Learn How One Practice Used a Credit Card on File Program to Collect Patient Balances and Increase their Cash Flow

Collect Patient Balances and Improve Your Practice Cashflow with a Credit Card on File Program

It’s always a fantastic feeling when other people speak on behalf on your products or services, so we were thrilled to see a very nice comment on a recent article at Physician’s PracticePatient Balances: Get Them or Get Ready to Close Your Practice.” The article details the importance of collecting patient balances as quickly and effectively as possible as doctors face declining reimbursements and increasing overhead and regulation. We have long championed the Credit Card on File system – where patients leave a credit card securely on file with the practice’s gateway and the card is charged after insurance is billed for any patient balances under $100. Balances above $100 (or whatever limit a practice may set) are either placed into a payment program, or paid in full after contacting the patient. One of our very successful clients whose practice has implemented such a program commented on the article about her own experience.

We started a year ago with a Credit Card on File program, on the advice of Mary Pat Whaley. After 1 year, our patient balances are very small, and for practically every balance over 90 days old, the patient is on a payment plan, but since our overall patient A/R is very small, it doesn’t represent a lot of outstanding income. We have over 2000 credit cards on file. Patients are not allowed to see the doctor without leaving a card on file, and they agree to this over the phone when they make an appointment. I’ve found it very challenging to understand and charge patient balances upfront, so we’ve opted for Credit Card on File instead. We charge the copay, file the claim, then charge any remaining balance to the card, once the EOB is received. We charge the card if the balance is under $100 (with an email receipt), and if over $100 we call the patient to determine if they want to pay in full or in installments. Most pay in full, and most appreciate the call. We do not send out paper statements. It takes about 1/4 FTE to manage the credit card collections, but I have an excellent receptionist who handles this very nicely with the patients. There are some issues when the card declines, but we follow up with a weekly phone call, and if necessary, a paper statement (not often). There will always be a few that will never pay, but you can’t escape that in this business. We are proud of our credit card collections, which is why I’ve detailed it here so you can consider it for your practice.

Marian @ Tue, 2013-07-23 11:12

Why, thank you very much, Marian!

If you’d like to learn how to start a Credit Card on File program in your own practice like Marian did, then you’ll want to join us next Thursday, August 8th at 3pm EST for “How to Start a Credit Card on File Program in Your Practice” our popular 60-minute webinar and Action Pack that will give you the tools and plan you need to implement the policies.

Spending one hour of your time and $59.95 now can mean all the difference in your bottom line tomorrow.

Click here to register now!




Don’t Forget: Register Now for our Starting a Credit Card on File in Your Practice Webinar!

For anyone interested in implementing a credit card on file program in your practice – to increase collections, improve cash flow, and eliminate sending statements altogether – you’ll want to register now  for Manage My Practice’s Webinar: Starting a Credit Card on File Program in Your Practice.

Financial Concerns in a Medical Office

Tuesday March 5th, 2013 at 1 p.m. EST 10 a.m. PST join Mary Pat and I for a 60 minute session that will prepare you to plan, prepare, negotiate, and execute your Credit Card on File Program. Your patients and your staff will be happier – and so will you!

Register here for Tuesday’s Webinar.

Also, special thanks to Brandon Betancourt of Pediatric Inc for his very kind words about our webinar. Check out his blog!

And if you are interested in learning more about core practice operations, or just want to increase your knowledge and understanding of medical practice management, be sure to check out our new Revenue Cycle Management Webinar Series – a great way for anyone to strengthen and refresh their skills!

The Smart Manager Series: How to Start a Credit Card on File Program in Your Practice


Manage My Practice is pleased to announce the first in a series of online classes for healthcare managers called “The Smart Manager Series.”

The first class will be held Friday, June 1, 2012 from 1:00 -2:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. The topic is “How to Start a Credit Card on File Program in Your Practice.”

This class has been developed to help managers of any experience level achieve the following objectives:

  • Understand how a credit card on file program differs from traditional payment options offered by practices.
  • Be able to assess the benefits of a credit card on file program for a practice.
  • Learn the terminology and protocols of credit card processing.
  • Compare credit card processing fees and choose a vendor based on an informed analysis.
  • Utilize provided handouts to train staff and educate patients on the credit card on file program.
  • Successfully implement a credit card on file program.

Managers may choose to view the class live online or as a recording at their convenience. The recording will be available for purchase at Manage My Practice starting Monday, June 5, 2012. Live or recorded purchase of this program includes the slide deck, handouts in Word format and any questions asked by participants during the recording that were not answered during the Q&A period.

Handouts include:

  1. Worksheet for Credit Card on File Program Return on Investment
  2. Staff Script & Role Playing Suggestions for Staff Training
  3. Sample Security Policy to Comply With PCI Guidelines
  4. Credit Card on File Program TImeline Worksheet
  5. Credit Card Program Comparison Worksheet
  6. Patient Handout #1: Information About Our Credit Card on File Program & Discontinuation of Statements
  7. Patient Handout #2: What is a Deductible and How Does It Affect Me?

This one-hour class with accompanying materials is only $29.95.

To register for this class, click here.


Read on for an unsolicited letter from a client who recently started a credit card on file program in her practice:

Hi Mary Pat,
I’m just writing to let you know a few of the reasons I love credit card on file:

1.  Since we’ve given notice to our billing service, we need to protect, as much as possible, our cash flow for the transitional period.  By now being in complete control of the patient balances, we are insuring ourselves for 20-30 % of our income from now on – and the payments will start to come in over a month before we transition to in-house billing.  So we have put a defensive mechanism in place to protect our cash flow during the transition.  This is HUGE.  We may have successfully moved to patient statements ourselves, but by instead doing the credit card on file program upfront, we have removed completely the need to even start them.  And the process is being perfected now, well before the transition to in-house billing, and our cash flow is being protected.

2.  Which brings up the next thing: the office staff is slowly moving along, learning the new processes slowly and incorporating the changes into their daily routines.  We are not throwing too much at them at once.  They are grasping the concepts and they are showing a lot of confidence when they talk to patients about how the process works.  The training required for them to understand credit card on file, has given them so much more knowledge and understanding.  Both receptionists really enjoy knowing the details of insurance etc. and being able to explain them to patients on the phone.

3.  Checkout is faster because the credit card is already on file.

4.  Patients LOVE the instant email receipt.

5.  We are getting relatively few objections.  Tues and Weds went very smoothly.

6.  I feel so much more in control.  SO much, already, after just two days.

7.  And we had a patient come in who is the husband of an OB/Gyn on our floor.  His wife came in with him to say hello.  She came up to the desk, and was like, oh my goodness, I need this in my office.  I wasn’t there, but everyone told me that she was taking notes, eyes wide, and nodding her head about how much it makes sense.  It really gave our staff an extra boost to see one of their loved and respected physicians on our floor, complimenting them on the new process and saying how great it was.  They all told me how supportive and amazed she was!

I probably could go on and on, but I will leave it there, that’s quite an update!

Thank you,


To learn how to start your own credit card on file program (for about the cost of one co-pay),  click here.