This article will assist you with dealing with accounts that are past due or are in Collections.
Note: If you are working with TransWorld and have Collections Manager enabled on your MacPractice License, please refer to the Collections Manager (TransWorld) article for detailed information, as the process is different.
Flagging the Account
While there are several methods you can use to flag an account for Collections, we strongly recommend you utilize Financial Statuses to mark accounts in Collections. The below listed options are all the methods to flag an account easily within MacPractice.
- Financial Status - You can set a Financial Status on the account indicating it has been sent to Collections. This allows you to exclude collections accounts from the Statement Manager or Accounts Receivable report by using the Financial Status filter. You can also track collections accounts using the Accounts by Financial Status report. You can set a Financial Status by navigating to the Patients Ability > Account Tab.
Click here for more information on creating and using financial statuses.
- Label Colors - You can assign an account a specific color label if you are not already using all of your labels to easily distinguish via the patients sidebar which accounts are in Collections. To change a patient's label, simply select the patient in the sidebar, and then below the patient selector, use the label selector to assign a label to that account.
For more information on setting up and using color labels, click here.
- Account Alert - Create an account alert called "Collections" or something similar, and assign this to the patient's account.
For more information on setting up and using account alerts, click here.
- Monthly Statement Option - While this option (located in Patients Ability > Account Tab) will not immediately identify the account as being in collections, it will prevent a statement from being created in Statement Manager. You can do this by navigating to Patients > Account, and then clicking on the drop down listed under "Monthly Statement Options".
Click here for more information about statement options.
Zero Out the Account
When preparing to send a patient to a collection agency, you may want to zero out the account balance. This will prevent the patient from appearing on your Accounts Receivable report and prevent statements and/or notices being sent to the patient.
The best way to zero out the patient's balance is to create a Negative Adjustment in the patient's ledger for the amount of the remaining balance. The Adjustment Type should be "Collections Write-Off", or an easily identifiable Type that your office will readily understand is collections-related.
To create a negative adjustment on an account, navigate to the Patients Ability > Ledger Tab, click on the "Other" drop down menu, and select "New Negative Adjustment". Enter the remaining balance in the amount field, and then use an appropriate Adjustment Type. Then, click Apply to All and Save. This will apply the negative adjustment to all open charges, thus zeroing out the account.
Warning: Do NOT zero out the Account if you are utilizing Collections Manager and working with TransWorld. You will need to filter by Financial Status on the Accounts Receivable report to avoid seeing those accounts in Collections. For more detail, refer to Collections Manager (TransWorld).
For more information on Negative Adjustments, please refer to the Ledger - Other Menu article.
Applying the Payment
After you have received a payment from the collection agency for the amount the patient owes, you will need to enter this information into MacPractice and change the status of the patient's account to indicate that they are no longer in collections. Whichever methods you chose when Flagging the Account, you will need to reverse them.
Before you post a collections payment, you must add a balance back to the patient's account in the amount of the payment (assuming you wrote off the balance when the patient was initially sent to collections). We recommend you create a new Fee within your Fee Schedule that addresses Collection Payments. You can add a fee by navigating to the References Ability > Fee Schedule. You will want to set your Unit Fee to 0.00, in order to customize it at the time of posting.
For detailed information on how to add a fee to a Fee Schedule, please refer to References - Fee Schedule.
Once this Fee is added to your Fee Schedule, you have a choice whether you want this payment to be reflected as production in your reports or not.
If you wish for this payment to be reported as production, you can simply post this new fee onto the ledger and in the New Charge window and adjust the Unit Fee to match the amount of the collections payment. Once this charge is posted, you can create and apply the Collections payment like any other payment.
If you wish for this payment to not be reported as production, you can still post the new fee, but leave the unit fee as 0.00. Once this is posted on the ledger, you will create a Positive Adjustment for the amount of the Collections Payment. You will want to set the adjustment type as Collections Payment or something similar for tracking purposes.
Once this Positive Adjustment is posted, you can then apply the payment to that positive adjustment. This will keep the payment from being reported as production.