Medical professionals and institutions may hesitate to contact a Virginia medical debt collection agency. But considering that there are 719,000 uninsured Virginians under the age of 65, it is likely that your medical bills are piling up.
A debt collection agency’s job is to help relieve doctors of unpaid balances so that they can continue to have working capital. This helps both patients and doctors by giving them the freedom to hire more staff and invest in more medical supplies. Without the option to sell medical debt, more patients would be turned away due to insufficient supplies.
Combined with the national effort to relieve patients of medical debt and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, there are now multiple ways to handle unpaid doctor visits. Consulting a Virginia medical collection agency is typically a viable solution for struggling practitioners.
Read on to learn about the current Virginia medical debt climate to help you determine if a collection agency is a right move for you.
Virginia Debt Statistics
Virginia is one of the wealthiest states in the nation. That’s good news for doctors and hospitals because the average income for residents of VA is about $60,000. That means that most residents with medical debt are in a position to afford monthly and regular payments. This can be done directly through the hospital or with the help of a Virginia medical debt collection agency.
However, this high expectation has forced many below this average threshold to turn down health insurance. According to the Virginia Health Care Foundation, “There are 428,000 uninsured Virginians ages 19 – 64 years old, with household income under 200% FPL (9%).”
This makes Virginia one of the top-rated states with the most uninsured residents. It is also difficult for Virginian patients to seek Medicaid help. Virginia is ranked last for the state’s residents to receive any form of financial, or medical help. This puts patients at risk because they can’t (or won’t) seek medical treatment instead of insurance.
Virginia Medical Debt Collection Laws
Virginia’s statute of limitations is three to six years. This is relevant to oral agreements, written contracts, open-ended accounts, and promissory notes. According to The Balance, the exact number of years for each type of agreement is as follows:
Oral: 3 years
Written: 5 years
Promissory Notes: 6 years
Open-Ended: 3 years
According to Virginia law, creditors such as hospitals and doctors may file a lawsuit against the debtor (i.e the patient) once the statute of limitations expires. However, most practitioners do not take this route with today’s Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
Virginia Medical Debt Agency Process
Because of the difficulty in obtaining financial and medical help in Virginia, patients may see a doctor knowing they will never be able to pay their bills without insurance. That leaves doctors to pick up the slack by managing unpaid bills. The process is both daunting and time-consuming.
Instead of seeking legal retribution, most Virginian medical practitioners choose to sell their debt to medical debt collection agencies. Recent federal regulations (the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act) ensure that patients with outstanding balances are protected against aggressive debt collectors. Collectors are restricted to calling during set hours of the day, and cannot harass, threaten, or intimidate former patients to pay their bills.
Instead, debt collectors now work alongside patients to develop a payment plan – an amicable option that may otherwise be unavailable to the patients in the state of Virginia.
Need a Medical Collection Agency in Virginia? Contact us!