Beyond Digital: The Next Era in Collections

By on November 10th, 2021 in Industry Insights, Webinars
TrueAccord Blog

In 2013, TrueAccord was founded with the hypothesis that AI driven digital collection was the way to transform the industry. Eight years later, we are still confident in the transformational nature of our hypothesis but are still surprised how few other companies in our industry have fully embraced digital-first debt collection.

The digital revolution has been ongoing for some time now. The word “digital” itself has evolved from a high-tech term that few understood to one that is now regularly accepted as part of our everyday lives – both personally and professionally. As the digital world continues to accelerate the way in which we do everything – from paying for things to driving cars to  debt collection – it’s not enough anymore to just invest in digital. Focused strategies and understandings of more complex technologies are mandatory to getting the most out of what the digital economy has to offer.

At TrueAccord, to create powerful moments that actually help consumers, not only pay off debt, but become more financially stable and confident, we need to think bigger by putting them first. In honor of the launch of our newest product, Retain, TrueAccord hosted the Beyond Digital: The Next Era in Collections summit, which is now available in its entirety on-demand. Stay tuned for more on each of the individual sessions.

Here’s the lineup from the Beyond Digital summit:

Welcome Keynote

Ohad Samet, Co-founder & CEO, One True Holding Company

Understanding Consumers in Debt in 2021 (and Beyond)

Mark Ravanesi, CEO, TrueAccord

Jacob Kong, Chief Product Officer, Experian

Jan Hansson, VP, Debt Collection, Klarna

What Debt Collection Leaders Can learn From the Masters of E-Commerce

Naama Bloom, CMO, TrueAccord

Sunil Kaki, EVP, Beachbody & OpenFit

The New Standard of Excellence in Debt Collection: Creating World-Class Consumer Experiences Via Machine Learning

Lauran Marino, Chief Product Officer, TrueAccord

Sheila Monroe, Chief Growth Officer, TrueAccord

TrueAccord Names Kelly Knepper-Stephens as Chief Compliance Officer and General Counsel

By on October 27th, 2021 in Company News, Compliance
TrueAccord Blog

Lenexa, KS – Oct. 27, 2021 – TrueAccord Corporation, a debt collection company offering AI-powered digital recovery solutions, is proud to announce the appointment of Kelly Knepper-Stephens as chief compliance officer and general counsel. TrueAccord started in 2013 as a digital-first collection agency built to fundamentally change collections into a recovery and reconciliation process. TrueAccord was the first to offer digital solutions to the sector and continuously proves itself to be a trailblazer in an industry still dominated by traditional call-and-collect agencies. Knepper-Stephens’ appointment further confirms the company’s consumer-focused mission by tapping into one of the industry’s most sought-after counsel and compliance leaders.

“​​Compliance is at the forefront of TrueAccord’s mission, and Kelly guided the development of our robust digital collection compliance systems,” said Mark Ravanesi, CEO of TrueAccord. “TrueAccord’s investment in compliance is a win-win all around: it protects TrueAccord, it protects our clients, and—most importantly—it allows us to do right by consumers.”

An expert in debt collection law, Knepper-Stephens joined TrueAccord in 2018 as vice president of legal and compliance, where she has focused on civil litigation, government regulation, and compliance.  During her tenure, TrueAccord secured federal court victories showcasing TrueAccord’s legal compliance in two of the main FDCPA court decisions involving the use of email in debt collection: Green v. TrueAccord and Zuniga v. TrueAccord.

“As demonstrated in Regulation F, TrueAccord is the industry leader in email compliance,” Knepper-Stephens said, “I’m excited to join the mission-driven executive leadership team as TrueAccord continues to lead best practices for digital collections and beyond—empowering consumers to resolve their accounts according to their preferences.” 

Knepper-Stephens started her career in the collection space in 2011. Collections Advisor Magazine named her as one of the top 25 Women in Collections in 2016 and top 20 in 2018. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for RMAI, on the Steering Committee for the Consumer Relations Consortium, and as an ACA-certified instructor. She received her Juris Doctor degree from the George Washington University Law School and is currently barred in California, the District of Columbia, Illinois and Maryland.

