Collection agency’s blunder leaves $565K in limbo

September 7, 2016

A Midwestern pathology group we assist was recently being pushed by its third-party collection agency to pursue legal action for a number of unpaid accounts. Because of this discussion, we began receiving reports from the collection agency that were supposed to show the accounts the agency received each month from the group’s biller. However, as soon as we saw the account volume in the report, we knew something was off.

  • A collection agency’s “error” led to them losing track of more than 3,400 worth roughly $565,000 during an eighth month period in 2016.
  • The agency originally claimed they had not received these accounts until being confronted with proof that they indeed had.
  • Since the pathology group’s biller was no longer responsible for the accounts once they were sent to collections, it’s clear there was very little oversight of the collection agency’s process.

Although the report showed that only 114 accounts totaling about $15,000 had been sent over for collections from January to July of 2016, we knew that couldn’t be correct given that the agency had received 5,023 accounts from the group’s biller in 2015. When pressed, the collection agency said it hadn’t questioned the dramatic drop off in the volume of accounts they were receiving and instead blamed the biller by claiming they had loaded all accounts they were given.

To debunk the collector’s claim, we worked with the group’s biller and their IT department to determine that during a three-month span from April to June of 2016, a total of 1,193 accounts were sent to the collection agency. Since the biller puts the accounts on a server that the collection agency must log into to download from, they were able to confirm through login records that the agency did in fact receive all the reports in question.

When confronted with proof, the collection agency claimed the thousands of missing accounts were a result of an “error” on their end. They’ve since sent us and the pathology group a new report that shows they’ve received more than 3,500 accounts worth a total of $580,000 so far in 2016. Just a minor difference of more than 3,400 accounts and $565,000 from what they had originally reported.

Needless to say, our group is now in the process of changing collection agencies.

Who’s watching your revenue like this? Your biller won’t, since they write these accounts off (rightly so) as bad debt once they’re sent to collection. Even if your receiving reports from your collection agency, as our group was, it can be difficult to decipher them to determine if they’re working your accounts properly.

That’s what we pride ourselves in at Vachette Pathology and Stark Medical Auditing: Finding the dollars that are slipping between the cracks! Give us a call today at 517-486-4262 if you’d like to talk with one of our team members about how our quarterly audits can help pad your wallet.

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