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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.                                                 

2013 - Vol 1, Issue 4
In This Issue
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  To our top performers of 2013:
Hi Kori,
I would like to take a moment and thank you for your prompt attention and due diligence when investigating and responding to credit bureau disputes.  Your timeliness lead to our November response rate of 100%.  This helps us increase our overall rate of 95% which is better than the national average of 92%.  Thanks again for all of your hard work. 
Your dedication to compliance of laws and regulations is superior and is much appreciated.  Your respectful treatment and politeness to the consumers makes you a great asset to the organization. 


  Your communication skills and ability to connect with consumers to get to the heart of a situation is outstanding. Resolving disputes is often a difficult task and one that you handle very effectively.




     I must compliment you on your call technique and compassion. Both are very important and have been effective in resolving financial affairs with consumers. 




     I can't believe it has been almost a year since you started with UCS.  You have come so far and have learned so much in that year.  I want to take this opportunity to thank you for all your hard work and your willingness to take on any task that is given to you. 

     Never lose your "sunny" disposition.




     Your enthusiasm and willingness to learn new tasks is refreshing and very much appreciated. 



The last quarter of the year is always a special time. During this period we spend time with colleagues, friends, and family to give thanks and express gratitude.  And with that brings the season of giving, love, and hope. As the year comes to an end I, like many, reflect on the past and then look to the future with anticipation of all the possibilities and optimism each new year brings.


As I sit in the after-glow of Christmas and reflect on 2013 I know I have been blessed both personally and professionally-I have a lot to be thankful for.


On a personal note, I'm happy to announce my family grew this year.  My wife and I became grandparents again when our daughter, Jessica, gave birth to her second child, a healthy baby girl, on November 21st.  Witnessing our two-year-old grandson, Henry, meeting his baby sister, Edith, for the first time was a precious moment I will never forget.


On a professional note, I'm happy to announce UCS will also be growing.  We will be adding a new financial counselor to our team to accommodate the increased number of clients we added in 2013.  


We've seen many changes to our industry this year with the most notable being that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) now oversees the collection industry. Not to mention  the many changes Obamacare brings to many of us. It is more important than ever to stay current with the changing times.


Training, compliance to all laws and regulations, quality assurance and customer experience are the four key elements to a successful collection program. They are so important they, in part, drive our Mission Statement and guiding Principles. In an ongoing effort to provide our clients and their consumers with the best service possible UCS continues to evolve and adapt to the changing times with upgrades to our technology as well as updates and tweaks within our processes. Some of these improvements are not obvious to our clients, but will increase process efficiency and effectiveness while others like our soon-to-be updated website will be more visible.


I would like to once again take the time to thank the team members of UCS for another successful year and I would like to thank our clients for allowing us the opportunity to serve you. I appreciate your business.


Best regards in the coming year,




Obamacare Marketplace Fraught With Challenges

As part of the Affordable Care Act, the new Health Insurance Marketplace or "exchange" opened up for business on October 1st.  According to the website for the Marketplace, www.Healthcare.gov, there are 4 ways you can purchase through the Marketplace: online, with a paper application, by phone, or in person. It is meant to be a one-stop shopping experience for health coverage, designed to make it easier for individuals and families to compare and purchase insurance. But since it's launch on October 1st, this couldn't be further from the truth.

According to an article I read by a CBS affiliate, President Obama himself signed up for health insurance through the Marketplace on Monday, December 24th.  And like so many before him, he was unable to use the website to enroll. He ended up having one of his aides enroll for him through an in-person enrollment site. (read article here)   

Earlier in November, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released state-by-state numbers of people who were able to enroll through the new healthcare exchanges between Oct. 1 and Nov 2nd. According to HHS, there were 19,098 applications submitted on behalf of 34,678 Wisconsinites. But only 877 Wisconsin residents were actually able to successfully sign up for a health insurance plan through the federal online exchange. This number only represents about 16 percent of what was initially projected.  According to an internal memo obtained by the Associated Press, The Obama administration had projected that 5,530 people from Wisconsin would have signed up for plans by October 31st. The report did not provide any detailed information about those buying the plans or which plan or type they selected.


Not only can you use the Marketplace to find health insurance, but it is also the place where you can  find out if you qualify for money-saving federal subsidies like Cost-Sharing Reductions, which can lower your out-of-pocket costs, and Advanced Premium Tax Credits, which lower your monthly premiums.  It's important to note that these subsidies are only available on the Marketplace.


As you may already know, all plans offered in the Marketplace--no matter where you live--are separated into four levels: Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. The four levels are differentiated centered around their actuarial value. On average, the bronze plans cover about 60 percent of covered medical expenses, the silver 70 percent, gold 80 percent, and platinum 90 percent.  Of course, the more coverage a plan pays, the higher the premium. But as we know, the premium is only one part of the total out-of-pocket costs (and isn't even included when calculating your total out-of-pocket maximums). Like other health insurance plans purchased outside of the Marketplace, people purchasing in the exchanges need to understand other insurance terms like: co-payment,deductible, and coinsurance to understand exactly  what they are getting when they select a plan to purchase.


Back in August, I wrote a blog entitled "Understanding Health Insurance, It's Not Rocket Science-or Is It?" In it I discussed the results of a Carnegie Mellon University survey that found that only 14 percent of respondents actually understood their health insurance and how each of its elements worked.  It was revealed that even though people thought they understood their health insurance they, in fact, did not. (If you would like to read the blog about the Carnegie Mellon survey click here)


So now  we have people who may not have had much experience with insurance in the past and we are asking them to navigate the insurance world on a website fraught with problems to make intelligent--knowledgeable--choices regarding purchasing mandated health insurance. 