A key benefit of TrueAccord is the scalability provided by the flexibility of code-based compliance, overseen by Knepper-Stephens and her team to ensure its programming is adjusted to new laws, regulations, and court decisions. The company’s patented machine-learning algorithm, HeartBeat, is augmented by its compliance checker software, mitigating risk by ensuring regulatory requirements are met before sending communications. 

Knepper-Stephens is a Receivables Management Association International (RMAI) certified receivables compliance professional and has earned the Credit & Collection Compliance Officer designation from the American Collectors Association (ACA). Prior to joining the industry, she worked as a Visiting Professor of Law at George Washington University Law School, teaching the Criminal Appellate Clinic, and as a San Diego Public Defender. Her long-standing dedication to helping others plays an integral part in her success.  

To learn more about TrueAccord’s mission and digital debt collection solutions, visit www.TrueAccord.com and follow @TrueAccord on Twitter and LinkedIn.

About TrueAccord

TrueAccord is the intelligent, digital-first collection and recovery company that leaders across industries trust to drive breakthrough results while delivering a superior consumer experience. TrueAccord pioneered the industry’s only adaptive intelligence: a patented machine learning engine, powered by engagement data from over 16 million consumer journeys, that dynamically personalizes every facet of the consumer experience – from channel to message to plan type and more – in real-time. Combined with code-based compliance and a self-serve digital experience, TrueAccord delivers liquidation and recovery rates 50-80% higher than industry benchmarks. The TrueAccord product suite includes Retain, an early-stage collection solution, and Recover, a full-service post-charge off recovery platform. 

TrueAccord Launches Retain, a Digital-First Solution for Early-Stage Collections

By on September 16th, 2021 in Company News, Product and Technology

The intelligent, client-branded product for delinquent accounts uses a patented, machine learning-driven decision engine to engage customers and boost recovery rates

Lenexa, KS – Sept. 16, 2021 – TrueAccord Corporation, which offers  intelligent digital recovery and communication products and services, today launched Retain, a new, client-branded product that addresses early-stage collection challenges for lenders and other organizations with customers with past-due delinquent accounts. Using the company’s patented, machine learning-based and self-optimizing decision engine, Retain uses engagement data from individual interactions to optimize the consumer experience while increasing recovery for clients. The client-branded product enables clients to improve collections, maintain customer relationships, and offer solutions to their customers that improve financial fitness. 

Powered by TrueAccord’s industry-leading tech stack, key benefits of Retain include a simple, intuitive and effortless-to-use digital platform leading to great user experience, constant A/B testing and optimization to reduce friction and boost conversion rate, infinite scalability, and second-to-none channel deliverability. Retain implements ecommerce-based innovations like the focus on digital experience and outreach, machine learning-based personalization, and deliverability at massive scale for early-stage use. 

“​​After seeing success with our late-stage collection solution, Recover, we identified an opportunity to apply the same customer-centric approach to early-stage collections. Our data and machine learning-driven engine proved unmatched for late-stage recoveries. Clients asked us to expand our product suite to address early-stage delinquency while keeping their customers in their brand ecosystem, and we were happy to oblige,” said Mark Ravanesi, CEO of TrueAccord Corp. 

Retain prioritizes customer engagement and preference, which is critical to preserve the  lender-borrower relationship, with custom communications, timing and channels and a self-serve payment platform that empowers customers to easily manage their accounts. Unlike traditional call-to-collect early-stage collections, which require increased outbound call center volumes, Retain engages users more effectively and efficiently with a digital-first approach and can reduce costs by transforming call centers into productive inbound operations.

“Retain takes all the innovative customer engagement processes we’ve built and adds a brand-focused retention toolkit for our clients to easily plug and play to engage with their delinquent customers,” added Ohad Samet, co-founder and CEO of One True Holding Company, TrueAccord’s parent company. “Retain adds to our product and service offerings designed to improve the experience for consumers in debt and actually help them find a path toward a better financial future.” 

