Ensuring a positive patient financial experience is paramount to healthcare’s continuous development and future success. However, maintaining a high level of patient satisfaction and recovery requires leadership, advanced technology, dedicated personnel, a focus on training, and, above all else, a commitment to being the best for healthcare providers, and their patients.
Although healthcare costs continue to rise, reimbursement rates are decreasing. This fact, coupled with the significant shift to increased patient responsibilities and meagre payment rates, means healthcare providers must maximize the reimbursements owed.
Providers must do this while also being mindful of their community’s reputation. Simply put, self-pay recoveries cannot come at the expense of decreased patient satisfaction scores.
What is the solution? Finding a partner to improve recoveries and improve patient satisfaction is critical to healthcare providers’ success. State Collection Service, Inc. is the answer.
Why? Because as Tim Haag, President, State Collection Service, Inc—says “In today’s healthcare receivables environment, it is essential that our company aligns with the policies and mission of the healthcare organizations we serve.
Our vast experience within the healthcare industry and our commitment to patient satisfaction through our investments in training and technology such as real-time speech analytics and including incorporating Zappo’s School of WOW into our training program, have enabled us to develop a culture that aligns with our partners’ values, particularly when it comes to putting patients first.”
Tim is the third generation of the family to lead this company. His passion is to continue to steward the legacy of his father and grandfather by providing exceptional services to both patients and healthcare providers.
He has been with the company since 2009, starting as a Sales Executive and quickly taking on the roles of Director of Client Services, Vice President of Support Services, and now leading the company as a President. Over the past several years, Tim has played a vital role in State’s exceptional growth.
Tim spoke with Insights Care for its edition of ‘10 Most Trusted Revenue Cycle Management Companies for 2022’. He conveyed about State as a positive healthcare solution facilitator and his evolving leadership role in the new normal situation.
Tim, please tell our audience about State Collection Service Inc and its commitments to enabling reliability in the healthcare niche.
Receivables management in healthcare means more than just account recovery. Providers’ reputation in their community is one of their most valuable assets. Our service reflects directly upon its clients’ organizations, so it takes great care in training team members to treat patients with respect and dignity by using a personalized, consultative approach in its communication practices. Our company gives providers peace of mind while enabling them to maintain their organization’s mission.
The company’s key strength is achieving both performance and patient satisfaction at the highest level without sacrificing either goal. Combining advanced technology with knowledgeable and empathetic representatives enables the company to perform at the highest level.
Tell us about the inception story of State Collection Service Inc.
Our company has been serving the needs of the healthcare revenue cycle for more than seven decades. During this time, it has gained the trust of medical providers around the country, serving the needs of more than 400 hospitals, 80 physician groups and numerous clinics.
The company was founded upon the principles of integrity, respect, and solid ethical standards. Established as a family company in 1949, these principles reflect strong family values and a desire to deliver strong ethics and integrity through its customer relationships and recovery practices.
From its hiring practices to its training program and continuing through its daily collection practices and customer service interaction, the company works to uphold the company vision – Partnerships for a Lifetime.
What are the core values of providing positive patient financial solutions to provide the best credible experience in the industry?
Recognizing that the world has fundamentally changed over the past two years, Our company has recently gathered a cross-functional team to reassess our values and purpose statement. After much discussion and thought, the team identified six core values:
- Integrity — Our culture of transparency, honesty and trustworthy communication create our reputation.
- Excellence — We focus on delivering exceptional results for patients, customers, and the Great State Team.
- Fun — We smile, laugh, and enjoy our work together.
- Innovation — We crush it by rigorously evolving technology that delivers results.
- Respect — We embrace your contribution and voice.
- Enthusiasm — Thriving with passion and positive energy! Bam!
The team also created an updated purpose statement:
Our Great State Family inspires excellence and delivers results and patient satisfaction as we evolve technology solutions to build partnerships for a lifetime. The State Family is committed to increasing patient satisfaction and recoveries. We do this through expert knowledge, investment in technology solutions and positive relationships with all of our stakeholders, including employees, vendors, technology partners, clients, patients as well as the communities we live and work in. We Got This!
Brief us about the immersive benefits of the services that State Collection Service Inc offers to its clients.
