In today's economy, there is increasing pressure to offer patients every possible method of making payment.
In today’s economy, there is increasing pressure to offer patients every possible method of making payment. So, after you decide to sign up with a credit card processing company and start accepting Visa and MasterCard, you have nothing else to worry about, right?
Not so fast. If you think like this, you may be losing a lot of money.
“With many companies there are a lot of hidden charges doctors don’t see on the surface,” says Paul Soparnarat of Heartland Payment Systems. Many processing companies take advantage of the complexities of interchange rates, markups, other related fees, and complicated fee structures to keep physicians from knowing exactly how much each transaction costs them.
Take a look at some of the more common tricks credit card processors use:
Take the time to look carefully for these signs in your statements. If you have a question, ask your customer service representative. If you do not get a satisfactory answer, start thinking about doing business with another company.
What else to look for in a processing merchant:
Card processing services can be a high expense many small- and medium-sized practices unknowingly incur, hidden on their P&L statement as “bank fees.” Often these costs are unnecessarily high; careful attention to the details of your credit card processing can really pay off.
Despite the complex nature of credit card economics and the potential for bottom-line erosion, it still may be worth it to accept them. Offering patients the option of making payment via credit card could be better for your practice than sending endless bills that may or may not get paid.
Karen Zupko is a seasoned senior advisor who has been helping physicians navigate America's healthcare system since 1974. Her perspective stems from more than 25 years of consulting, coaching, and training experience with physicians and those who manage them. She is a member of the American Marketing Association and Women in Communications, and she has served on the board of trustees of Chicago's Grant Hospital. Karen is a graduate of the University of Kansas and a Chicago native. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.