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Your ARMor

 The UCS Newsletter, providing accounts receivable management and debt collection insights. 

With the committment to maintaining  the important balance between  


                                       Results and Relationships.                                                 

Spring, 2013 - Vol 1, Issue 2
In This Issue
Join Our Mailing List!
 Hi Shirley       
 Thank you for always treating me with respect when you would call.  I'm sure you're their number one collection person.  Could you please send me Paid in Full letters for both accounts?
                  a consumer
  Thanks Margo for your help.  Please put this towards my account balance.
              a consumer
I'm thankful for nice people like you.  It makes my life more tolerable and less stressful.
     Thanks so much,
            a consumer
I want to start off by thanking everyone who provided us with feedback on our premier edition of Your ARMor, our quarterly newsletter.  And, in as much as I would enjoy  all comments to be positive in nature, I do appreciate any and all feedback--so if you have any questions, comments,or concerns, please either give me a call or drop me a line here. 
The first line of our mission statement reads, "United Credit Service, Inc. is committed to providing highly effective debt collection and accounts receivable management services tailored to the individual needs of our business partners." As your partner, we really want to understand how your business is doing.  What challenges are you facing, and how can we help with these challenges? As we discussed last quarter, a client approached me about a problem they were experiencing regarding their high volume of unpaid insurance claims due to rejections and denials. We listened to our client's concerns and were able to develop a successful new program, Insurance Claims Collection, to address that issue. 
Recently, I met with another client who shared his frustrations with their patient registration process. Couple that with a Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA) study that found one-third of responding hospitals reported that receivables are growing at a faster rate than patient revenue and our new patient pre-registration, accelerated revenue cycle program PatientConnect is born.
As our economy continues to struggle, the effects of sequestration unfold and the ramifications of these and other challenges come your way know UCS is here, as a value added partner, to not only provide you with the benefits of traditional collections, but we are also able to provide innovative solutions to the growing challenges you face.    
Thank you for allowing us the opportunity to serve you!
Best regards,       
Sequestration; How will it affect us?                                                                     by Lisa B

Type the word sequester or sequestration into your search engine and then stand back as the flood gates open.   


"What exactly is sequestration?" you may ask.   Basically, sequestration is a word used to describe the employment of automatic, across-the-board spending cuts in the federal budget in the face of annual budget deficits.  And like just about everything else, there are provisions for exceptions.


Interestingly, the idea of imposing automatic spending cuts in the federal budget was first authorized by the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985.  It was applied again by Congress through the Budget Control Act of 2011 and the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012. 


The sequester cuts were triggered when President Obama and Congress failed to reach an agreement on a total of $1.2 trillion in cuts to federal spending over the next 10 years.


Without getting into the politics of it all, the sequester officially began on March 1, 2013. However, its effects are still unfolding as the cuts kick in.  For example, Medicare provider and insurer payments have been cut by 2 percent as of April 1. The cuts apply to provider payments for services administered under Medicare Hospital Insurance (Part A), Medicare Medical Insurance (Part B), the contractual payments to Medicare Advantage Plans (Part C), and Medicare Prescription Drug Plans (Part D), according to the Congressional Budget Office. Providers that offer Medicare Part C and Medicare Part D plans felt the effect of the cuts immediately as Medicare pays these providers on the first business day of every month--the majority of health care providers won't feel the pain until weeks or even months after the budget cuts technically go into effect.


Since the cuts are made across-the-board, the effects of the 2 percent reduction to Critical Access Hospitals (CAH) may push many of these health care facilities into dire circumstances. According to the National Rural Health Association, Medicare contributes an average of $5 million to each CAH's net patient revenue. Even though these dollars make up only 2% of the total Medicare budget, these essential dollars can equal 30% of a CAH's revenue.


Hospitals aren't alone in these cuts; sequestration will slash thousands of dollars from physicians treating the elderly.  Unless changes are made within their practices, many physicians may be forced to choose between putting their practices at risk and reducing the number of elderly and disabled patients they treat.


The cuts will undoubtedly cause job losses in the health care industry.  According to the Medicare Newsgroup, in the first year of the sequester it is estimated that health care and its related industries will lose more than 496,000 jobs.


Health care is not the only industry hit with these federal budget cuts.   According to a report by the state Department of Public Instruction, Wisconsin stands to lose $40.8 million in federal funding this year for education programs, including Head Start, special education and grants to districts with large low-income student population.  The White House estimates Wisconsin could lose $8.5 million in primary and secondary funding this year.


