Collections Protocol

Credit Card On File

Credit card on file is our primary policy for collection on services provided. Valuable features to this service include:

  • Ability to set a limit as to how much can be charged (this amount cannot be less than the estimated patient responsibility determined).
  • Five-day notification prior to charges being applied, allowing patients to notify us of any concerns or need to change the card placed on file at the time of service.
  • Ease of payment – payments are automatic after a claim is paid and balance is strictly according to the responsibility assigned by the insurance company. No waiting for statements or having to remember to mail a payment.
  • Email notification that payment has processed.

If for any reason you are unable to pay up front or leave a card on file, we offer Care Credit for your convenience. Care Credit is subject to credit approval. Plans may be set up for six months interest free. Please ask our staff for a brochure for further information.

Card on File Frequently Asked Questions

I always pay my bill on time, why do I have to put a card on file?

Insurance plans are constantly changing and although 2 patients may have Blue Cross Blue Shield, their plans may be completely different. We have no way to know the details of each individual plan and what is covered. We continue to have a growing number of patients with high deductible plans. With these types of plans the insurer is often assigning the patient responsibility for certain services like lab work, which means they will be applied to your deductible. This will help those patients who have balances pay their bill without having to mail a check or call us to make a payment.

I have a copay that covers my services. Why would I be responsible for anything more?

More and more, copays do not cover other services such as bloodwork or procedures. Often, we now see either a 20% coinsurance or 100% applied to the deductible. There are more and more high deductible plans requiring payment in full at the time of service. Annual physicals are becoming more and more limited by insurance companies in what they will cover during these yearly visits. Card on File allows us to collect outstanding balances after insurance has processed claims without sending statements and delaying payment to our office.

I have two insurances. Why do I have to put a card on file? I’ve never had to pay before.

Double coverage does not always ensure the patient responsibility is covered. There are situations when the second insurance will deny the claim if the first does not pay.

What happens if I don’t put my card on file? Will you refuse to see me?

All new patients are required to put a card on file. For established patients, we emphasize the convenience of the new billing practice for the patient and necessity for the practice to collect payments in a timely manner from patients. If you refuse to put a card on file, we will ask for payment at the time of service. This will be determined on a case by case basis, taking into consideration history of coverage by your insurance or payment history as a patient (i.e. slow payment or balances turned in to collections). Card on file will prevent the need to pay cash out of pocket and eliminate the ‘guessing game’ of whether or not insurance will cover your services 100%.

What if I do not have a card to put on file?

We may ask for payment at the time of service based on history of coverage by your insurance company, any additional services provided at the time of your visit and history of patient payment history (i.e. slow payment or balances turned in to collections).

do not want my card information ‘stored.’ I have had, or am in fear of having my information stolen.

The large majority of breaches occur with retail, hospitality and financial services. If you pay for dinner with your card, you are at a greater risk when your card is scanned ‘one time’ due the data being ‘held’ on the retailer’s system for a period of time for any adjustments to be made (i.e. tips). We have been saving cards on file for several years successfully without any breaches. Elavon is our trusted credit card processing company that must comply with Federal Security Standards by submitting annual compliance information.

I don’t put my card on file with anyone. It’s not safe. Too many breaches have occurred. I’ve already had my card stolen before and I will not put it on file with anyone for that reason.

If you have ever used your card to pay for balances at our practice, your card information is being processed by our Merchant Elavon. We’ve used them for years and our patient’s card information has never been compromised. The information is encrypted the moment we scan your card and only Elavon can electronically process the card for payment.

I have a balance I am making payments on. How will this affect that?

A card on file today will only benefit balances going forward. Current payment plans and/or balances are not affected.

What if you draft my payment and I don’t have enough money? Are you going to pay my overdraft fees?

You will receive a 5-day notification before payment is drafted. We ask patients to be responsible for this by checking their email regularly. If you need to make other arrangements, call our billing department and we will be happy to work with you. We also encourage patients to use the HSA (Healthcare Savings card), Flex Spending Card or Credit Card with Debit being the last resort.

What if I don’t have an email address?

We are happy to use an email address of a family member who will receive these notifications on your behalf and keep you informed when they arrive.

Payment Guidelines for Surgical Service

If your physician has advised you that a surgical procedure is necessary, please be aware of the following guidelines regarding payment for any surgical services:

  • Our surgical coordinators will contact your insurance company to determine any estimated portion of your payment prior to surgery.
  • You will be required to pay a 50 percent down payment and put a credit or debit card on file for any remaining responsibility once your claim has been fully processed.
  • Payment must be made within 48 hours of the surgery date scheduled. Failure to make payment and set up a card on file may result in the postponement or cancellation of your surgery.
  • Any outstanding balances must be paid prior to surgery.