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Credit Cards

  1. Default Risky yes but the option is lost revenue
    Medical Coding Books
    I work at a Pediatricians office in NYC and currently bill for 4 doctors. Many of the Members who come in have Copayments, Co-Insurances, HRA plans and high deductables, etc. Not to mention those that come in with promises to place thier newborn children on insurances within 30 days. Many times this does not happen and the doctor is left with a balance on the Member's account. Due to the current attitude of "Doctor Last" when it comes to paying health care bills, this means that our office is forced to chase down people in order to receive payments for services. Often the payments come months late if at all and you will always hear that the member never recieved the 3-5 statements sent to them. I have always believed that these payments should be due directly to the Insurance companies. It would relieve the Doctor's from having to spend probably billions per year sending out bills and in lost revenue. Further, Members would not be able to abuse the system knowing that a physician would never turn away a sick visit despite any money owed them. At least ours do not.

    This leaves the practice tens of thousands of dollars in the red when it comes to patient accounts. The only way I know of dealing with this is collecting credit card information and having the Members sign an agreement for the office to use that information if payment is not forthcoming. The information is held securely.

    My question however is this: What is the best and most appropriate manner to ask for Credit Card information when established patients come to the desk? It is a busy practice and the staff generally do not have the time to ask.

    I would appreciate any advice.

    Thank you.

  2. Default swright
    My company use to stored credit card information in a secured file but due to hipaa rules, we don't anymore. The decision was made by our compliance officer.

  3. Default
    I understand that the HIPAA laws are always a questionable minefield of rules and regulation, however what solution - if any - did your office come up with for addressing late or non-existant payments?

  4. #14
    My office would never consider this. We had an employee taken out in handcuffs for personal use of patient's credit card numbers. For some people, it's just too tempting.

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