State uniquely combines advanced technology with the human touch to increase recoveries and patient satisfaction. This enables the State team to improve customer service and patient satisfaction while at the same time increasing netback recoveries, enabling the provider to further their mission.
What were the initial challenges that State Collection Service Inc had to overcome in the healthcare niche, and what are the challenges now?
Given that State was founded in 1949, the initial challenges have been long forgotten. However, the challenges today have been around the ability to successfully transition the team to a largely remote workforce while maintaining a strong culture and regulatory compliance.
Additionally, the past few years have been transformative in terms of digital communication, such as text and email, as well as patients’ desire for self-service options. State’s team has collaborated, while including external experts, to ensure its customer service, culture, compliance, and results continue to lead the industry. While the organization’s processes are somewhat different than just a few years ago, the level of service, commitment to patients and results remain the same.
What is the current scenario of the healthcare niche, and as an experienced leader, how do you ensure empowering effective programs with a commitment to provide the best possible patient care and maintain a high level of patient satisfaction?
At State, the commitment to patient satisfaction begins with hiring and exceptional training practices. Hiring individuals with a strong customer service background and a desire to assist patients is key. State ensures every team member receives several weeks of in-depth training along with technology tools that enable mentors and supervisors to assist as needed.
The company also maintains a strong culture that includes respect, a strong sense of team and a dash of fun for good measure.
Is the involvement of technology like AI beneficial towards enabling convenience in the healthcare niche?
Every patient situation is unique. Their communication preferences and payments needs are unique – even if they demographically look like many other patients. Our company is harnessing the power of AI to go beyond traditional segmentation to effectively create a tailored patient experience.
For example, traditional segmentation would recognize the similarities between two gentlemen who are both British, born in the same year, ultra-wealthy with a love of international travel and fine wine, have children and are re-married: Prince Charles and Ozzy Osborne. While segmentation might see them as similar, it is unlikely they would otherwise be confused for one another! Humor aside, the company uses AI to look beyond credit scores and basic segmentation to truly meet patients’ needs.
What would you like to advise the budding aspirants who are willing to venture into the healthcare industry?
When engaging with patients, it is critical to remember that, unlike many other consumer purchases, no one chooses to need healthcare services. It is important to assist patients in resolving their accounts and be careful not to add more stress to an already difficult time in a patient’s life. At the same time, it also is important to recover what is legitimately owed to the provider to enable them to fulfil their mission of delivering quality care to their community.
Please give us a few testimonials of your clients/customers and a list of awards/recognitions that accurately highlight the position of State Collection Service Inc in the healthcare niche. (If available/permissible)
State’s awards and reviews include the Better Business Bureau’s Torch Award, Best Call Centers to Work For six years in a row (2016 – 2021), Receivables Advisor Magazine 2019 Top 10 Innovative Agency and HFMA’s Peer-Reviewed designation (since 2011).
HFMA’s Peer Review process includes extensive surveying of current and prospective clients. According to the survey results, 96% of respondents would recommend State’s service to other colleagues, while 93% feel that State’s service provides a good value for its cost. Following are some of the positive comments received from respondents:
“State Collection Service has done a terrific job and always meets our expectations, if not exceeding them. They are always willing to go above and beyond for us.”
“[State Collection Service’s] recovery is great. They work with our patients to resolve balances timely and efficiently. They provide us with great customer service so that the time we spend resolving issues is minimal.”
“State Collection Service’s three most important features for us are an outstanding dedication to customer service excellence; impressive hiring and training tools; and the fact that they are an ACA certified agency and have ACA certified collectors.”
Organizationally, our company is committed to continuous improvement, achieved through our active involvement in industry organizations such as HFMA and ACA International. Our managers and executives are consistently asked to share their expertise and forward-thinking, serve as board members as well as earn certifications in many prominent industry organizations, including:
- Member – HFMA Medical Account Receivable Resolution Task Force
- HFMA Certified Revenue Cycle Representatives (CRCR)
- WI HFMA President (‘21-’22)
- President – ACA International (’95-’96)
- Member – ACA International Board of Directors
- Chairman – Committee for the ACA International’s Education Council
- Member – ACA International Ethics Board