By Jackie Nelson
In the fiscal year of 2013, the City of Hesston has written off $8,362.68. This represents .196 percent of utility, municipal court and emergency services revenues.
At the City Council meeting on Monday, Jan. 13, council members were informed accounts are written off only after three years on unsuccessful collection attempts. However, the City’s contracted collection agency out of Peabody will continue to pursue delinquent accounts.
For 2013, Emergency Services Director Russ Buller written report stated the department is requesting less than one percent in charge-offs.
“Due to patient confidentiality we do not furnish a list of delinquent accounts. You will note that the majority of the write offs are for Medicare/Medicaid and Blue Cross/Blue Shield and not for non-payments. As a contract provider the allowed compensation is based on their schedule which must be accepted as full payment. Actual uncollectables for delinquent accounts are extremely low and a credit to staff diligence. Based on services rendered in the amount of $259,150 our charge offs at $2,446 represent only .94% percent.”
According to Hesston Record archives, the charge-off rate for EMS dropped from last year, which was reported at 1.75 percent.
In a report submitted to the Council for the Municipal Court write-offs, fines representing only seven cases were represented
Total court write-offs were $4,571.64. Revenue for Municipal Court in 2013 was $46,986.39. The write-off represented 9.73 percent.
Total for Court Write-offs: $4,571.64
“Defendants that are written off still have either bench warrants and/or a suspended
driver’s license and have been sent to American Municipal Services for collection.
Chances are poor for recovering amounts that are written off,” the report stated.
City Administrator Gary Emry said municipal court write-offs were remarkably low, compared to his previous community.
“When I look at in comparison between here and there we’re writing off much less,” he said.
Emry inquired if the outstanding debts could be reported to a credit agency for added incentive for people to pay fines.
“One question, would we have the capability, if we’ve never collected, could we report them to a credit agency and report it as a bad debt - which might influence some action?”
City Attorney Tim Larson said the effort may be wasted.
“Based on the people we’re dealing with, I don’t think that would do anything,” he said.
Utilities were the final write-offs addressed by Council.
Utility revenues were reported at $3,964,000. Write-offs represented only .034 percent of revenues at $1,345.04 for all of 2013.
Emry commented it was remarkable Hesston has so few out-standing utility bills.
“I think we had this discussion earlier. We wrote off tens-of-thousands. Here’ this is a very small amount of money,” he said.