Reviewing Collectors

June 1, 2004

How can I tell if my collection agency is doing a good job?

Question: How can I tell if my collection agency is doing a good job?

Answer: Average recovery is 15 percent to 19 percent for medical claims; however, recovery depends on the quality and age of the account when it is placed. If you don't send accounts to collections until they are two years old and you don't even have any accurate demographic information, your recovery rates may be as low as 2 percent.

Meet with your agency and ask what you could be doing to improve your recovery. That will tell you how "enlightened" the agency is. You really want someone who is a partner.

And, of course, evaluate the price. I know of agencies that charge as little as 12 percent of collections.