Collector - August 2018 - 38
Time for a Checkup?
You asked, ACA answered. Introducing a fun new way to train your collectors on HIPAA compliance.
By Irene Hoheusle, CCCO, IFCCE
t's not easy being a health care collector.
To start, collecting debt that was created
out of necessity rather than desire has a
unique emotional rationale to a consumer,
requiring a thoughtful and sensitive
Next, you must be mindful of the many
rules and regulations governing the accounts
receivable management industry, such as the
Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and Fair
Credit Reporting Act. On top of all that, a
health care collector must also understand
the requirements spelled out in the Health
Insurance Portability and Accountability
Act of 1996, which governs how medical
clients and their business associates handle
protected health information.
Since HIPAA went live in 2003, ACA
International has offered multiple tools to help
collectors remain compliant while collecting
medical debt. The association hasn't sold a
computer-based training option focused on
HIPAA in many years, but members told
us they wanted something fresh, fun and
easy-to-use in their agencies. ACA heard you
and proudly announced the release of HIPAA
Essentials for Collectors, a new computer-based
training program, at ACA's Annual Convention
and Expo this past July.
This training program walks your
collectors through the ins and outs of
HIPAA compliance, including how to avoid
improper disclosures and recognize potential
violations. By the time they complete the
comprehensive training, collectors will:
* Understand the purpose of HIPAA,
including how it works to safeguard
Protected Health Information.
* Recognize their role in keeping PHI
private and secure.
* Identify potential violations that can
occur in and out of the workplace.
* Be aware of penalties and consequences
for violating HIPAA.
* Understand the importance of taking
appropriate action if a violation occurs.
HIPAA Essentials for Collectors turns
compliance training into an enjoyable game,
giving collectors interactive examples that
run though common HIPAA compliance
scenarios. A final quiz lets trainees-and
their managers-know whether or not they
have a firm grasp of HIPAA.
There are many things to learn when
collecting health care accounts, and protecting
consumers' privacy is at the top of the list.
Luckily, now there is a tool to help your health
care collectors become HIPAA experts.
Irene Hoheusle is vice president of collections
and education at Account Recovery
To learn more about HIPAA Essentials for
Collectors, visit www.acainternational.