Many medical care specialists offer discretionary wellness and package programs. Chiropractors offer scheduled adjustments. Dentists promote teeth whitening. Behavioral health specialists host group therapy sessions. These package programs don’t typically represent primary care covered by insurance; they are optional services that can represent significant sources of income for smaller practices.
Because these are typically scheduled services rendered on a predictable basis, practices often maintain “cards on file” for these recurring transactions. With the permission of the cardholder, practices collect credit card payments – usually on a weekly or monthly basis. While convenient, there’s a potential downside – declined payments resulting from lost, expired or outdated card information. When cards decline with any regularity, office managers find themselves bogged down with an expensive, time-consuming problem. Every declined card equates to the need to reach out to a patient to collect the new credit card information. A single card decline isn’t terribly difficult. But 5% to 15% of cards can potentially go dark each month. That can mean a lot of calls and the problem becomes cumulative. What’s worse, those declined payments are for discretionary services and each reminder call can be an opportunity for a patient to decide they really didn’t need that optional treatment after all (when, otherwise, the scheduled payment would have gone practically unnoticed).
Automated card updating services can alleviate these difficulties. This payment technology can be embedded into practice management systems. In the simplest terms, the service pings the credit card companies daily, receives the latest up-to-date card data, then updates stored card information. Cards that would have been declined process as intended and scheduled treatments continue.
If you work with a practice offering wellness and package programs, explore automated card updating services to avoid the hassle of tracking down expired credit card data. Learn more about card updating services from OpenEdge.