When Accepting a Credit Card for Payment, the Medical Assistant Must…
- Understand the different types of credit cards
- Know which cards your office accepts
- Be familiar with the credit card company’s policies
- Understand the billing process
- Know how to properly input credit card information
- Be aware of the potential for fraud
- Understand what to do if a patient’s credit card is declined
- Know how to handle refunds and cancellations
- Be familiar with common credit card terminology
- Understand the importance of keeping credit card information secure
When you’re working in a medical office, you may be asked to accept credit cards for payment. But before you do, there are a few things you need to know. Here’s a quick rundown of what the medical assistant must do when accepting a credit card for payment.
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Understand the different types of credit cards
There are four different types of credit cards that a medical assistant may encounter when accepting payment from patients. These include Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express. Each type of credit card has different features and benefits that can be useful for both the medical assistant and the patient.
Visa is one of the most widely accepted credit cards, with over 24 million merchant locations worldwide. Visa also offers a variety of features and benefits, such as fraud protection, 24/7 customer service, and Visa Checkout.
MasterCard is another widely accepted credit card, with over 23 million merchant locations worldwide. MasterCard also offers many features and benefits, such as zero liability for unauthorized purchases, 24/7 customer service, and MasterCard Global Service.
Discover is a credit card that offers cash back on purchases, as well as other features and benefits such as zero liability for unauthorized purchases, 24/7 customer service, and a mobile app.
American Express is a credit card that offers Membership Rewards points on purchases, as well as other features and benefits such as zero liability for unauthorized purchases, 24/7 customer service, and early access to tickets for events.
Know which cards your office accepts
The medical assistant must know which cards the office accepts before completing a transaction. The credit card companies have different policies and procedures that must be followed in order for the charge to be processed correctly. Some companies will not allow a charge to be processed if the card is not present, while others will allow the charge to be processed without the card present if the account number and expiration date are known. The medical assistant must also know the credit limit of each cardholder in order to properly process the charge.
Be familiar with the credit card company’s policies
The medical assistant should be familiar with the credit card company’s policies regarding refunds, disputed charges, and billing statements. The medical assistant should also be familiar with the credit card company’s procedures for handling chargebacks.
Understand the billing process
It is important for the medical assistant to understand the billing process in order to accurately charge the patient and/or insurance company. The medical assistant should know what coded are needed for each diagnosis as well as which procedures were done in order to generate an accurate bill.
Know how to properly input credit card information
In order to avoid fraud and keep patient information safe, it is important for Medical assistants to know how to properly input credit card information. When a patient hands you their credit card, you should first verify that the card is valid. That means checking the expiration date and the name on the card to make sure it matches the name on the ID. Once you have verified that the card is valid, you will need to input the information into the system.
If you are using a manual credit card imprinter, you will need to fill out a form with the patient’s name, address, and credit card number. Once you have all of the information, you will need to print out a copy of the form for the patient to sign. If you are inputting the information into an electronic system, you will need to be careful not to make any mistakes. Usually, there is a designated spot for each piece of information on the form. Once you have inputted all of the necessary information, you should double check it before hitting submit.
By taking these precautions when accepting a credit card for payment, Medical Assistants can help protect both themselves and their patients from fraud or identity theft.
Be aware of the potential for fraud
The medical assistant must be aware of the potential for fraud when accepting a credit card for payment. One way to protect against fraud is to require the cardholder to sign a receipt. The signature provides a record of the transaction that can be used to verify the cardholder’s identity if there is a dispute. Additionally, the medical assistant should never allow someone else to use his or her credit card to make a purchase on behalf of the patient.
Understand what to do if a patient’s credit card is declined
If a patient’s credit card is declined, the medical assistant must understand what to do. The medical assistant should ask the patient if they would like to use another form of payment or if they would like to reschedule their appointment.
Know how to handle refunds and cancellations
When a patient needs to cancel or change their appointment, the medical assistant must know how to handle refunds and cancellations. If the patient paid by credit card, the medical assistant must refund the credit card. If the patient paid by cash or check, the medical assistant must issue a refund check. The medical assistant should also know how to handle partial refunds.
Be familiar with common credit card terminology
Be familiar with common credit card terminology:
-Authorization: The process of verifying that the cardholder has the funds to cover the purchase.
-Cardholder: The individual to whom the credit card belongs.
-Credit Card Number: The unique number that identifies the credit card.
-Expiration Date: The date when the credit card expires.
-Merchant: The business that accepts credit cards as payment for goods or services.
-Transaction: The act of using a credit card to make a purchase.
Understand the importance of keeping credit card information secure
As a medical assistant, you may be asked to accept credit cards as payment for services. It is important to understand the importance of keeping credit card information secure. The health insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy Rule requires covered entities, such as medical practices, to maintain the privacy of protected health information (PHI). PHI includes any information that can be used to identify an individual and that is created or received by a covered entity. This means that credit card numbers are considered PHI and must be kept confidential.
There are a few ways to keep credit card information secure. First, only store credit card numbers when absolutely necessary. If you must store credit card numbers, encrypt the data. Second, never send credit card numbers by email. Email is not a secure form of communication and sendingcredit card numbers by email could put patient’s information at risk. Finally, always shred paper copies of credit card statements and receipts that contain credit card numbers before throwing them away.
By understanding the importance of keeping credit card information secure, you can help protect patient’s PHI and adhere to HIPAA Privacy Rule requirements.