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The Top 2 PCI Tech Standards Most Businesses Ask About

By: Rick Clark | March 19, 2015

Sometimes the toughest part of compliance with a trade standard is understanding how it applies to the tools you use to conduct business. It might be frustrating having to describe why a saw must be used to cut down a tree, for example, but when you pay attention to the details – how an old blade might damage wood grain more than a new one – it gets a bit clearer why rules sometimes must also exist.
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Text Files and Voice Recordings – The #1 PCI Standard FAQ

By: Rick Clark | March 12, 2015

Data security can be a tricky animal to handle, especially in industries where communication comes in such a plethora of modes, methods and functions. So it’s understandable that the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS) has so many in the receivables industry stymied. It’s tough enough to wrap your head around one method of secure transmission – adding voice recording, VoIP and cloud technology to the mix only makes the scenario all that more confusing.
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Worried About Anthem’s Breach? Sleep Better With These 3 Steps

By: Rick Clark | March 4, 2015

If at any point you were enrolled in an Anthem medical plan in the last few years, the news of the company’s data breach probably has you wondering (like me) if your personal information was among the theft.
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“Culture” Means More Than Free Lunches and Yoga Class

By: Jill Lehman | February 12, 2015

It’s become a buzz word in the business community over last few decades: Google “culture” and you’ll find countless posts, publications, discussion forums, learning events and sites for self-proclaimed gurus that all claim to know the best practice for enhancing the way your organization develops on a human level. Institutions even exist to study and recognize workplace cultures, from small startups to some of the best-known multinationals, sharing what makes the best ones tick and how to “officially” become one. Studies show that creating a great workplace culture can produce highly-engaged workers and superior business performance. I can identify, from my own experiences: Workplace culture makes a difference in how an organization performs. It matters. But what is culture, really? How do you create it? And ultimately, how do you know if you have cultivated the one reflective of and/or desired by your business?
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4 TCPA Risk Mitigation Steps Successful ARM Operations Always Take

By: Josh Shirey | February 5, 2015

Believe it or not, more than 2500 lawsuits were filed against members of the collection industry in 2014. More importantly, they’re not insignificant cases: As recent as January 26, a TCPA class action suit against a single collection agency settled for just over $2,750,000. That’s why TCPA compliance remains top-of-mind for the ARM industry, and why you might worry about its impact on your business and livelihood. But it’s possible to reduce that worry – Successful ARM operations often reduce the risk of TCPA liability and still gain efficiency when contacting consumers by phone by taking these 4 steps:
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The 2nd Big Myth You Probably Believe About Manual Dialing

By: Rozanne Andersen | January 27, 2015

Two myths exist around manual dialing. We covered the first earlier, that you can use an autodialer to make manual calls, as long as a human punches in the numbers. But at this point, we’ve seen that’s far from a failsafe plan: The FCC’s commentary – which likely created the myth – is vague at best, weighted less heavily than the TCPA’s language, and subject to change.
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The Big 2 Myths You Probably Believe About Manual Dialing – Part 1

By: Rozanne Andersen | January 26, 2015

Notwithstanding available technology and a plain language reading of the TCPA and its corresponding regulations, many remain confused about what a manually dialed call actually is, or perhaps more specifically, what a manually dialed call is not - legally-speaking. More should.
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The Healthcare Collections Crystal Ball (That No One’s Looking At)

By: Rozanne Andersen | January 14, 2015

On December 11, 2014, the CFPB conducted a field hearing in Oklahoma City on medical debt collection practices and the relationship between medical debt collection practices and consumer credit reporting in general. From my vantage point, the meeting was nothing short of a crystal ball regarding the future of medical debt collection. But for reasons that escape me, it is a one that has gone largely unnoticed by the industry.
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Make Your Reps Happy: 3 Ways to Optimize Healthcare Account Data for Better Productivity

By: Steve Scibetta | January 8, 2015

The value your account reps provide when it comes to effective communication with patients cannot be overstated. Like most, you’re constantly trying to find new ways to support their success. And one of the most immediate ways you can do so is to give them complete command over, and deep insight into your account data. Medical collections depends largely on accurate, expedient conversation with patients. It’s the nature of the beast: Healthcare bills are often large, unexpected, and dependent on multiple forms of payment – Insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, and (increasingly) self-pay. Patients usually, and rightfully, have a number of questions about why their bills look the way they do, and what they owe, which can lead to inefficiencies among your customer service teams if the information they have available isn’t organized properly.
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Pop Quiz: How Compliant is Your Training?

