialty at MediRevv, and compliance with TCPA is one we take seriously. MediRevv protects a healthcare provider's facility from legal implications and the stress of remaining compliant. We’ve increased efficiency and compliance by partnering with eBureau, an industry leader in data analytics, to distinguish mobile numbers from landlines. We do this as soon as the account comes to MediRevv and throughout the duration of the billing lifecycle, as eBureau provides us with continuous updates regarding identification and tracking.
Our distinctive compliance programming makes sure mobile phone numbers are driven to a compliant system on a platform that is separate from our auto dialer. We require that each outbound call to a mobile number has a representative manually dial through speed dialing or entering the 10-digit phone number. Our leading edge contact technology complies with the regulatory laws and has advanced features like screen pops, call recording, intelligent analytics, and rep activity status to ensure progress and keep the provider compliant. This system has the ability to determine different time zones and we can block certain areas to prevent calling too early or too late (that law is another acronym: GLBA.) Maximum attempt limits and single-point entry used to add patients to the "Do Not Call" list are also built in the system.
Using sophisticated propensity to pay tools, MediRevv creates a comprehensive strategy and approach for our clients when it comes to contacting the patient at the right time during the billing cycle to not only minimize manual efforts but increase patient satisfaction by eliminating unnecessary contacts.
The Bottom Line
MediRevv is compliant with the restrictions implemented by law to maximize self pay revenue collection on our client’s behalf through tools and strategies designed with TCPA restrictions in mind. We leverage all aspects of self pay tactics to design the best course of action that yields results with highly satisfied patients and maximized revenue.
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