Effective 5/31/2022, we have implemented a policy requiring a credit card on file. We are committed to providing you with exceptional care as well as reducing waste and inefficiency. We want to make our billing process as simple and easy as possible. As you may be aware, the current healthcare market has resulted in insurance companies increasingly transferring costs to you, the patient. Some insurance plans require deductibles and copayments in amounts not known to you or us at the time of your visit. Much like many other businesses such as a hotel or car rental agency, we now have a similar policy where we ask for a credit card number at the time you check in.
Circumstances when your card would be charged include but are not limited to:
- Any co-payments, deductible and/or co-insurance not collected from you at your visit.
- Missed or canceled appointments without 24-hour notice (per our Broken Appointment Policy)
- Any non-covered services and/or denial or services allocated to patient responsibility
- Any insurance payments sent to the subscriber/patient instead of to our office
- Outstanding balances greater than 90 days
This is an advantage since it makes check out easier, faster and more efficient. This in no way will compromise your ability to dispute a charge or question your insurance company’s determination of payment. If you have any
questions about this payment method, please read the following FAQs:
FAQ – Credit Card on File
Why the change to a credit card on file program? There are several reasons for this change. The primary reason is for your convenience. This will speed up our check in and check out process. If you have a caregiver or a family member bringing a patient in for their appointment, you will no longer have to give them your card to pay for the procedures. Also, with the changing environment in healthcare, more responsibility of payment is being placed on the patient in the form of copays and deductibles. We need to be sure that patient balances are paid in a timely manner.
But I always pay my bills, why do I need to put a credit card on file? We have to be fair and apply the policy to all patients. We have wonderful patients and we know that most of you pay your balances. Unfortunately this is not always the case. Most balances owed are very small and typically less than $100. If your balance is larger than $200, we will provide a courtesy call and/or email to let you know we are charging your card on file and/or establish a payment plan.
Why am I being singled out? All patients are required to keep a credit or debit card on file. This policy isn’t personal, we apply it equally to all of our patients. By doing it this way, the temptation to play favoritism is eliminated and it removes us from the uncomfortable situation of having to decide who has to follow the policy and who doesn’t.
Do I need to sign the Credit Card on File policy? Yes. Your signature ensures you understand our financial policy.
How will I know how much you are going to charge me? Once your insurance has processed your claims, they will send an Explanation of Benefits (EOB) to both you and our office. This EOB tells you exactly, according to your dental insurance, how much of your dental bill is your responsibility, and how much is the responsibility of your insurance to pay. You typically receive the EOB before we do, so if you disagree with the patient responsibility owed, it is your responsibility to contact your insurance carrier immediately. We will charge the credit card on file the remaining patient responsibility amount. Once charged, we will email you a receipt of payment.
But wait, I’m nervous about leaving you my credit/debit card. We do not store your sensitive credit/debit card information in our office. Your information is stored on a secure credit card processor online vault. This vault we use is a secure clearinghouse that meets the industry standards set forth by the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS) and is certified at the highest level attainable. Once we enter your information into the vault, your information is securely encrypted and we do not have access to view or edit the information. Our staff are only able to see the last 4 digits of your credit card – just as any online retailer does. This vault is only used to process your payment and email you a receipt once payment is processed.
What is PCI-DSS? Payment Card Industry (PCI) Security Standards Council offers robust and comprehensive standards to enhance payment card data security and reduce exposure to credit card fraud. PCI Data Security Standards (DSS) provides an actionable framework for developing a robust payment card data security process, including prevention, detection, and appropriate reaction to security incidents.
When do I give you my credit/debit card information? Your credit card information must be given to front office staff before you are seen by a provider. For new patients, a CCOF must be established before scheduling their first appointment.
I have a Health Saving Account (HSA) Card. Can I keep my HSA card on file? Yes! You can keep your HSA card on file. However, we may require an additional card to be kept on file should the funds in your HSA account become insufficient.
I have dual insurance and I’m covered at 100%, so I will never have a balance. Do I still need to give you a credit card on file? Even with dual insurances, there are often times a patient still has some responsibility. Please keep in mind we will not charge your card if you do not owe anything.
When I booked my appointment, the receptionist told me I have to keep a credit card on file with the office, I’ve never heard of this before. This is not surprising that this is new to you, as it is not yet the norm in our area. Credit Card on File (CCOF) is the new standard in the healthcare industry nationwide, and soon all of the high quality medical and dental practices will adopt it. Many medical practices, imaging centers, and outpatient surgical centers already require a credit card on file. Likely, your gym, tanning salon, subscription services (like Netflix and Hulu), hair salon, or any monthly utilities you pay online or via autopay already require you to keep a credit card on file.
How the credit card on file system works to drive down administrative costs: Our staff will now spend less time entering credit card information for each transaction. We also don’t have to send out as many statements, which saves trees, money and time. Our staff also spends less time taking credit card information over the phone or entering it from the billing slips sent in the mail, which are less secure methods than us storing the information. The extra time the staff has can now be spent on directly helping the patients, either over the phone or in person. Once your CCOF is in our system, your check in and check out time is much shorter for you as well.
The entire billing process is wasteful, but the few patients that we have to bill multiple times or even send to a collections agency do cost us a lot of time and expense. Reducing unnecessary costs is essential for us to continue to provide complimentary billing to your insurance company. This new process dramatically cuts down on the administrative costs associated with billing.
Nothing is changing about how much you pay. When you come to our office and receive services, you do so with the understanding that you are ultimately responsible for the cost of your care. We bill your insurance company for you and help to get you the best possible coverage for your care. CCOF will only cover your responsibility after your insurance pays its share.
How the CCOF process benefits the patients: First and foremost, it is far more convenient for you – you don’t have to call the office or buy a stamp, worry about delays in the mail, or worry about getting around to paying the bill. It takes the hassle out of the process, especially for patients who have HSA cards to pay for their dental care. If you get your EOB and want to use a different card, pay by check, or discuss a payment plan, you may still do so, as long as you do so promptly.
What if there is a problem with my bill and I don’t notice it until after the payment processes? We hope that this doesn’t happen. And although we love technology in this office, we review the accuracy of each claim processed by insurance. We will contact you if WE find a problem. But, if you find a problem, call us and we’ll investigate it. If we owe you money, we will refund it promptly to the same card.
What if I have more questions? Our staff is happy to speak with you about your account at any time. Please call our office at 309-661-1500 during normal business hours or contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
- During the time you leave a credit card on file, if it expires or otherwise becomes uncollectible, we will expect you to promptly provide a new means of payment.
- Ultimately, you are responsible for knowing what services are covered, how often, and how much of the cost is your responsibility. You will be responsible for any portion of services that insurance does not cover.
- To avoid any issues of discrimination or favoritism, all patients will be required to have a credit card on file regardless of insurance or visit type.