AMA Wire

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Practice News

Credit card payments: how they impact your practice

A new resource from the AMA answers frequently asked questions about accepting credit card payments from patients and health insurers.

The resource explains what physicians and practice staff need to know about processing these payments, fees the practice will be charged for accepting credit card payments and what to look for in a credit card merchant agreement. The resource also identifies factors physicians should evaluate when deciding whether to accept credit card payments.

AMA members who choose not to accept corporate credit card payments from health insurers can download a sample letter (AMA login required). The letter can be customized and used to notify the insurer of this intention.

If an insurer is requiring a physician to accept a payment method that was not previously agreed upon, the physician should consider filing a complaint.

Webinar discusses how to eliminate unfair discounts

A newly archived webinar from the AMA helps physicians understand when their payments are unfairly discounted and how to prevent harmful rental network activity.

Hosted by practice management experts, the webinar explains how to determine whether a preferred provider network agreement will benefit the physician's practice. Physicians who view the webinar will learn how preferred provider networks work, the difference between primary and secondary provider networks, and what to look for in an agreement with one of these networks.

Physicians also will hear about model legislation (AMA login required) the AMA is encouraging state lawmakers to adopt. Such legislation would regulate the rental network industry and make health insurers' contracting and payment practices more transparent.

A related toolkit created by the AMA and the American Association of Preferred Provider Organizations also provides guidance on this important issue.