Collections: Three in 10 doctors nix credit cards

May 16, 2008

Twenty-eight percent of medical practices still don't accept credit card payments, according to a survey by SK&A Information Services.

Talk about not using modern technology. Twenty-eight percent of medical practices still don't accept credit card payments, according to a survey by SK&A Information Services.

The rate varies considerably by specialty: Only 26 percent of pathologists swipe credit cards, while nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of general internists allow patients to pay with plastic, and 81 percent of FPs do. Among urgent care doctors, who have a greater dependence on walk-ins than physicians in other specialties, 92 percent accept credit cards.

Some physicians nix credit card payments because of the transaction fee, which could amount to 3 percent of a $20 copay. Yet that's less than the cost of mailing a bill to a patient, when labor and supplies are factored in. As fewer and fewer people carry cash or a checkbook, having a credit card scanner at the check-out counter may be more efficient.