Following up on our previous article where we highlighted the importance of healthcare provider compliance with collection regulations, we have a brand new case where a medical group allegedly lacked prior express consent before contacting a patient per the TCPA and the FCC’s Declaratory Ruling.
California’s Prospect Medical Group is faced with allegations from a class-action suit which include employing an auto-dialer for calling a patient on a mobile phone about their past-due debt without obtaining consent to call such phone number. The suit against Prospect Medical Group is a result of the FCC’s Declaratory Ruling and Order, that includes an extra level of compliance modifications in the healthcare collection industry last July.
For the record, Prospect Medical Group claims it followed all the required compliance regulations and got consent to call the patient on their cell phone. Prospect Medical Group is one of the first providers to face a lawsuit from the FCC since its order was released in July, according to Modern Healthcare.
Please note that the FCC claims it will permit one mistake for calling any phone number not authorized. However, they will impose penalties and/or fines for violations greater than one mistake.
The American Collectors Association (and others) sued the FCC in July 2015 challenging their authority and arbitrary/capricious ruling related to itsTCPA regulations. The plaintiffs from the case argued that the FCC had gone beyond Congress’s primary purpose when they changed the legal conditions and scope of the TCPA. They also allege it harms regular lawful businesses who communicate with customers. This action violated their due process and rights to free speech per the suit.
Unfortunately, TCPA suits against collection agencies and their clients have progressively expanded over the years: In 2007, only 14 TCPA cases were made; three years later it increased to 354 for 2010. In the following year, cases grew even higher to 840 and more than 1,000 in 2012.
Again, it’s more important than ever to consider compliance (as well as results) in selecting a medical collection agency. Please contact Alacrity for more details on our flawless compliance record and superior results.