Virtual Card Payments are BAD for Dentists
What is a Virtual Credit Card (VCC)?
A VCC is a claim payment from an insurance company (with an EOB) that has an image of a “credit card” along with a credit card number, expiration date, for the exact dollar amount of the claim being paid.
3 Reasons to Avoid VCC payments
Why are Virtual Card Payments BAD for Dentists?
#1: YOU PAY UNNECESSARY MERCHANT FEES
Just like every other credit card payment, your merchant service provider will take a percentage of the amount that is processed. (usually 2% to 4%).
#2: THEY ARE CONFUSING
When you accept a virtual card payment, your merchant account records it as “Visa” (or some other credit card)
When you record the virtual card payment in your software; do you post it as an “insurance” payment or as a “credit card” payment”? Maybe something else?
Unless you make changes in your software or your record keeping, it will become difficult to tell the difference between “insurance credit card payments” and “patient credit card payments”.
#3: THEY ARE TEMPTING
In many cases, a Virtual Credit Card payment can be used like a regular credit card to make online purchases. This opens the door to the possibility of employee theft and because of reason #2, virtual credit card fraud can go undetected for a long time.
Dentist’s should Opt-Out of Accepting Virtual Credit Card Payments
Dentists can opt out of accepting virtual card payments.
Call the customer service/provider payments number listed on the virtual card payment and ask to opt out of their virtual credit card payment system.
Demand payment by check (or EFT)
They may give you the run around; be persistent and insistent in your denial to accept virtual card payments.
We all know that dealing with insurance companies can be a real pain.
Here are some resources to help you keep Virtual Credit Cards out of your practice.
Opt Out of Echo V Payments https://echovcards.com/ECHOCARDAPP/#/Home
The Council for Affordable Quality Healthcare has provided a letter template that you can send to insurers. You can obtain it here: Sample_Provider_EFT_Request_Letter_to_Health_Plan
The ADA also has some good information about VCCs:
U.S. Code of Federal Regulations. CFR 45§162.925. Additional requirements for health plans. Gov Regs. https://www.govregs.com/regulations/expand/title45_chapterA-i1_part162_subpartI_section162.925
Requesting EFT payments from health plans and status of implementation of operating rules. Council for Affordable Quality Healthcare (CAQH). December 2013. https://www.caqh.org/sites/default/files/core/template/letters/Sample_Provider_EFT_Request_Letter_to_Health_Plan.pdf