For more product information or to request a demo, please visit the product page at www.trueaccord.com

About TrueAccord

TrueAccord is the intelligent, digital-first collection and recovery company that leaders across industries trust to drive breakthrough results while delivering a superior consumer experience. TrueAccord pioneered the industry’s only adaptive intelligence: a patented machine learning engine, powered by engagement data from over 16 million consumer journeys, that dynamically personalizes every facet of the consumer experience – from channel to message to plan type and more – in real-time. Combined with code-based compliance and a self-serve digital experience, TrueAccord delivers liquidation and recovery rates 50-80% higher than industry benchmarks. The TrueAccord product suite includes Retain, an early-stage collection solution, and Recover, a full-service post-charge off recovery platform. 

About One True Holding Company

One True Holding Company is a technology company providing business- and consumer-facing solutions in the consumer debt space. Subsidiaries include TrueAccord, which offers machine learning-based, digital- and mobile-first servicing for debt in collections and recoveries, and True Life Solutions, which offers a SaaS platform that consumers can use to contact collectors and creditors digitally.

Ensuring Regulatory Compliance While Future-Proofing Your Collections Strategy

By on September 2nd, 2021 in Compliance, Industry Insights, Webinars
TrueAccord Blog

Ensuring regulatory compliance in debt collection is a high stakes and increasingly complex process. As we know, the industry is constantly evolving and collections strategies must adapt.

At the end of July, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced that the final rules issued under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) will take effect as planned on November 30. The new rules focus on the time, place, and manner of debt collection communications, the expansion of those communications through digital means, and enhanced disclosures that collectors must provide consumers with at the beginning of collection communications.

To help explain and analyze the new rules, TrueAccord recently hosted a webinar featuring two members of our in-house legal team: VP Legal & Compliance, Kelly Knepper-Stephens and Associate General Counsel, Katie Neill.

You can check out the full webinar on-demand, but key takeaways to listen for include:

  • Regulation F outlines the first-ever guidance for digital communication efforts in collections – effectively giving the green light to make alternative collection efforts more mainstream. The rule explicitly outlines email and SMS communication but also includes language for digital outlets that might not be in use for collections today or even in existence yet – a nod to social media and consumers willingness to be contacted privately on those platforms.
  • Furthermore, the rule does not change the federal law as it relates to consent to email. No consent is required to send debt collection emails, just like no consent is required to make calls or send letters. 
  • “The devil is in the details for Regulation F;” the implementation of each new provision turns on the Bureau’s explanation in the preamble and examples in the comments.  Legal and compliance teams should be the engine that makes sure the organization is in compliance with this guidance when the rule takes effect later this year.
  • Unlike regulations in regards to phone-based collections, there is no cap on outreach frequency in digital communications like email. This is because consumers and email providers self-regulate the communications frequency – collectors must design deliverability carefully to be successful, and if collectors email without a self-imposed cap their communications will be marked as spam or not delivered. 
  • As a digital-first collections agency, TrueAccord is ahead of and prepared for the guidance that will be put in place at the end of November. As a leader in this style of collections, TrueAccord leveraged a lot of data and consumer preference insights to help inform these new rules. The issuance of Regulation F is a significant validation by the top financial services regulator of TrueAccord’s business model.

Inaugural Advisory Committee Meeting of the California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation (DFPI) Prioritizes Tech Innovation, Consumer Communication

By on August 24th, 2021 in Industry Insights
TrueAccord Blog

On July 28, the debt collection advisory committee of the California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation (DFPI), whose mission is to better protect California consumers, promote responsible innovation, reduce regulatory uncertainty for emerging financial products and increase education and outreach to vulnerable groups, held its inaugural meeting. TrueAccord cofounder, Ohad Samet, who is one of seven founding committee members, joined to set priorities and kick off the committee’s activities. 

Samet’s voice on the committee, which is made up of a cross-section of industry experts from lawyers to academics to executives, brings his nearly two decades of experience in implementing technological and machine learning practices in fintech and debt collections, as well as the consumer preferences and trends uncovered through TrueAccord’s data-focused and more consumer-friendly approach to collections. 

“We’ve been able to find a way, as part of the Consumer Advisory Board of the CFPB (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau), to meet with consumer advocates and more traditional industry players to find that space where, if we serve consumers effectively using tech and we find alignment, everyone wins,” said Samet in his opening remarks of the meeting. “It allows consumers to be served well and industry players to be able to operate in a way that is actually cost-effective and appreciated by everyone involved. I hope to bring that type of forward- and consumer-focused thinking in the collections space to the DFPI. Through use of tech, consumer research, listening to what consumers want and aligning with them at scale, we can make the world a better place. I really think this can be the result of our work here.”

