Collector – September 2019 - 52

The State of Medical Collections
ACA SearchPoint provides information on state collection laws for medical debt.

M

edical debt accounts for one of
the largest markets in collections.
While the Fair Debt Collection
Practices Act regulates debt collection in
general, the American Hospital Association
(AHA), the national organization that
represents and serves hospitals, health
care networks and their patients, created
a set of guidelines for member hospitals to
follow regarding their billing and collection
practices. Other state hospital associations
have implemented their own guidelines as
well. ACA members who collect medical debt
should be aware of both state and federal
guidelines for hospital billing and collections.
The guidelines introduced by AHA
include several objectives member hospitals
are to set into practice to better serve their
patients. The guidelines include substantive
criteria under the following headlines:
* Communicating Effectively
* Helping Patients Qualify for Coverage
* Ensuring Hospital Policies are Applied
Accurately and Consistently
* Making Care More Affordable for Patients
with Limited Means

in this particular state must have a written
agreement with the hospital for which they
are collecting. The law also limits the ability
of the hospital and its agents to use wage
garnishments or liens on primary residences as
a means of collecting unpaid hospital bills.
Other states with hospital billing
requirements are not as robust as the one
previously mentioned. These states have
requirements that can include things such
as giving notice to the patient as to whether
the hospital deems her to be insured
or uninsured, and the reason for such
determination; not employing a third-party
to use physical or legal means to compel
the patient or responsible party to appear
in court; and not furnishing a negative

consumer report or filing suit until 120
days have passed.
It's imperative that debt collectors who
collect medical debt ensure they are aware of
the state laws concerning hospital billing. ACA
SearchPoint document #2805, State Hospital
Billing and Collection Practices, provides an
analysis of state and federal laws that deal with
state medical billing and collection practices.
Have you checked out ACA's member-only
SearchPoint library? ACA SearchPoint is filled
with documents that put important compliance
information related to the FDCPA, FCRA,
TCPA, state laws and many other topics at
your fingertips. To access ACA SearchPoint,
visit acainternational.org/searchpoint.

ENSURING FAIR BILLING AND
COLLECTION PRACTICES
In addition to the AHA guidelines, state
hospital associations have adopted their
own guidelines for their members to follow.
While the state association guidelines tend
to mirror those of the AHA, each has added
its own specific language or requirements.
Not to be left out, some states have even
enacted legislation governing hospital
billing practices.
A few states have robust legislation
concerning hospital billing. One state's hospital
billing act requires each hospital in the state
to establish a written policy about when and
under whose authority patient debt is advanced
for recovery efforts. Any debt collectors who
contract with the hospital must follow its
policy. Among other things, debt collectors

52

Sept. 23-25, 2019
Hilton Minneapolis/Bloomington
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Providing current and emerging leaders
with the tools necessary to take their
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Collector – September 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Collector – September 2019

Ask the Experts: Raising the Bar
Staying on Track
Work Ethic From the Ground Up
Calling Concerns
Robo-Dispute Purveyors Found Guilty of Fraud
Upfront
Industry News
Best Practices
FYI
Collection Tips
Calendar
Honor Roll
Education Spotlight
ACA SearchPoint
Ad Index
Membership
Last Word
Meet ACA’s 2019/20 Board of Directors
Collector – September 2019 - Cover1
Collector – September 2019 - Cover2
Collector – September 2019 - 1
Collector – September 2019 - 2
Collector – September 2019 - 3
Collector – September 2019 - Upfront
Collector – September 2019 - 5
Collector – September 2019 - Industry News
Collector – September 2019 - 7
Collector – September 2019 - 8
Collector – September 2019 - 9
Collector – September 2019 - 10
Collector – September 2019 - 11
Collector – September 2019 - Best Practices
Collector – September 2019 - 13
Collector – September 2019 - FYI
Collector – September 2019 - 15
Collector – September 2019 - Collection Tips
Collector – September 2019 - 17
Collector – September 2019 - 18
Collector – September 2019 - 19
Collector – September 2019 - 20
Collector – September 2019 - 21
Collector – September 2019 - 22
Collector – September 2019 - 23
Collector – September 2019 - 24
Collector – September 2019 - 25
Collector – September 2019 - Meet ACA’s 2019/20 Board of Directors
Collector – September 2019 - 27
Collector – September 2019 - 28
Collector – September 2019 - 29
Collector – September 2019 - 30
Collector – September 2019 - 31
Collector – September 2019 - 32
Collector – September 2019 - 33
Collector – September 2019 - 34
Collector – September 2019 - 35
Collector – September 2019 - 36
Collector – September 2019 - 37
Collector – September 2019 - Calendar
Collector – September 2019 - Honor Roll
Collector – September 2019 - Education Spotlight
Collector – September 2019 - 41
Collector – September 2019 - Ask the Experts: Raising the Bar
Collector – September 2019 - 43
Collector – September 2019 - Staying on Track
Collector – September 2019 - 45
Collector – September 2019 - Work Ethic From the Ground Up
Collector – September 2019 - 47
Collector – September 2019 - Calling Concerns
Collector – September 2019 - 49
Collector – September 2019 - Robo-Dispute Purveyors Found Guilty of Fraud
Collector – September 2019 - 51
Collector – September 2019 - ACA SearchPoint
Collector – September 2019 - Ad Index
Collector – September 2019 - Membership
Collector – September 2019 - 55
Collector – September 2019 - Last Word
Collector – September 2019 - Cover3
Collector – September 2019 - Cover4
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