Three Tips to Fix Collections Woes With Credit Cards
By David Doolittle


If your practice has poor collection policies in place, you stand to lose a lot of money.

So let’s talk about credit card payments, shall we? Specifically, let’s discuss ways your practice can improve time-of-service collections and stop chasing your patients for payment after they’ve left the office.

Below are a few tips from the Texas Medical Association’s new webinar Strategies to Improve Patient Collections, which is set for noon (CDT) Tuesday, July 17. The webinar is free for members (thanks to TMA Insurance Trust), and is designed to help your practice adopt procedures to avoid uncollected fees, explore techniques for boosting collections, and discover new health plan enrollment trends.

1. Get as much card information as possible during the transaction

When hand-keying a credit card, it is tempting to enter the card number and move forward, skipping prompts for the patient’s ZIP code or other card information. You may be able to significantly lower your overall monthly card processing costs by following credit card instructions step-by-step, in sequence. 

2. Enter card information correctly, the first time

Do not enter card information by hand when the patient is present. Swiping the card is more secure, has less room for error, and is potentially less expensive on every transaction. In addition, front-desk staff should always ask for copayments at the time of service — especially on the first visit so patients come to expect it. 

3. Batch out every night

Every. Night. Practices who batch out nightly are not only more accountable, but generally receive fewer denied transactions. Additionally, failure to batch out nightly can result in credit card transactions being processed at a much higher rate.

If your practice could benefit from an improved collections process, register for TMA’s webinar Strategies to Improve Patient Collections. The webinar is designated for 0.75 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditsTM. (Did I say it was free for members, thanks to TMA Insurance Trust?)

Content for this article was developed in conjunction with Ward Gibson, Health & Public Services Division manager for Total Systems Services (TSYS) — a global leader in payment solutions. Gibson is also the program speaker for TMA’s July 17 webinar: Strategies to Improve Collecting Patient Payments.

Last Updated On

July 12, 2018

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David Doolittle


(512) 370-1385

Dave Doolittle is editor of Texas Medicine and Texas Medicine Today. Dave grew up in Austin, where he attended culinary school as well as the University of Texas. He spent years covering Central Texas for the Austin American-Statesman newspaper. He is the father of two girls, a proud Longhorn, and an avid motorsports fan.

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