Some common themes of the committee’s inaugural discussion were documenting the life cycle of consumer debt, technological solutions and making sure the DFPI understands those processes, according to California DFPI Senior Deputy Commissioner and the debt collections advisory committee program lead, Suzanne Martindale. Discussion also prioritized consumer communication best practices, licensing requirements, and how research can help support the DFPI’s mission

“Introducing tech and consumer focus into the debt collection process is a lot more than sending an email and hoping for the best. It’s bringing in the best practices from e-commerce combined with consumer research,” Samet remarked. “Consumers want to pay their debt when they’re able to do so and when it’s done in a way that’s convenient for them. We’ve seen a spike in online activity from consumers actively looking for ways to negotiate or learn more about their debt – which on one hand is encouraging and on the other hand is critical to understanding how we offer a path for these consumers to engage in a way that they feel is good for them.”

Though the goal of this first meeting was to develop next steps and action items for future sessions, members agreed that DFPI research on consumer communications and preferences would be helpful to shape how the consumer advocates and debt collectors can work together. On this front, Samet will contribute insights garnered throughTrueAccord’s current business practices and core values.

“Consumers feel at a disadvantage on the phone because they are not as equipped with negotiation skills or knowledge of the law as the collector on the other side. They want to default to digital, asynchronous communications so they can think between the beats of back and forth,” said Samet. “All of TrueAccord’s activity has been heavily slanted towards allowing consumers to engage on their own terms as much as possible. When you bring e-commerce and tech practices to debt collections, it leads to more productive conversations, more proactive communications, more expectation for choice in mode of interaction and more requests for customization.”

The formation of the debt collection advisory committee was announced in April in order to provide critical feedback to the DFPI as it stands up its debt collection licensing program at the beginning of 2022.

To watch the entire first meeting of the debt collection advisory committee of the California DFPI, click here.

Building a Digital-First, Third-Party Collections Solution with Snap Finance

By on August 13th, 2021 in Industry Insights, Machine Learning, Product and Technology

In 2019, Todd Johnsen, Snap Finance’s Senior Manager of Collections Vendors, was charged with doing something that had never been done at Snap before: developing a third-party collections program. According to Johnsen, “At that time, the only recovery program for charge-off accounts was a call-and-collect settlement at tax season. I knew we could do better, but we’d have to start from scratch.” Johnsen also found a large amount of backlog accounts that had never been worked by a collections agency, as well as the need for a forward flow third-party recovery program.

Johnsen and team surveyed their options: they looked at both traditional agencies (predominantly making outbound calls) and digital-first collections solution providers, like TrueAccord. Johnsen was particularly interested in how digital-first providers like TrueAccord used machine learning to optimize their relationships with consumers via digital channels like email, SMS, and push notifications. 

“My thought process was — we work with subprime consumers who may have bad associations with debt collection,” said Johnsen. “This audience may have already had experiences with incessant collection phone calls, and they are used to avoiding them. I wanted to find an agency that was doing things differently. I knew that TrueAccord was using technology and digital channels in a way that other providers weren’t.”

While Johnsen was curious about working with a digital-first agency like TrueAccord, he wasn’t ready to go all-in immediately. The Snap Finance team decided to engage both a traditional agency and TrueAccord and compare the results. In evaluating the competing partners, key considerations included liquidation rate performance, security and compliance, and optimization efficiency. The result? TrueAccord delivered better results across all measured parameters.

“The reality of the results really knocked me out,” said Johnsen. “What we saw was almost 25-35% better performance on the accounts that we placed with TrueAccord, compared to the accounts we placed with traditional agencies. It was a real eye-opener. In fact, TrueAccord is number one in every tier I have them in. We’ve seen nothing but huge benefits as a result of that individual, digital-first interaction that TrueAccord tailors to each consumer.”

To learn more about TrueAccord’s work with Snap Finance, read the full case study.

