Your ARMor

The UCS Newsletter, providing A/R management and debt collection insights, with the commitment of maintaining the important balance between

Results and Relationships
 vol. 7 issue 4
Table of Contents

Fuel You 1st Quarter Revenue by Finding the Yin and Yang of Collections

Of Gift for Yourself: Self Care in Times of Stress

UCS: All Around Town

"I've worked with United Credit Service, Inc. for over 25 years and have found their staff to be very professional and knowledgeable.  UCS has provided our patients and our staff with outstanding customer service while also providing excellent collection results."

Director of Patient Financial Services, Large Midwestern Hospital

"Kim is great and wonderful to work with.  Wish all my medical bills were here."
    --a patient

I received a call from a consumer that you recently spoke with who wanted to tell you how wonderful you were to her. She said that you were very polite and patient.  She said that you made a difficult situation much more pleasant. 

Nice job Becky!!


"I just had the privilege of speaking with Krys, one of your employees. And I would like to commend you for employing people of her caliber. She was extraordinarily helpful, very good at her listening skills. Outstanding! She was so very kind... And I am very thankful to be able to set up a payment arrangement.  Thank you again for employing Krys,"
    --a patient.

You have been great to work with on this unfortunate issue. Thank you for your kindness. Please apply this check to reference#XX-XXXXXXXXXX

a consumer


Work/Life balance is something we all need, no ifs, ands or buts about it!

But here’s the thing, it can be challenging any time of the year, but it seems hardest to maintain during the last two months.

November and December demand a lot of attention both personally and professionally and juggling all that needs to get done sometimes knocks that elusive balance out of whack.

I’ve found the best way to keep the scales from tipping too far in one direction is to write out my priorities. I’m a big believer in planning your work and working your plan all year long. But, for me, it’s never more important than around the holidays! At the beginning of each week, I make a list of things I want to accomplish—both personally and professionally and I write them all out.

The younger me was so focused on making sure I was getting the job done professionally I had a hard time getting to the things on the personal side of the list and my family life suffered. I then got in the habit of listing them according to priority, that way significant personal obligations got as much attention as the professional ones.

When my kids were young, it was important to me to spend time with them by coaching their sport’s teams. In order to get to practice on time I learned to add the dates and times to my work calendar. Doing so stopped me from overlapping commitments and I was then able to leave work on time those nights. Boy did that help reduce my stress level (read blood pressure)!

One of the best things I've discovered about maintaining work/life balance is my ability to really focus and live in the moment. When I am at work, I am able to give my team and any problems that arise my undivided attention. Same goes at home. They all deserve nothing less. And there is also the added benefit of no longer waking up in the middle of the night feeling guilty about something that got missed during the day.

If you’re not someone who’s been able to implement work/life balance into your life I challenge you to make it a priority in the coming year. You’ll be amazed with how much more work you will be able to accomplish all while improving your important relationships at home. I guarantee it will change your life!

If you are a client, thank you for allowing us the privilege of serving you. If you are a prospective client, we’d love the opportunity to make your life easier all while improving your bottom line.

Have a happy News Year's Eve and a healthy, happy and prosperous 2020!

 Best regards,

Fuel Your First Quarter Revenue by Finding the Yin and Yang of Collections

When we talk about balance in our life, we all can conjure up our own vision of what that looks like. The ability to visualize it isn’t the issue is it? Yet implementing can be another whole ball of wax.

Like just about everything in life, finding balance in your collection strategy isn’t simply that line between black and white, it’s mixed somewhere deep within all those shades of gray.

Admittedly, it's easier for our larger clients, like hospitals, surgery centers, and utility companies. Processes and procedures have been worked through with well-defined delinquent timelines, charity care criteria and state laws governing cold-weather disconnections. For most of them, emotion is left out of the equation. But for our mid-sized and smaller clients, collection strategies are blurry and there can be a lot of mixed emotions that go into deciding collection protocols.

First you look at it one way and then another. Before you know it, there is a tennis match going on in your head:

Patients are why I do what I do. Healthcare is expensive. How can they pay this? But costs for me keep going up too. I also have an obligation to my patients, employees, and my family of keeping my practice financially healthy.

I felt bad when my customer confided in me and told me they were having a hard time staying afloat, so I agreed to letting her miss her next two payments. But when she came in to the office to place another order and showed me the pictures of her on vacation at the beach, I saw red!

When filling out the new client form a lot of people leave blanks on the form, like their Social Security number, date of birth or work information. I understand it feels like an invasion of their privacy which is why I don’t say anything. But when they don’t pay their bills and quit returning my calls, I’m angry because I did my end and am now stuck with a bill that’s not being paid.

