1. Educate Yourself- When dealing with claims examiners it has been said they know within 10 seconds if they are dealing with a collector that is educated in his field. It is imperative if you are dealing with medical liens to know the laws on medical liens as well as the specifics on the medical field you are collecting. For example if you are collecting on Epidural Injections you must know why the doctors are charging for an epidurogram or for fluoroscopic guidance. There are many resources on the net that you could get for free in each individual field of practice, as well as attend seminars on the specific subject. My advice to you learn as much in your field as possible.
2. Maximize your Negotiation Skills- Being an effective negotiator is a must in collecting work comp liens. For two reasons. The first reason is it is almost a guarantee that the adjuster or attorney has taken seminars or entire classes in this area, thus they are most likely a better negotiator than you. The second is that they are most likely a better negotiator than you. That being said it does not mean that you cannot learn to negotiate, negotiation is just like anything else it takes practice. It’s crucial to learn this skill and will make the difference between a good collector and a great collector. I like Roger Dawson Secret to Power Negotiating, but there are hundreds of books and articles on this subject.
3. Learn to apply Leverage- Leverage is the art of mastering spinning many plates at once, but the caveat to that is that you shouldn’t have to work hard to keep the plates spinning you should work smart. For instance instead of focusing all your time on making a hundred phone calls a day to get a hold of someone that probably does not want to talk to you. Make 40 phone calls in a day, send out 50 letters (or more) file multiple requests to go to court. Now your efforts are being focused on more than one area. These additional correspondence should generate call backs, instead of you cold calling people that do not want to talk to you. Thus making your phone calls and negotiation more effective because you’re dealing with people that want to “play ball”. I learned about applying leverage from a book by Frank Rumbauskas about cold calling that focuses on marketing but decided to use the principles of leverage for my collections department.
4. Organize your portfolio- You should label your cases with the status of each account, whether or not a lien is filed and the dollar amount. If your portfolio is organized in this way you could focus your activity on cases that are going to make you and your company money. For example why would you call every month on a case that is denied and is still in active litigation when a simple letter or phone call would suffice every couple of months or even quarter? This allows you to apply additional leverage to the cases that are going to make you money.
5. Use your time wisely- This goes hand and hand with organizing yourself to focus your time on accounts that are ready to close. But also sometimes we find ourselves spending way too much time on a case that may be only worth $500.00 when we have hundreds of other cases that are in your portfolio that are worth $5000.00 so why not give the attention to those cases first.
6. Stay professional in the face of stupidity- It happens every day we speak to adjusters that know they should be paying us. For one reason or another that they are going to drag this one out. You should stay professional, file your court documents and let the adjuster call you back when they are willing to be more reasonable. You shouldn’t get upset and start arguing with these people. It will get you nowhere! And it waste your time. You could be using that time to file your D.O.R. instead of arguing.
7. Have a great litigation Dept- So you’ve educated yourself, learned to negotiate, learn to apply leverage, organized your portfolio and stayed professional but you still couldn’t close your case. Well, it happens, you will not be able to close all your cases for some reason or another. It is important then you have either a great litigation department or are able to sub your litigated accounts out to a reputable lien company. Be sure that they are aware of the many lien laws in your state, and the intricacies of your field of medicine.
Apply these principles and watch your collections go up, you will be a more confident collector and learn some valuable life skills also.
President – Apex Medical Management http://www.apex-mm.net