Dealing With Patients Who Refuse To Pay
Handling patients with high deductibles health care plans and/or who refuse to pay in the ACA era is a growing financial risk for private medical practitioners.
By Ann Miller RN MHA
To help ameliorate the issue, some doctors are using a â€œcredit card on fileâ€ program.
Enter “Credit-Card-on-Fileâ€ Programs
Athenahealth has such a program where, once each year, the doctor swipes the credit card of each patient. Athenaâ€™s credit card partner (Elavon) stores the credit card information securely. The patient signs a one-year contract that gives permission to bill that card for any outstanding balances. This is the same concept as having a hotel swipe your credit card when you check-in but not bill you until you have checked-out.
Then, as soon as insurance has adjudicated the claim, the patient receives an email informing them that their credit card will be charged for the remaining balance in 5 days. If they have any issue with the bill they can contact the doctorâ€™s office in that 5 day period. If not, their credit card is automatically charged for the balance due after 5 days. No work on the doctorâ€™s office part is required once the card is swiped.
Reading the Fine Print of aÂ CC on file agreement
Advantages include no need to send out patient statements, and days-in-AR for patient balances is reduced. And, essentially no staff time is spent collecting patient balances.
Another company (managemypractice.com) offers helpful online courses on how to set this up a credit card on file program regardless of system used.
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