Hospitals Concerned Over Costs of Virtual Credit Cards

June 18, 2014, Written By Lynn Oldshue
A Stethoscope By A Credit Cards

Some health care plans allow users to pay through virtual credit cards, which protects the cardholder’s information and prevents damage during a data breach.

But many hospitals are now expressing concern about this form of payment because of the interchange fees they must pay with these cards.

The hospitals are not objecting to the use of virtual credit cards, but they are opposed to the fees that they may incur without notice. As much as 5% of the claim’s funds may be taken out in interchange fees, according to the National Committee on Vital and Health Statistics Subcommittee on Standards. Health plans are offered heavy incentives to use virtual credit cards, but doing so takes away a significant amount of money from the healthcare providers.

There is also an issue with the process of healthcare providers opting out of virtual credit cards. By the time the process is completed, the hospital could have lost a significant amount of money.

“While many health plans proclaim a high rate of acceptance of the virtual card by providers, this does not mean that providers would voluntarily accept the card if asked,” testified Priscilla Holland, senior director at the National Electronic Payments Association, to the NCVHS Subcommittee on Standards. “Many providers accept virtual cards only because they have no choice.”

No policy changes have been made at this time, but hospitals continue to fight for their rights in the virtual credit card world.



The information contained within this article was accurate as of June 18, 2014. For up-to-date
information on any of the terms, cards or offers mentioned above, visit the issuer's website.