August 2009 Newsletter
Accepting Credit Card Payments: Boon or Bust for Healthcare Practices?
The American Medical News noted a surprising trend in the acceptance of credit card payments for healthcare services. While consumers increasingly rely on credit cards (and debit cards) for most transactions, the number of medical practices that accept electronic payments is declining. Credit card company fees are a small percentage of each transaction, and many practices, which may already have slim profit margins, conclude that the additional costs are not worth it.
Practice management experts disagree. Data indicates that practices that accept credit cards actually realize more money than those that do not. The cost of patient billing, mailings, bounced checks (an increasing problem in this economy), and related paperwork was greater than the credit card fees.
Credit card payments, specifically online payments, also greatly reduce the amount of time spent in billing patients. With traditional paper statements and payment methods, the period between billing and payment can be 10 days. Online credit card payments significantly speed up this process, reducing this interval to as few as 24 hours. Online credit card payment options also encourage patients to pay their bills sooner and at times convenient for them, rather than just during standard business hours.
Quadax clients using HARP A/R management services have the option to accept credit card payments online directly from patients and client accounts through www.MyDrBill.com or www.MyLabBill.com. (See article in May 2009 newsletter). A recently implemented process provides a very cost-effective method for posting the payments to individual patient accounts. Quadax receives a file of all credit card payments, similar to a remittance advice, from our payment gateway vendor. The credit card payment posting process in HARP automatically posts the amounts in the file to the relevant patient accounts. This streamlined process eliminates the time, expense, and potential errors in manual payment posting.
To learn more about setting up online payments and automatic posting for your practice, contact your Quadax account representative.