This interview is an excerpt from an episode of ACA’s podcast exploring the complexities of health care collections featured in Collector magazine.
What makes a good health care collector? Harry Strausser III, director of education and membership development for ACA International, wanted to find out, so he asked an expert: Irene Hoheusle, vice president of collections and education at Account Recovery Specialists Inc. This is an edited excerpt from their interview, which first appeared on ACA’s podcast.
Strausser: What traits should an agency look for when hiring someone to collect health care debt? Are you looking for somebody maybe with customer service experience versus someone who has more of a direct retail collection experience?
Hoheusle: I’ll be honest with you, I very rarely hire somebody that has previous collection experience if it wasn’t medical, because they are different. I have to untrain them to train them on what we want. We hire people who don’t even have collection experience. We look at their personality. We look for the people who have those multitasking skills. The ones who are a little bit more of a data-seeker and are able to read between the lines.
I mean, there are some things every collector has to have. You have to make sure that they’ve got the basics. They have to have the ability to talk to people. They have to have the ability not to be afraid of negotiation, but they also have to have intelligence and empathy.
They have to be able to think outside the box because if you’re looking at that account and you’re listening to that person talk, you need to be able to pick up on those words to look for those deeper pockets, to look at those third-party payers because they’re out there.
Listen to the complete podcast here “Planning for the Unplanned: The Soft Touch to Health Care Collections” and read more in Collector magazine, which will feature excerpts from ACA Cast each month.
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