Free Reg F Goodbye Letter Template + Compliance Checklist


Free Reg F Goodbye Letter Template + Compliance Checklist

Regulation F has changed the way that healthcare providers are required to engage in debt collections. One of the most important changes is the move towards more electronic communication standards. These standards can be enhanced when the original creditor sends their patient a “goodbye letter” in advance of sending out the account for further collection action to their agency partner.

Unfortunately, this goodbye letter is often underutilized because healthcare organizations are unsure when to send it and what it should and should not include. Here’s a quick summary of Reg F and the Goodbye Letter, a compliance checklist, and a ready-to-go template your organization can use with patients.

What is Reg F?

Regulation F was written in the 1970s to create communications guidelines between debtors and collectors. Picture communication technology in the 70s: Rotary phones, antennas on TVs, and fax machines the size of a house may come to mind. And then… Reg F was never updated. Until 2021, no guardrails were put around how healthcare organizations and debt collectors could use “new” technologies like voicemail, text messages, and email to communicate with consumers.

These barriers in communication wasted time and held up collections. The updates to Reg F eliminate these barriers by putting the consumer in charge of how they want to receive communications. Among other things, these changes to Reg F affect:

  • The information that’s required to be sent from the healthcare organization to the debt collection agency
  • The initial notice that the debt collection agency sends to the patient.
  • The manner, timing, and frequency that debt collection agencies can communicate with a consumer to discuss outstanding debts.

Learn what’s at stake with changes to Reg F and the No Surprises Billing Act in our free on-demand webinar >>

Benefits of the Reg F Goodbye Letter

A new opportunity provided by these changes is the “Goodbye Letter.” This simple communication can benefit your healthcare organization, your debt collection agency, and your patients. The Goodbye Letter is a final communication from a healthcare organization to the patient. It’s sent before giving the patient’s account to their agency partner for further collection. This letter can be an “extra” communication on the balance or added into the patient’s Final Statement.

Here are three benefits of the goodbye letter:

It prepares your patient for communications with the debt collector.

Before Reg F, healthcare organizations weren’t required to disclose that they were giving the account to a debt collection agency. Often, a patient who received their bill from the “new” collectors wouldn’t recognize it as the same debt or dismiss it as a scam, resulting in costly penalties.

Now, the patient will be aware of who their new point of contact is for their debt, which can eliminate back and forth between the consumer and a healthcare organization. It also empowers the consumer to avoid the phishing efforts of scam debt collectors.

It helps your healthcare organization ensure compliance.

The Goodbye Letter lets the patient choose their preferred form of communication at the start and ensures that the opt out process is simple and clear. One important factor to note is that there must be a 35-day period following the good-bye letter for the patient to opt-out of electronic communication per Regulation F.

It improves your odds of gaining connection and payments on accounts.

Sending the Goodbye Letter puts the debt on the forefront of your patients mind and adds a sense of exigence. This may enhance the “last” effort of your provider organization to capture payment on the balance before assigning the account to a debt collector.

Free Reg F Goodbye Letter Template and Checklist

We know that these new regulations can be daunting. If you’d like more resources, watch our on-demand webinar, “What Healthcare Providers Need To Know About Reg F And No Surprises”.

Get your Goodbye Letter Template and Checklist

Reg F Goodbye Letter Template and Checklist.

The Creditor/Provider sends the goodbye letter to the patient/consumer. This letter can be in written or electronic form. The letter must clearly disclose:

  • The balance due (debt) is being transferred(or has been transferred) to a debt collector along with the patient’s patient’s/consumer’s email address.
  • The debt collector may use the email address to communicate with the consumer/patient about the debt.
    • If the email address is used by others (i.e. spouse, partner, etc..) and there is a chance that the email sent may be viewed by others, then the consumer/patient may “opt-out” of these email communications.  
  • Opt-out information.
    • The provider can include a tear-off section of the notice for the opt-out or provide an email address or website where the patient can opt out of email communications. 
    • The provider must give a date by which the consumer must exercise their right to “opt-out” of electronic communications. Per Reg F, this period must be at least 35 days from the date the letter was sent.

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Free Reg F Goodbye Letter Template + Compliance Checklist

Free Reg F Goodbye Letter Template and Checklist.