Legal Headaches of Check By Phone Payments in Debt Collection

A recently filed putative class action demonstrates the risk all companies face when accepting electronic checks by phone. While most companies agree to accept electronic checks by phone only as a convenience to customers, these transactions are governed by a confluence of financial regulations replete with thorny traps for the unwary. In particular, recurring electronic withdrawals from a consumer’s checking account must be authorized in a writing signed or similarly authenticated by the consumer.

While the definition of “similarly authenticated” is subject to some interpretation, an audio recording of the consumer’s verbal consent is arguably not sufficient.

Healthcare Daily Digest for 31 January 2013: Torn Between Two Lovers, Medicare Fraud and Political Corruption

Meet Dr Salomon Melgen. He’s a Florida opthalmologist whose offices were recently raided by both the FBI and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Turns out, Dr Melgen is under suspicion of what appears to incredibly easy to do these days: defrauding Medicare. But wait, there’s more. Turns out, Melgen might — and, […]

CMS to Cut ESRD Bundled Reimbursement up to $880 Million

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will cut the reimbursement rate for end-stage renal disease (ESRD) bundled payments beginning in 2014.

The rebased rate is to reflect the reduced usage of ESRD drugs, specifically Epogen and two other anemia-treating drugs manufactured by Amgen, according to a Washington Post report.

For the past several years the bundled payment system for dialysis treatments has been relatively lucrative for healthcare providers, in part because Medicare’s reimbursement rate was based on the level of usage of anemia drugs of more than five years ago.

JH Capital Group and Credit Control Appoint Nathan Sturycz as Chief Compliance Officer

Amid the recent release of the new HIPAA Omnibus Regulations that raise both the stakes and the responsibility of healthcare providers and their “business associates” to ensure compliance with patient privacy rules, and the news on Monday that Senator Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) has reintroduced the Medical Debt Responsibility Act in the U.S. Senate, one revenue cycle management company has announced the appointment of a new chief compliance officer.
JH Capital Group, a diversified specialty finance company and leading purchaser of distressed consumer debt, and Credit Control, LLC, a subsidiary of JH Capital Group and a nationally-licensed receivables management firm with five offices throughout the US, has named Nathan Sturycz, Esq. as Chief Compliance Officer. Mr. Sturycz will be responsible for implementing and managing the compliance programs for JH Capital and Credit Control to ensure the companies maintain strict adherence to all state and federal regulatory requirements.

FTC Releases Large Multi-Year Debt Buying Study

The Federal Trade Commission today announced the results of the first empirical study of debt buyers. In January 2010, the FTC asked several prominent debt purchasers to submit information about their portfolios.

The report, titled The Structure and Practices of the Debt Buying Industry, found there is room for improvement in the information these companies have when they contact consumers and try to collect.