How TrueAccord Can Address Patient Financial Responsibility

By on August 4th, 2021 in Industry Insights
TrueAccord Blog

As hospitals face growing and aging accounts receivable systems, and with limited data and visibility into their organizations’ financial health, the most common revenue challenges in today’s healthcare landscape all relate to not getting paid on time, every time. With patient financial responsibility increasing since the enactment of the Affordable Care Act, the challenge for hospitals and healthcare providers to collect payments consistently will become even more difficult to manage as more of the financial burden falls on patients. 

To quantify this increase in patient financial responsibility, TransUnion Healthcare’s 2019 study found a 12 percent increase in out-of-pocket costs for inpatient, outpatient, and emergency department care from 2017-2018. At the same time, Instamed reports that 78% of healthcare providers cannot collect on a bill of over $1000 in 30 days.

The issue of patient financial responsibility is complex, but one aspect is the patient financial experience. Patients who have a better experience are more likely to pay, but healthcare organizations are lagging far behind the financial experience that patients want. Patients often grapple with sticker shock due to the costs of healthcare  confusing medical bills from their healthcare providers in addition to insurance coverage notices and challenges. Many healthcare consumers are frustrated with their provider’s billing and collections process especially those that are not yet digital. Patients could benefit from better clarity and communications from their healthcare providers as well as easier and faster payments.

Patients who have a good financial experience with a healthcare organization are more likely to remain customers, which leads to future revenue. 41 percent of patients would consider switching to a new healthcare provider that offered a better digital billing and collections experience. In an increasingly transparent marketplace where there are many options for healthcare, ensuring that patients have a good clinical and financial experience is integral to retaining them.

TrueAccord helps health care providers alleviate these payment issues.  By delivering clear communication about amounts owed, an empathetic approach, and digital self-service, TrueAccord can offer a better financial experience for patients. Powered by AI, our system reaches out to the consumer with the right information at the right time so that they are empowered to take the steps necessary to fulfill their patient financial responsibility. We seek to understand the patient and meet him or her where they are with empathetic communications that take into consideration both the message and how and when it’s delivered. Rather than fostering frustration about their financial responsibilities, TrueAccord eases patients into the process. We also provide a self-service portal where patients can customize their payment plans and find other options for easily settling their bill. 

Since we were founded in 2013, TrueAccord has worked with more than 13 million consumers. Hundreds of thousands have resolved their debts with convenient payment plans, customized billing schedules, and easy documentation. Learn more about how TrueAccord can help your healthcare organization today.

TrueAccord Announces Organizational Changes to Executive Leadership Team

By on August 3rd, 2021 in Company News
TrueAccord Blog

Digital-first debt collection fintech readies for continued B2B and B2C expansion with strategic leadership reorganization

TrueAccord Corporation, a debt collection company offering digital-first and consumer-centric solutions for resolving debts, today announced changes to its executive leadership team to support a planned expansion of products and services. The changes include Sheila Monroe, who previously served as CEO, moving to a new role as chief growth officer for TrueAccord’s parent company, One True Holding Company, with Mark Ravanesi, formerly chief revenue officer (CRO), filling the role as newly appointed CEO of TrueAccord. One True Holding Company also named a chief marketing officer (CMO), Naama Bloom, to drive integrated marketing as the company looks to engage new and different clients.

After two and a half years building and growing TrueAccord as CEO, Monroe takes on a new strategic role as chief growth officer for One True Holding Company, allowing her to tap into her vast global network and industry knowledge. She will focus on strategic opportunities to grow the organization through partnerships, regional expansion and other tactics. With more than 20 years of financial and recoveries experience, along with her ability to navigate complex regulatory environments, Monroe has been a key driver of TrueAccord’s growth and execution. 

Assuming the role of CEO at TrueAccord, Ravanesi will manage overall operations and resources while leading the development and implementation of the company’s strategy and mission. Since joining TrueAccord in 2019, Ravanesi has served as vice president of client success and CRO, playing integral roles in growing the sales organization and leading the company’s analytics and client-facing teams. He is a seasoned industry leader with more than 20 years of experience in the collections space, focusing on strategy, analytics, policies and strategies. Ravanesi’s previous roles include director and leadership positions at Barclays Bank, Discover Financial Services and GE Money.

