Collection Agency Submittal Do’s and Don’ts

Your collection agency has a better shot at success in collecting your past-due accounts if you follow tips for submitting accounts to the agency, from TMA endorsed vendor I.C. System

DO provide as much information about the account as you can so the collection agent can have a meaningful conversation with your patient who is in arrears.

At a minimum, provide the patient’s first and last name, address, phone number(s), and account balance (list principal and any late fees separately). Other helpful items to provide are:

  • Social Security number,
  • Date of birth,
  • Date of service(s), and
  • Account number in your system. 

In addition, provide some background. For example: Did the patient pay with a bad check? Have you turned over this patient’s account to collections before? Has the patient signed a payment agreement with you and failed to adhere to it?

DON’T turn over an account if:

  • Your patient has declared bankruptcy.
  • You haven’t notified the patient that you intend to turn over his or her account to a collection agency.
  • The balance due is owed by insurance, not the patient.
  • Another agency (or an attorney) is already working to collect the account.
  • You won’t be able to validate the amount owed if the patient disputes it.

TMA’s endorsed vendor programs, only for TMA members, are an excellent value that can save you time and money. See what’s available at

Does your practice have established procedures for collecting balances from patients, determining when to turn over accounts to a collection agency, and working with the agency? TMA’s Policies and Procedures: A Guide for Medical Offices contains detailed sample policies and procedures that can work for any practice.

Updated June 12, 2018

TMA Practice E-Tips main page

Last Updated On

June 12, 2018

Originally Published On

September 28, 2016

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