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Intelligent Contacts’ Communication Software Helps Clients Restrict Calls To Consumers During Natural Disasters

Technology’s geo-filtering feature prevents companies from calling consumers directly impacted by natural disasters by state, area code, or postal code.

PLANO, TEXAS, UNITED STATES— Calling someone regarding a debt is already a compliance minefield. With constantly-evolving laws, regulations, and court rulings defining and restricting how a creditor or 3rd party collector is allowed to contact and communicate with a consumer, events like a pandemic or natural disaster have added another layer of concern for businesses: Am I calling someone who is currently, or about to be, impacted by a wildfire or hurricane?

“This is a real dilemma for many creditors and 3rd party collectors,” said Jeff Mains, CEO of Intelligent Contacts, a provider of contact center software used by the healthcare revenue cycle and ARM industries. “It may be legal to contact consumers who are being impacted by a natural disaster, but is it right or even effective.”

For many of Mains’ healthcare clients the answer is, “no.” However, determining which patients are being affected by something as fluid as a wildfire, or a tropical storm—then suspending communication with those patients until they’ve had time to recover—can be a daunting task.
Even if a hospital or physician’s billing office is able to stop its staff from making calls to those affected areas, it’s likely that anyone they are outsourcing billing and collection activity to is still making those calls.

This is a issue many of Intelligent Contacts’ clients faced several years ago, which led to an innovative solution that can quickly target and geo-restrict areas impacted, or soon-to-be impacted, by a natural disaster. This same technology, which can restrict calls by state, area code, or even a range of zip codes, has also been used to quickly comply with call restrictions temporarily put in place to protect consumers economically impacted by COVID-19.

The beauty behind geo-restriction technology is that it lets our clients be proactive to the needs of their healthcare clients and the patients they serve without having to worry about the ‘how. Call restrictions can be created in seconds, scheduled in advance, and then removed automatically.”
Jeff Mains
CEO, Intelligent Contacts

“The beauty behind the geo-restriction technology is that it allows our clients to be incredibly agile and proactive to the needs of their healthcare clients and the patients they serve without having to worry about the “how,” said Mains.
Geo restriction filters can be configured in less than a minute, and with scheduled start and end times, can be activated and deactivated without human intervention.

With many of Intelligent Contacts’ clients making calls on behalf of dozens of different hospitals, geo-restrictions can be set at the campaign level.

“Some of our clients are making different types of calls for the same hospital client,” said Mains. “They may be asked to continue making appointment scheduling calls to patients but temporarily stop collection communication. Campaign-level restrictions allow our clients to easily satisfy these requests.”

Geo-restriction is just one of several automated call restriction features included in Intelligent Contacts’ Hosted Contact Center platform.

Global Do Not Call (DNC) List – by default, a system-wide campaign filter that checks all numbers against a Global DNC list to automatically prevent those numbers from being dialed. The Global DNC list is updated regularly to ensure it contains the most recent and accurate information.
Custom Do Not Call List – a client-defined DNC list that includes the numbers of consumers who have asked not to called. This list can be updated manually or automatically based on call dispositions (a call result chosen by an agent after the call).

Time Zone Restrictions – globally-configured feature that prevents clients from calling during a time it would be illegal, or unadvisable to do so, based upon the specific time zone of the consumer. This feature removes a client’s compliance concerns by pre-determining legal calling hours for every time zone and making numbers ineligible to dial outside of those hours.

Inbound Restrictions – client-defined “blacklist” of inbound numbers that will be blocked from reaching contact center agents.

Want to know how our Intelligent Contact Center software keeps consumer communication compliant and your healthcare clients happy?

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