“​​This is an important step in the evolution of TrueAccord and the whole OTHC group of companies. We will leverage Sheila’s industry expertise in a new, strategic capacity to continue our overall growth trajectory,” said Ohad Samet, co-founder and CEO of One True Holding Company, TrueAccord’s parent company. “Second, we get to apply and expand Mark’s successful mission- and results-oriented leadership in sales to the larger TrueAccord organization, accelerating the tremendous growth we’ve seen in the past years.”

One True Holding Company will continue its long-term success with new products and services targeted to a broader client and customer base, offered by TrueAccord’s sister companies. In alignment with its growth plan, One True Holding Company named Bloom as CMO to create and oversee a comprehensive marketing strategy that will promote brand recognition and deliver offerings that have value for customers, clients and business partners. Bloom brings more than 20 years of marketing experience as a brand builder, entrepreneur and business leader for Fortune 500 companies and startups.

“One True Holding Company has introduced best in class machine learning and digital-first debt collection solutions that consumers love with TrueAccord. Adding a marketing leader to our organization is an important step in doubling down on our trusted brand with clients and consumers alike,” added Samet. “Naama has tremendous experience building marketing teams and building iconic brands that consumers can trust as part of their everyday lives. I am thrilled about bringing in her leadership and expertise to connect the TrueAccord brand, among others, to our business as we move into new verticals and markets.”

The One True Holding Company leadership team also includes Gene Linetsky (chief technology officer), Noah Barr (chief financial officer), Laura Marino (chief product officer), Courtney Graham (chief people officer) and Nadav Samet (chief innovation officer), with Charles Deutsch serving as general manager of the financial services subsidiary True Life Solutions, which launched the game-changing consumer product, Engage.

Over the past year, One True Holding Company and its subsidiaries added more than 200 new hires with plans to continue expanding through 2021, with open positions across engineering, product, sales, client services, marketing, legal and operations. See all open positions and apply here: https://www.trueaccord.com/about-us/careers/  

About TrueAccord

Founded in 2013, TrueAccord’s data-driven debt collection platform is disrupting the collection industry by helping businesses collect more debt online than traditional methods. TrueAccord’s platform is powered by machine learning with a decision engine that analyzes consumer behavior and delivers personalized and empathetic consumer experiences. By communicating at the right time in the right channel with payment options that meet consumer needs, TrueAccord provides exceptional recovery rates for top 10 financial institutions, debt buyers, lenders and technology companies. TrueAccord empowers many of the estimated 77 million consumers who are in debt every year to get on a path to better financial fitness. To learn more, go to http://www.trueaccord.com.

About One True Holding Company

One True Holding Company is a technology company providing business- and consumer-facing solutions in the consumer debt space. Subsidiaries include TrueAccord, which offers machine learning-based, digital- and mobile-first servicing for debt in collections and recoveries, and True Life Solutions, which offers a SaaS platform that consumers can use to contact collectors and creditors digitally.

TrueAccord Talks: Fintech Disruption in 2021

By on July 15th, 2021 in Industry Insights, Industry Interviews

Halfway through 2021, e-commerce and consumer spending continue to see the impact of government stimulus payments while consumers look for new ways to invest and leverage their money. Simultaneously, all sectors of fintech grew during the pandemic, and this growth has not shown signs of stopping. Investment and lending platforms have grown in users by the highest percentage during the pandemic — with increases of 23 and 25 percent, respectively (McKinsey).

With the digitization of banking and financial services now firmly part of our new normal, is “disruption” still possible in fintech in 2021? TrueAccord co-founder and CEO, Ohad Samet, recently sat down with Julie VerHage-Greenberg of Fintech Today to discuss what the next horizon of fintech disruption will look like — and how financial institutions of all types can stay ahead of the curve and create groundbreaking solutions this year.

