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Chicago — Jan. 15, 2014 – Led by the Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA) and ACA International (Association of Credit and Collection Professionals), an industry task force of healthcare providers, account resolution groups, and others have crafted new best practices for medical debt collection.
Healthcare leaders hope the best practices will be adopted throughout the healthcare industry, offering clear guidance on resolving financial obligations before, during, and after a patient visits a hospital or other healthcare setting. The best practices are designed to improve communication between patients and providers and standardize and better coordinate all business practices related to medical account resolution.
"These best practices provide a much-needed blueprint for hospitals, physicians, and our partners in account resolution to coordinate their activities in ways that respect and benefit patients," said Joseph J. Fifer, FHFMA, CPA, president and CEO of HFMA. "Patients want information that is timely, clear, and concise and deserve a consistent, fair process for resolving payment issues."
The best practices are designed to provide patients with a thorough understanding of what to expect during the payment and collection process. They call for developing consistent, coordinated policies for account resolution so collection agencies and others are governed by a provider’s board-approved policies; developing appropriate channels and best practices for patient communications and account resolution; reporting back to credit bureaus when accounts are resolved (in cases when an account is reported to a credit bureau); and tracking consumer complaints.
"Many consumers are struggling with medical bills today." ACA International CEO Pat Morris said. "These best practices are a balanced step forward for all of the stakeholders involved to better resolve patient medical accounts."
The best practices build on longstanding efforts by HFMA to ensure a common-sense, patient-centered approach to financial interactions, including the Patient Financial Communications Best Practices and Patient-Friendly Billing® project.
The Healthcare Financial Management Association is the nation's leading membership organization for healthcare financial management executives and leaders. More than 40,000 members consider HFMA a respected thought leader on top trends and issues facing the healthcare industry. HFMA members can be found in all areas of the healthcare system, including hospitals, managed care organizations, physician practices, accounting firms, and insurance companies. Learn more.
Haydn BushGYMR Public Relations(202) 745-5073
Publication Date: Wednesday, January 15, 2014
Tom Myers, chief strategy officer, The SSI Group, discusses the shifting payment environment and how it affects providers' patient access and claims management processes.
Jeff Chester, senior vice president and chief revenue officer at Availity, shares his thoughts on "Revenue Cycle 2.0" and how to best meet its challenges.
Mitch Morris, vice chair and global leader, healthcare, Deloitte, and Michael O'Rourke, senior vice president and chief information officer, Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI), share perspectives on the need for transformational IT in health care today.
Brian Kueppers, founder and CEO, Apex, discusses the importance of a robust patient payment strategy in boosting organization revenue and enhancing patient satisfaction.
Brian Grazzini, CFO, HealthPort, describes the importance of efficient and compliant information exchange and audit management in helping HIM staff spend less time on paperwork and more on mission-critical projects.
Cindy Matthews, executive vice president, Community Hospital Corporation, discusses how rural and community hospitals can use collaborative partnering to position for success through tough market conditions.
Rick Heise, senior vice president, revenue cycle, at Cerner Corporation, discusses the importance of integrating clinical and financial data to excel in health care’s changing payment environment.
Russ Graney, founder and CEO for Aidin, and John Laursen, head of business development for Aidin, share insights on how to improve care transitions between acute and post-acute care settings and incentivize high-quality patient outcomes.
Scott Elston, strategic accounts manager, GE Healthcare Services, describes how substantial cost reduction in health care requires rethinking business strategy and asset use.
Robert Williams, MD, director, Deloitte Consulting LLP, and Arielle Freiberger, product strategist, ConvergeHEALTH by Deloitte, explain how sophisticated retrospective, real-time, and predictive data analytics can inform decision making to reduce costs and improve care.
Stuart Hanson, director of business development (healthcare solutions) at Citi Retail Services, discusses how improving the payment experience can benefit consumers and healthcare providers.
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