Here’s a curious one (One-third of physician practices do not accept credit card payments)
Thirty-three percent of U.S. physician offices do not accept credit cards as a form of payment, according to a new survey. This represents a 5 percent increase since a similar survey was conducted last year.
The Physician Office Credit-Card Acceptance Survey, by SK&A Information Services, an Irvine, Calif.-based provider of healthcare information solutions and research, suggests physician practices are limiting this form of payment because patients are being adversely affected by high interest rates, maxed out credit limits and a more challenging ability to qualify for credit. [emphasis mine]
I’ll plan to call SK&A next week to clarify this but it sounds like a bunch of baloney. Since when are doctors so concerned about patient finances that they feel the need to stop accepting credit cards in order to protect patients? Personally, I like to pay my medical bills with a credit card. It helps with record keeping and I get cash back and I’d be pretty ticked off if my doctor decided to revert to cash and check only.
My suspicion is that if physicians really are reducing their acceptance of credit cards –which I don’t take as a given– it could be because they don’t want to pay the processing charges. That could be penny wise and pound foolish because of the added cost of billing and collecting from patients who can’t use their plastic.
I suspect most doctors would rather let a patient charge his/her bills and pay high interest rates rather than risk non-payment.June 5, 2009