If a applicant is ineligible for public coverage like BadgerCare, are unable to get qualified health insurance through their employer, and their income falls between 100 and 250 percent of the federal poverty level, they may be eligible for a Cost-Sharing Reduction federal subsidy which could help lower deductibles, co-payments, and coinsurance.  But, in order to receive that federal subsidy, they must purchase a Silver plan within the Marketplace.  With all the confusing information out there, do you think they know that?


Enrollment in the Marketplace has been proven to be a challenging endeavor at best. Finding the balance between coverage and costs also has its challenges, but understanding the coverage itself might be the biggest challenge of them all.



United Credit Service Gives Back to the Community         by Lisa B



"We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give."  




Community is very important to us here at UCS. I'm not just talking about our own UCS community--the one we've built--but also the communities in which we live, work, and thrive. Because hey, aren't we all in this together? We think it is so important we not only refer to community in our Mission Statement, (to see our Mission Statement and guiding Principles click here.) but we also "put our money where our mouth is" when we created our Employee Volunteer Program (EVP) as a part of our company's Health and Wellness Program.  Our EVP  gives each employee a bank of hours each year similar to PTOs called VTOs  to be used for Volunteer Time Off.  Employees can then request time-off to work their favorite charities using their VTO hours.


"Happiness doesn't result from what we get, but from what we give."
     --Ben Carson


These VTO hours have enabled our team members to take the time-off necessary to volunteer at: local church and community fundraisers, school endeavors, the breast cancer charity; After Breast Cancer Diagnosis (ABCD), Open Arms Free Clinic, Inc., and to give blood at local Red Cross Blood Drives to name a few.


Through our EVP, Credit to the Community, UCS tries to give back all year long, but the efforts really seem to get "stepped-up" during the holiday season and this year was no exception.


"For it is in giving that we receive."
     --St. Francis of Assisi


Through the generosity of our team members UCS participated in two food-drives and adopted a family through the local Elkhorn charity HOPE NOW INC.  We've also contributed to the local Elkhorn High School Booster's Club fundraiser, the Walworth County Sheriff's Department and to ARMing Heroes, the collection industry's charity for military veterans.


Walworth County was fortunate to have the Open Arms Free Clinic open its doors just over a year ago to serve the health and wellness needs of the uninsured, low income and under-served residents of Walworth County. UCS has helped during this past year by participating in their fundraisers including attending their 1st Birthday Party earlier this month.  We not only have donated to OAFC through their fundraisers, but also have logged over 60 volunteer hours within the clinic itself.


We are proud of our team members and our ongoing efforts to give-back because as the inspiration to the New York Times best-selling book "29 Gifts" says, "Giving of any kind... taking an action... begins the process of change, and moves us to remember that we are part of a much greater universe. "
     --Mbali Creazzo 




PatientConnect; Our New patient-centric revenue cycle enhancement service  offers a suite of programs focused on pre-service (POS) collections, pre-registration, and patient satisfaction



Transform the post-service adversarial relationship to a pre-service advocacy for the patient.                     

                        -HFMA's Healthcare Financial Pulse

PatientConnect is a patient-centric revenue cycle enhancement service that offers a suite of programs focused on pre-service collections, pre-registration, and patient satisfaction.  These la carte or bundled programs act as an extension to your staff, alleviating the need for new hires and expensive training.

Patients are increasingly arming themselves with medical information online looking for a more collaborative approach to their health care. PatientConnect expands this collaborative approach to the financial side of healthcare by arming both the patient and provider with more knowledge--proactively communicating is the key.                   


     PatientAdvocate contacts patient. Pre-registration form is completed.  Medicaid          & charity care eligibility identified. 



PatientAdvocate verifies insurance eligibility, benefits, deductibles, & co-insurance with payers.  Obtains required pre-certification/pre-authorization.



PatientAdvocate contacts patient and explains insurance coverage.  Provides estimates of total out-of-pocket cost. 


Financial counseling is provided and required self-pay ( or BAI ) balances are collected or payment plan initiated.


You no longer have to choose between happy patients and a healthy bottom-line--PatientConnect increases patient satisfaction while accelerating your revenue cycle.


Advantages to Utilizing PatientConnect:

  • Improves efficiency and productivity
  • Reduces workload on your staff
  • Allows issue mitigation before date of service
  • Identifies Medicaid/charity care eligible patients early so patient can be enrolled before procedure
  • Minimizes treatment delays
  • Enhances patient flow
  • Increases patient awareness
  • Improves patient and provider satisfaction
  • Increases point-of-service collections
  • Accelerates revenue cycle
  • Reduces bad debt
  • Reduces insurance claims denial 
  • Decreased A/R days
If you have any questions or would like more information about PatientConnect or any of our other services, please contact us here.





 Fun & Games   - The first to submit the correct answers wins a prize



      Holiday Entertainment Trivia


1. What is the name of the Grinch's dog in the movie "The Grinch Who Stole Christmas"?


2. What kind of animal is King Moonracer, the ruler of the Island of Misfit Toys, from the movie "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer"?


3. In the movie "A Charlie Brown Christmas" Charlie Brown's five year old sister wants money for Christmas.  What is her name?


4. In the 1946 classic "It's a Wonderful Life" what was George Bailey's wife's name? 


5.   In the 1947 version of the movie "  Miracle on 34th Street"  Who played six-year-old Susan Walker?     




     To submit your answers click here 




                  Answers to last quarter's game 
                  United States Trivia: 





1.    Which famous document contains the sentence: "We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal."?   The Declaration of independence. 


2.  Which US presidents were assassinated? Kennedy, McKinley, Garfield, and Lincoln.


3.     Which state has three times more cattle than people?  Montana


4.     Which state produces more food than any other state? California


5.    Which is the only state to have had the flags of six countries fly over it?  Texas: France, Spain, Mexico, Confederate States, Republic of Texas, and the US. 








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