We've heard that the sequester will have impact on the Military.  Active-duty military personnel are exempt from the cuts, but there are many civilian Department of Defense employees here in Wisconsin that would likely be affected by receiving furlough days. Plans are still being finalized, but affected employees would have to take 22 furlough days from April through September.


According to the White House, Wisconsin could lose about $3.9 million in funding for clean air and water programs as well as programs that are aimed at preventing pollution from pesticides and hazardous wastes. The White House data states Wisconsin could also lose as much as $1.5 million in grants for fish and wildlife protection.


This is just a sampling of what the so-called sequester could mean to us and only time will tell for sure.  Even if your business isn't personally hit by these cuts, the trickle down effect could possibly impact you. Unless you tackle sequestration head on, your revenue will most likely take a hit. Now is the time to be proactive and get the necessary processes and changes in place to turn this problem into an opporturnity.



Understanding Business Office Extension


Do you ever feel understaffed or get the impression you're stretching your employees beyond their competency or comfort level? UCS has the solution for that--Business Office Extension. 


Business Office Extension offers you the customizable ability to expand your workforce without expanding your staff.  Simply put, our employees can work as your employees. 


Our staff has the expertise and experience to excel as an extension to your office.  Our Early Outs, Self-pay, Payment Monitoring, Liability Monitoring, Insurance Claims Collection, and PatientConnect are all examples of Business Office Extension; each of these programs has our employees working as your own.  But, you are not limited to these programs, as with all services here at UCS, we can customize a program just for your business.  Let's say you would like reminder calls made to your patients/customers regarding an upcoming appointment, procedure, or to remind them of an unpaid balance, UCS has the man-power and technology to handle this request and others seamlessly.


Do your consumers need a little nudge to pay their past due accounts without actually sending them to collections? Are your employees too busy to collect pertinent information or co-pays on your patients? Our consumer oriented staff has the training and ability to handle these and other sensitive situations with finesse.  


Do you have a RAC audit in your future and need some helping hands?  Give UCS a call.


Here at United Credit Service, Inc., we want to be the kind of partner you can rely on for your collection needs as well as for creative solutions to the other challenges you face.




Credit to the Community - Our New Employee Volunteer Program 


Back in October of 2012, we launched  the UCS Health and Wellness Program as a way to maintain and improve the health of our team members.  Daily stretch and flex sessions, discounted health club memberships, monthly informational bulletin board postings along with quarterly educational "lunch and learns" have been rolled out. 


Beginning on April 1, 2013, UCS added an Employee Volunteer Program (EVP), Credit to the Community, as a part of our employee health and wellness program.


UCS has always, as a company, supported philanthropic organizations both locally and nationally, from adopting a local family during the holidays to supporting ARMing Hero's, a National accounts receivable management charity that helps veterans and their families pay off their debts. (Please visit ARMing Heroes website here.) Our EVP gives us the opportunity to volunteer as individuals, not just as a company. 


The mission of this program, in conjunction with our corporate mission statement, is to be a good corporate citizen by encouraging volunteerism and participation in the activities intended to enhance, serve, and /or impact the quality of life in the communities in which we live, work, and thrive.  It is our mission to enrich our own (team members) lives and increase personal fulfillment through volunteerism.  And through our interactions within the communities, create goodwill towards our industry.


Team members have been provided with a bank of hours that are referred to as Volunteer Time Off hours or VTO's. When they want to volunteer at their favorite charity, they request time off using their VTO hours and UCS will pay them their current base salary for those hours donated.


They may volunteer individually or work together in groups. 


We are all excited about our EVP, Credit to the Community, and hope to make a difference within our communities as well as within ourselves.  




 Fun & Games  


Congratulations to James Webley of Webley Chiropractic and Sports Injury Center for winning last quarter's trivia contest TV Trivia. 


      Wisconsin Trivia


1.     Which Wisconsin county boasts more Lake Michigan shore line (250 miles) and more state parks (5) than any other county in the country?


2.     Which Wisconsin city is the bratwurst capital of the Great Lakes?


3.     There are many famous Wisconsinites, Name:  a. the famous magician and escape artist. b. the well-known World War II and Korean War general.  c. America's most famous architect. 


4.     Which Wisconsin city hosts the State Cow Chip Throwing Contest on Labor Day weekend?


5.     Which Wisconsin city is the "Toilet Paper Capital of the World"?


   To submit your answers click here 




          Answers to last quarter's game TV Trivia: 


     1. McMillian and Wife

             2. Moonlighting

             3. My So Called Life

             4. Las Vegas

             5. Blue Bloods





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