By: Rozanne Andersen | December 23, 2014

Change is difficult for all of us – More so when it comes with a high price tag. For many collection agencies, the changes they must make to their training program in order to meet even the minimum CFPB requirements will also be the most expensive. The reason is because a strong, robust compliance training program must be: • Role-based         • Planned • Comprehensive   • Effective • Fluid    • Standardized • Responsive   • Measurable The real question: “Where should I start?” Begin by assessing the following statements as true or false to get a baseline on your training compliance knowledge, then review your answers:   Q - 1: The terms “Compliance Management System,” “Complaint Management System” and “Compliance Program” essentially mean the same thing when it comes to CFPB requirements.  True ___ False ___ Q - 2: Role-based training only applies to collectors, floor supervisors, collection managers and skip tracers. True ___ False ___ Q - 3: A solid training program begins and ends with new hires.  True ___ False ___ Q - 4: Fair Debt Collection Practices Act training for collectors comprises the majority of the training curricula required by the CFPB. True ___ False ___   A - 1: False. If you use any of these terms interchangeably give yourself an A for reading this blog, an F for comprehension, and then forgive me for being so blunt – But you have some studying to do. The definitions for compliance management system, complaint management system, and compliance program are all very different, and very important. Brush up on each if you can’t tell them apart yet.  A - 2: False. When we refer to role-based training, we are discussing unique programs for each of the three major categories of individuals who support or drive your collection agency, debt buying firm or collection law firm operation. Namely, the board of directors, management personnel, and staff.  A - 3: False. The CFPB considers training to be a type of continuous improvement program for the entity as well as the individuals who support and drive it. Training that ends after the new hire orientation period is seriously deficient.  A - 4: False. The CFPB expects collection organizations to deliver role-based training to its board of directors, management, and staff. Depending on the role, training may range from a basic primer on the company’s policies and procedures to a full complement of training on Federal consumer financial laws. See CFPB Supervision and Examination Manual CMR 6, Manual V.2 (October 2012).  So how well did you do? If the answer is “not,” don’t despair – Many find themselves in the same position, making the fifth question in this quiz the most important:    Q - 5: Where do I go next? A-5: The CFPB has made it abundantly clear training is essential to maintain an effective compliance program. In fact training is one of the three critical pillars of your compliance program. Policies and procedures, and monitoring and corrective action compose the other two.  If you are wondering where to begin, start with your board members. Compliance begins and ends with your organization’s governing body. Your board members should receive sufficient information to enable them to understand your organization’s responsibilities and its commensurate compliance resource requirements. You should also ensure your board members understand their responsibility to drive your organization’s commitment to compliance from the top down. Second, management and staff should receive specific, comprehensive training that reinforces and helps implement written policies and procedures. Policies and procedures that are not adhered to in the collection process are at best worthless, and at worst, a legal liability.  Third, requirements for compliance with Federal consumer financial laws, including prohibitions against unlawful discrimination, and unfair, deceptive, and abusive acts and practices should be incorporated into training for all relevant officers and employees, including audit personnel.  At a minimum, managers and staff should receive role-based training on compliance with the following Federal consumer financial laws at the time of hire and throughout the term of their employment: •  Fair Debt Collection Practices Act •  Fair Credit Reporting Act •  Electronic Funds Transfer Act •  Telephone Consumer Protection Act  •  Gramm Leach Bliley Act •  Unfair, Deceptive or Abusive Acts and Practices •  Equal Credit Opportunity Act  Use this article to conduct a mini review of your organization’s training program. Determine whether your trainer and your training program includes each of the required components, the frequency with which that training is conducted and updated, who receives the training, and how you test your team’s comprehension of the material presented. If you find you are struggling, do not despair. Feel free to contact the Ontario Systems Compliance Services team for more information.   Disclaimer: Ontario Systems is a technology company and provides this blog entry solely for general informational and marketing purposes. You should not rely on the content of this material for any other purpose or as specific guidance for your company. Ontario Systems’ advice, services, tools and products described herein do not guarantee compliance with any law or industry standard. You are ultimately responsible for your own company’s actions and compliance efforts. Because everyone’s situation is different, you must consult your own attorneys, accountants, and/or other advisors to obtain specific advice on your company’s compliance, legal, tax, regulatory and/or other business needs. Despite Ontario Systems’ efforts to provide current and up-to-date information, you need to recognize that the information contained herein may become outdated quickly and may contain errors and/or other inaccuracies. © 2014 Ontario Systems, LLC. All rights reserved. Information contained in this document is subject to change. Reproduction of this publication is not permitted without the express permission of Ontario Systems, LLC.

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