I was so sick and tired of constantly being paid late by one of my clients I got short-tempered with them when they told me their payment would be late again. Now they haven’t placed an order in a long time and I’m afraid they took their business elsewhere.

If any of these sounds familiar, then your collection efforts are off balance. Collecting money is tough. That’s why we refer to it as the ‘sensitive art of debt collection’. If you’re strategy is off kilter and you want to handle it yourself, try these techniques:

  • Have a financial agreement in place (signed and dated by patient or client)
  • Have a payment tracking system that alerts you to late payments
  • Follow a strict protocol for missed payments
  • Make it easy for your consumers to pay you
  • When speaking with patients with delinquent bills determine if it’s an ability to pay problem or a willingness to pay issue. Be empathetic and look for solutions you both can live with

Here is the most important thing to remember: When you realize there is a problem don’t delay! Time is money. The longer you wait to address the problem, the harder it will be to collect the money.

If you are using UCS or another agency, remember to send your placements in a timely manner—especially this time of year.

Did you know the first quarter of the year is the ideal time to collect. You don’t have to take my word for it, according to Experian, 35 percent of Americans use their tax refund to pay off debt? With an average tax refund of over $2,500, we like to do everything we can to make sure our clients get their fair share of that refund.

Please don’t lose out on this ideal time to collect. Send your placements in today.


A Gift for Yourself: Self Care in Times of Stress


In this season of giving, it is important not to forget an important person on your gift list: You!

With rare exception, we all feel increased stress at this time of year. Whether it is the push for end of year business, budgets, performance reviews, social obligations or just trying to meet all our own expectations, the added stress can seriously impact our mental as well as physical health. Studies have shown that excessive stress can increase anxiety and depression and even reduce the ability of our immune system to fight off illness.

Some suggestions of gifts you can give to yourself to take care of Number One:

  • Learn to say no: You don’t have to do it all, even if you really want to. Just learn to politely say no. If you need to give a reason just be honest. Then let it go. No reason to feel guilty on top of everything else!

  • Try to keep to your routine; don’t overextend: As best you can, stick to your routine as much as possible. Staying out later, missing meals, sleeping poorly all can add to stress. Respect your body, mind and spirit, and do what you are accustomed to doing.

  • Get your rest: Ok, maybe this is not possible, but try your best to keep on a consistent schedule of sleep. If nothing else, the occasional power nap can really re-energize us.

  • Eat well but eat smart: This one is really hard to do during the holidays, but avoiding overeating helps us stay in alignment. No, you don’t have to skimp on the crab dip, but we all know there can be too much of a good thing.

  • Stay hydrated: This seems simple enough, but it is easy to get dehydrated even in the winter. Although it is colder, the air is drier, and we still perspire. Add holiday cheer, shoveling snow, and it does not take much to become dehydrated. Headache? Feeling low energy? Try a glass of water.

  • Take a break: Do something you enjoy. If you can, choose some relaxing activities to shut it down for a while. Get a massage. Try some yoga or meditation. Go for a quiet walk. Some people find that just picking up a book and reading for as little as 10 minutes can break the feeling of being overwhelmed.

  • Get some exercise: Sure, it is hard to get outside when the weather is cold, but just going for a walk at a local mall or community center can loosen us up and relax us. If you belong to a health club, even better! If you have a regular exercise routine, try and keep it up. Accomplishing a physical workout of some sort can also help keep our outlook positive.

  • Laugh: The best medicine? Perhaps! Keep a good spirit about you. Laugh, especially when things get out of hand a bit. Try not to take things, and yourself, so seriously. We only get one chance at this life so we might as well laugh our way through it!

  • Remember that “Normal” is just a setting on your dryer! We should really expect nothing less than the unexpected during this season. Trying to find that elusive “normal,” or expecting the traditions from last year or the year before to be the same year after year, is setting you up for disappointment. Nothing will ever match the power of our good memories. So, make some new ones! Roll with what comes and accept that whatever we think “normal” is, and often fight so hard to achieve, probably does not exist.

Some of you are probably saying right now: “Doing this stuff causes me more stress than just plowing through things.” Perhaps so, but doing just one or two things to take care of ourselves can make a world of difference.

A happy and blessed holiday season to you all!

UCS: All Around Town

Where We Were:

October 3-4,2019

AAHAM Wisconsin Revenue Cycle Co-op

Where We Are Going:

January 22-24, 2020

Mega Healthcare Conference  
Kalahari Resorts
Wisconsin Dells
                                 ​​​​​​​Hope to see you there!

United Credit Service wishes you all a healthy, happy, and prosperous New Year!​
United Credit Service, Inc.
15 N. Lincoln Street, P.O. Box 740
Elkhorn, WI 53121