Over the course of the next two decades, a huge chunk of the American population will need nursing homes and long-term care (LTC) facilities. As the Baby Boomer generation goes from retirees to the elderly, these types of institutions will see a huge boom in demand. In fact, by the year 2040, there will be 4.3 million elderly citizens who will utilize nursing homes.
While the goal of these institutions is to provide housing and care for the elderly, they are also businesses that need to stay aware of their bottom line in order to continue to provide these services. There are some unique aspects of nursing homes and LTC facilities that can make getting paid in a timely manner more difficult than your average business. This is why these institutions should consider working with a debt collection company that understands the distinctive issues faced by these businesses.
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It’s Not Always About Collecting Money
When a debt collection agency works with a standard business, the goal is to get in touch with the person who owes the debt and collect money from them or the guarantor/co-signer. For nursing homes and LTC facilities though, the biggest challenge they face trying to collect their accounts receivables is actually just getting the information they need from family members or other caregivers.
Debt collection companies who specialize in working with nursing homes and LTC facilities know that collecting information is a vital part of collecting for this population and have proven methods and systems to contact family members who may not want to talk and share info. These debt collectors can do this in an ethical way that is sensitive to the situation while still compelling the responsible parties to give the information needed to get Medicaid approved faster.
It’s Not Just Collecting from the Person
When nursing homes and LTC facilities look to get paid for caring for an elderly person, it is not just that person who they can collect from. There is a larger system in place to help subsidize this type of care. A specialized debt collection company will help these institutions collect from multiple sources in order to get the AR paid.
These sources that a debt collection agency will help your organization tap into do include the standard past due private pay balances but also, SSI balances, Medicare co-insurance, and more. If your institution goes it alone or works with a debt collection company that is not familiar with all the avenues of payment, your facility could be losing out.
All that said, the right debt collection agency also knows that Medicare usually only covers a portion of LTC and the remaining portion is covered by the elderly or his guarantor. A debt collection agency also has the tools to help collect from these parties as well.
It’s Not Just About the Debt Going Forward
One more reason that it makes a lot of sense for nursing homes and LTC facilities to work with an experienced, knowledgeable debt collector in their industry is because of Retroactive Medicaid. Retroactive Medicaid is a system that allows Medicaid applicants to receive nursing home coverage for up to 3 months prior to the date of the patient’s application. For nursing homes and LTC facilities, waiting too long to collect on a person’s AR can lead to losing out on the ability to collect the retro.
The right debt collection company knows how these timelines work and will be able to help your institution get what it needs to get Medicaid billing approved faster so you do not lose the retro. This is an incredibly important piece of keeping your business healthy while caring for the elderly.
The job of nursing homes and LTC facilities is to provide the best housing and care they can. Spending a lot of time chasing past due accounts is incredibly important but it also takes away from the core mission. Hiring a debt collection agency that knows how to work with these institutions is the best way to take of your bottom line and your residents as well.