Watch the full “TrueAccord Talks” episode for more insights, but key trends to watch in fintech disruption in 2021 include:

  1. Solving “structural problems”: Fintechs, unlike many traditional financial services companies, are not just putting old products online and calling them digital, but rethinking the approach to existing problems and building new, better solutions.
  2. Digitization for customer experience: While many companies have focused on digitizing the customer experience, those that haven’t may begin to feel the pressure to adapt. With digitization increasingly being driven by consumer demand and expectation, financial service providers that don’t integrate the consumer experience into their offerings will lose out to those that do.
  3. Affordable financial services: With so many new fintech players in the industry, competition and innovation continue to spur more efficient and affordable services for consumers. Old products will be replaced with new banks, payment options and wage access, and more will focus on credit care and access to cater to consumers.

Beyond Coding: Using AI to Improve the Healthcare Revenue Cycle

By on July 8th, 2021 in Industry Insights, Machine Learning
TrueAccord Blog

Generally, when talking about artificial intelligence (AI) in regards to medical collections, we hear about how it has automated the once-painstaking process of medical coding for billing. But why stop there? With all of its capabilities, AI has much more impressive and patient-facing applications when used to improve customer experience, especially in the healthcare industry which is increasingly digital-first and self-serve. In this post, we’ll explore how AI and machine learning can supercharge the healthcare revenue cycle by catering to consumer preferences, turning billing and collections into a seamless, efficient experience for both patients and providers.

But first: why is it necessary—and even urgent—to improve healthcare revenue management? The answer is patient expectations. Patients now expect the same type of personalized, easy-to-use experience they’ve grown accustomed to receiving from other industries, including banking, airline and retail industries. Patients are now “digital-first” and look for an end-to-end experience that allows them to handle medical-related issues on their own, often from their mobile devices. Patients can already schedule appointments, request prescription refills, receive test results, and even contact their healthcare provider directly through digital platforms. The application of digitization through AI and machine learning to other touchpoints in the patient journey, all the way through billing and collections, can improve customer experience and thereby their overall interactions and relationships with their healthcare providers.

First, digitization powered by AI and machine learning can replace manual and paper processes to speed up the recovery timeline. A 2020 report by InstaMed, a J.P. Morgan company, found that patient collections take more than a month for 63% of healthcare providers. This figure isn’t surprising when 81% of providers still leverage paper and manual processes for collections, while 75% of consumers want to receive eStatements for medical bills. The traditional method of collections does not align with consumer preferences, with more than half (54%) of consumers surveyed saying they prefer electronic communications (emails, text messages, in-app messages and live chats) for medical bills. And a majority of consumers (65%) preferred paying those medical bills digitally as well – whether online through their doctor’s or health plan’s website, their bank’s bill-pay portal or mobile apps – instead of manually. Using AI and machine learning to match the consumer’s communication and payment preferences can drastically improve the time needed to engage and collect from patients.

Second, AI-powered systems can personalize the billing and collections process and offer intuitive payment solutions for patients to achieve the best possible recovery rates. According to the InstaMed report, collecting patient financial responsibility in a timely manner was especially challenging for large patient balances, with 49% of surveyed providers reporting that they cannot collect bills of more than $400 in 30 days. Especially with multiple billers on different payment cycles, it can be difficult for a patient to set up a payment plan with terms they can successfully meet. AI can improve this experience by identifying the most efficient time, place and manner to communicate with a patient about their financial responsibility and go a step further in presenting personalized, affordable payment options. 

Third, AI can be used to interface directly with clients where they are and minimize the need for waiting on hold for the next available representative, creating a more seamless, humane process and a better customer experience. AI-enabled chatbots can answer basic questions, while automation can help provide information on why claims were denied and other status updates. Empathetic customer service is important in the healthcare industry and customized customer self-service can reduce frustration for the patient and the number of service agents needed for the provider.

At TrueAccord, we use AI and machine learning to build digital debt collection solutions for billers that put customers first. By implementing behavioral analytics to predict consumer communication preferences and machine learning to create smart, intuitive processes that increase likelihood of patient repayment, TrueAccord products stay a step ahead to ensure a successful revenue cycle where both patients and providers win. To safeguard personal patient information, TrueAccord’s policies and procedures are designed to comply with all HIPAA-related requirements (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act), including documenting the use of protected health information (PHI) and the physical, technical, and administrative safeguards implemented to protect PHI. Learn more about how we use AI and machine learning to provide a personalized collections experience at scale here.