Regarding the recent Best Practices column headlined “HFMA eyes wide adoption of medical-debt collection guidelines,” it's a very good article. The only comment I might disagree with is about credit reporting. We have found that while it is kinder and gentler to not report patients to credit bureaus, a real threat of credit reporting for nonpayment increases collections.
My firm always gives provider clients the option to credit-report or not based on their internal policies. The best way to collect the most money is to handle all payment discussions upfront with the patient to secure a form of payment, identify the assistance they qualify for, or set up a payment plan before the procedure whenever possible. When not possible, internal discussions with the patient, followed with an external collections process—which allows patients to make payment arrangements and provides transparency to the hospital or provider—is the most effective combination of efforts.