Payment & Practice Management  |   April 2015
The Effects of Health Plan Virtual Credit Card Payments
Author Affiliations
  • Morasa Shaker, CCA
    Payment and Practice Management Specialist
Article Information
Practice Management / Payment & Practice Management
Payment & Practice Management   |   April 2015
The Effects of Health Plan Virtual Credit Card Payments
ASA Monitor 04 2015, Vol.79, 40-41.
ASA Monitor 04 2015, Vol.79, 40-41.
As the health care industry adopts technological advancements, health plans are shifting toward new physician payment methodologies. There is a growing trend among health insurers toward issuing virtual credit cards (VCCs) to pay for physician services, as opposed to sending paper checks or paying via electronic funds transfer (EFT) standard transactions. However, payment of claims using virtual credit cards incurs significantly greater costs, time burdens, and administrative hassles for physicians, providers and directly counters the objectives of the administration simplification provisions of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
What initially may seem to be a valid electronic alternative to paper checks or EFTs, the use of VCCs for payment comes at a significant cost to physicians. When claim payments to physicians are made via a VCC, the insurers send single-use credit card payment information and instructions via mail, fax or email, after which the physician’s practice must process the payment as they would a patient’s credit card. The payment is virtual in that there is no physical credit card. Physician practices must manually enter the virtual credit card number into their point-of-sale (POS) processing terminal, and the card-processing network authorizes the payment.
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