You may have noticed some insurance reimbursement arriving at your office as a credit card format, instead of electronic transfer to your bank or paper check. This type of payment has been increasing for the past few years because insurance carriers receive cash-back incentive for using the credit card as payment in replacement of paper checks.
While credit cards reimbursements may be convenient and financially viable for payers as a revenue generator, the physicians should consider the burdens associated with this type of payment:
- To cash it out, the credit card must be scanned into your credit-card terminal, and transactions fees will be deducted from it.
- The fees are not always transparent, as per example, offset fraud prevention fee; resulting in physicians getting less than the negotiated prices for services.
Insurance credit card payments create a "hole in your practice's bucket," draining your revenue out!
Credit card payments are a great alternative to help patients comply with their share of payment. But when an insurance carrier, is taking advantage of it to increase their source of revenue, it is unacceptable!
The good news is that you don’t need to accept that situation:
- Review your payer contracts to determine if it is required to accept credit card as the method of payment.
- Do not cash it. Contact the payer requesting the payment to be re-issued as a paper check.
- Request enrollment for Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) payments. EFTs are approved by Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), and it is safe, reliable, and less cost to your practice.
Now that you identified this hole at the bottom of your bucket let’s start plugging those leaks, and put some money back into your pocket.