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Qualities of an Effective Collector

August 11, 2022
Qualities of an Effective Collector August 11, 2022

Debt collectors are professionals who contact individuals with outstanding debt on behalf of the organization to which they owe the money. An effective collector, in any industry, must possess specific qualities that set them apart from most other customer-facing representatives. In particular, healthcare debt collectors are obliged to approach their work differently from collectors in other industries. Due to the nature of medical debt, these professionals are expected to approach their work with increased sensitivity to each debtor’s particular situation, as healthcare debt is almost never a debt of choice.

Qualities of an effective collector

To improve in this particular field, these professionals can adopt specific qualities that will help them become more effective collectors. Here are some qualities that they may develop:

Empathy

As a healthcare debt collector, it’s important to have empathy for the individuals they’re contacting. Often, the patient may have circumstances that affect their ability to pay their outstanding bills. Debt collectors can show empathy by focusing their work on the patient’s experience. Some medical debts allow for a slight negotiation. If this is possible, the debt collector might consider arranging a payment plan.

Good listening

Good listeners retain information better and, as a result,show more respect to those who are speaking to them. Being a good listener can often benefit debt collectors, as patients are more likely to work with them if the patient feels the debt collector respects them and understands their perspective. Medical debt collectors might consider asking the patient about their experience and gauge their understanding of the medical bill. This can provide openings for them to better explain how the patient might pay for it.

Compliance

Understanding the hospital’s payment policy can help debt collectors remain compliant with rules and business ethics. These professionals may also abide by certain rules their client sets. To understand the rules of conduct, effective collectors must clarify their understanding of the hospital’s expectations and ensure they receive proper training for their job. Fully understanding a hospital’s policies and processes will help them be more efficient and compliant while interacting with their patients. If a debt collector feels they could benefit from additional training, they might contact their supervisor or ask their colleagues for help.

Patience

Debt collectors benefit from being patient with the individual with whom they’re speaking. It’s not unusual for patients to get emotional about the debt they owe, so it’s helpful to express empathy. If a patient is angry, debt collectors should stay calm and allow the patient to continue, being sure not to take their anger personally. Often, when the patient doesn’t get a response to their anger and is met with a calm demeanor, the patient is more likely to calm down as well, allowing the debt collector to resume an effective collection conversation.

Informative

It’s often helpful for debt collectors to offer individuals options and more information on the status of their debt. Often, patients who learn more about their debt and understand what it is based upon are more likely to pay what they owe. Debt collectors may take time to educate patients early in a call, which effective collectors can use to establish a connection before proceeding into a discussion of options to resolve the debt that is past due.When professionals commit to becoming more effective medical debt collectors, they can help patients resolve their medical debt, while maintaining patient goodwill, and becoming a more effective and reliable representative for the hospital. To learn more about patient-centered collection services, visit the Revco Solutions website.

Affiliations Audits & Achievements

  • HFMA: Healthcare, financial, management, association
  • AAHAM: American Association of Healthcare Administrative Management
  • ACA International

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