In her February webinar, 3 Innovative Ways to Improve Collections, practice management expert Rochelle Glassman discussed some strategies for getting your patient payments and collections under control. She suggested making it easier for patients to pay by offering online billpay, reminding patients about their balance due when they schedule an appointment and at registration, collecting copays, deductibles and self pay balances at the office, and getting authorization to charge credit cards for balances due or for patient payment plans. The webinar attendees had a lot of questions, which we answered. But we continue to get questions about credit authorizations. So here are some answers to help you make the most of this tactic.
Q: Can we get a copy of the generic credit card authorization form?
A: Yes. You can download a generic credit authorization form here.
Q: How long does the credit card agreement remain in effect? Does there need to be an expiration date?
A: A payment agreement stays in effect until the balance is paid in full. When an agreement is made, it spells out the length of the agreement and the patient signs that agreement with the understanding of the length of the agreement. Recurring payments can be set up using a payment processing service. If you already accept credit cards, your merchant services department may already have a service in place which you can add to your current plan. Many banks such as Chase and Wells Fargo offer this option to their merchants for a monthly fee. This service is also available through other vendors such as Paypal, Chargify and Authorize.net. You can also use a credit card authorization form and charge the card manually each time.
Q: What do I say to a patient who refuses to give credit card info for fear of fraud?
A: You can assure them that the practice is maintaining security standards and give them a copy of the practice’s credit card security policy.
Q: Are there any legal requirements with regard to keeping credit information on file?
A: Yes, the merchant must be PCI DSS (The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) compliant. When compliant, you can legally store credit card information, with the exception of the CVV code. You can never, store the CVV code. Your merchant services provider should meet these standards. Details on the requirements can be found at PCI Security Standards Council at www.pcisecuritystandards.org.
Q: If you charge a credit card payment using Kareo, does it post to the patient account automatically?
A: Yes, on the New Payment screen, indicate the method as “credit card” and hit the Process Credit Card Payment button. You will need to be signed up for Kareo’s Patient Payment Services and have a card swipe connected to your computer. Contact the support team for more info or review the online how to article – http://www.kareo.com/help/practice-management/howto/enter-payments-from-credit-card
Q: In Kareo, how can patients make online payments?
A: If you sign up for our patient payment services you will be able to direct your patients to an online account where they can make credit card payments online. Also, if you send patient statements through Kareo to your customers those statements it will provide your patients with a link that takes them directly to this online payment portal.
About the Author: Rochelle Glassman
Rochelle Glassman is a passionate advocate for physicians and medical practices who has devoted her career to helping doctors get paid. She is the President & CEO of United Physician Services, and is a nationally recognized healthcare consultant known for her candor, tenacity, and vision.