How Can Interpreters Lay an Early Foundation for Easier Collection?

If you own your own business, you know that there are many moving pieces to keep your business running.  Keeping up with your employees, taxes, expansion into the community, bills to be paid, and your accounts receivable are just a few examples of the tasks you must perform as an owner or operator of your business.  Providing interpreter services is important for many areas, including for legal purposes.  Interpreters provide the essential service of helping an injured worker communicate with their medical providers as well as the court.  After you have provided those services, you then must face the task of making sure you actually get paid for services rendered.  It can be a frustrating process when the employer or their insurance provider does not promptly pay the invoice.  There are some ways you can lay an early foundation to simply your collection efforts.

The essential first step in making sure you have laid a foundation for simpler collections is to make sure you have sent a proper invoice.  It is not enough to simply call them or shoot a brief email reminding them that you are owed for interpreter services.  You need to make sure there is specific information contained in that invoice.  Your invoice should include the date you provided interpreter services.  If you provided services over several days, make sure you have the proper time frame listed, not just the start and end date.  You should include the claim number of the workers’ compensation claim, as well as the adjudication number.  The location where you provided those services should be included.  The name and identifying information (such as a birth date) of the injured employee needs to be listed to ensure the service is attributed to the correct client.  You should also include the name of any medical provider or other professional you were engaged to translate for (ex. The employee’s doctor or the type of legal proceeding).  Naturally, the cost of the services and description of the service (live interpreter services versus translating medical documents, for example) and the date the balance is due are necessary components.

You should also make sure you have proof of service for not only the insurance company but also on the defense attorney. Having proof of service is important because the time the employer or insurance carrier has to pay your invoice will run from the day it is actually received, as opposed to from the date you provided services.  Although it is not technically required, it is best practice to send your invoices with proof of service every time.

It will also help to smooth your collection process if you send proof of the services rendered.  For example, if you have minutes of the hearing at which you provided your interpreter services, that will help prove you not only provided services, but services that are necessary for the case and that you are entitled to be paid for. Signature pages for translated depositions or signed acknowledgment of review are also good examples for how to prove the service was rendered and approved.

If you have questions about workers’ compensation and your interpreter business, contact us today.  We can talk with you about the steps to take to smooth future collection efforts.  We have extensive experience helping our clients to timely collect their interpreter invoices.

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