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How Do I Become a Medical Collector?

A medical collector may call patients to collect debts on behalf of a healthcare provider.
Article Details
  • Written By: Lainie Petersen
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 07 August 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2014
    Conjecture Corporation
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A medical collector is someone who collects debts on behalf of health care providers, such as medical offices, hospitals, and urgent care clinics. If you wish to become a medical collector, you will typically need to meet the requirements established by individual employers, which can vary significantly. If you wish to start your own collections business, you will usually need to apply for and receive licensing from a government agency before you begin to collect debts. In many cases, if you want to become a medical collector for an established collection agency, you will need a high school diploma as well as some work experience in either customer service or telemarketing. An employer will typically provide training, which may include instruction in legal issues, medical privacy laws, and fair debt collection practices.

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If you decide to become a medical collector, you will need to apply for work at a medical collection agency or a collection agency that has several medical clients. There are often significant issues that affect the collection of this type of debt. The first is that the debt is typically the result of a health problem, not financial irresponsibility, and it may be difficult to collect money from someone who is ill and unable to work. Another consideration is that many jurisdictions have laws that govern the way medical information is handled, and these laws may extend to collection agencies. A final consideration is that health care providers may be concerned about their reputation in their community and will want collectors to show sensitivity when working with former patients. As a result, you may need to have significant experience working as a collector for a standard collection agency or working on non-medical accounts before you can become a medical collector.

In situations where you do not have collections experience but do have a background in sales or customer service, you may still be able to find work in the medical collections field. This is because you will generally be expected to work with debtors and to persuade them to pay at least something toward their medical debts. Both sales and customer service can give you a good background for handling these delicate communications and negotiations. Expect to spend the first several weeks at your collections job undergoing training and being monitored by your supervisors, as you may be expected to learn a lot about applicable laws as well as good telephone skills before you can be allowed to work on high-priority accounts.

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