EASY-PAY POLICY – Effective January 1, 2021
To Our Patients:
SkinMD, LLC is committed to efficiency and reducing waste. Our goal is to make the billing process as simple as possible. We are implementing the Easy-Pay Policy to all our patients using a credit card/ACH bank account held on file. The current healthcare markets has resulted in insurance plans increasingly to shift more of the cost of care to you, the patient. Many insurance plans require deductibles, co-insurance and/or co-pays in amounts that are unknown to you, or to us, at the time of your visit. To make managing payments easier for both our patients and our staff, we will now ask you for a credit card/ACH bank account information at the time of check-in. The Easy-Pay Policy is a convenient method to pay for the portion of services that are deemed patient’s responsibility by your insurance plan. This payment process will NOT compromise your ability to dispute a charge or question your insurance company’s determination of payment.
As we continue to strive to protect the security of personal information, your credit card/ACH bank account information is encrypted and is not visible to SkinMD personnel. For your protection, only the last 4 digits of your card/bank account will show in our system. Your information is stored in a highlevel security system that goes beyond HIPAA and Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance to provide a 128-bit encryption and a system that has proven its strength through an extensive security audit.
Cards on File will be used for:
Copays – Are still due at the time of your visit. This is a pre-set fee determined by your health insurance policy. We are required to collect co-pays in order to remain compliant with our contract with your insurance company.
Deductibles – Your card/ACH bank account on file will be utilized to settle any deductible amount due after your insurance plan has paid their portion for your visit or service. It is always a good idea to contact your insurance plan to determine how much of your annual deductible has been met prior to each visit.
Co-Insurance – Your card/ACH bank account on file will be utilized to pay for your percentage not covered by insurance and not paid at the time of your visit or service. For Example: If your insurance covers at 80%, we will require the 20% balance to be paid after your insurance has paid their portion.
Non-Covered Charges – Costs for medical treatment that your health insurance company does not pay. You may wish to determine if your treatment is covered by your health insurance policy before you are seen.
Outstanding Balances – If your account has a previous outstanding balance, your card/bank account on file may be used to settle that outstanding balance. If the outstanding balance is too large for one transaction, a payment plan may be worked out.
The Financial Policy you signed when you enrolled with our practice covers this change, as it states that “Payment is due when services are rendered”. This is just another form of collecting that payment. Nothing is changing about how much you pay. When you come to our office and receive a service, you do so with the understanding that you are ultimately responsible for the cost of your care.
Easy-Pay Policy Overview:
Once your insurance has processed our claim, they will send an Explanation of Benefits (EOB) to both you and our billing department showing what your total patient responsibility is. It is your responsibility to contact your insurance carrier immediately if you disagree with the patient responsibility amount owed.
If your total amount owed is $100 or less, our billing department will process the entire payment on your credit card/ACH bank account on file.
Balances over $100.00 will be contacted via phone notifying balance will be charged within 48 hours.
In the case when a credit card/bank account has reached its limit maximum or its expired, the billing department will notify the patient via phone/mailed statement. The patient will have an additional 30 days to arrange payment before the bill is subject to additional collection activity. If you have any questions about the policy, please contact our billing department at 708-636-3767 option 3.
This notice is available on our website and presented to our patients at check-in. Refer to the Frequently Asked Questions for more information.
Frequently Asked Questions for Easy-Pay Policy
Why the change?
Nothing is changing about how much you pay. When you come to our office and receive a service, you do so with the understanding that you are ultimately responsible for the cost of your care. With the changing environment in healthcare, in particular more high deductible health plans, more responsibility of payment falls on the patient. We need to be sure that patient balances are paid in a timely manner. To do this, we need to ensure we have a guarantee of payment on file in our office. We have wonderful patients and we know most of you pay your balances. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. Although this may be surprising to you, we are not the first medical practice to enforce this policy, and you will begin to see it more and more.
Do I have to leave my credit card/ACH bank account information to be a patient at this practice?
Yes. This is our policy and it is a growing trend in the healthcare industry. Insurance reimbursements are declining and there has been a large increase in patient deductibles. These factors are driving offices to either squeeze more patients into shorter periods of time or to stop accepting insurance. We have decided to focus on becoming more efficient in our billing and collections processes instead.
What if I do not have a credit card?
A valid credit card, debit card, health savings account (HSA) card, flexible spending account (FSA) card, or ACH bank account will be accepted. Patients who fail to provide with a credit card/ACH bank account on file, will be required to pay a minimum of $200.00 at the time of service for future patient balances.
What are the benefits to me?
Convenience: Patients who have a credit card/ACH bank account on file will no longer have to worry about mailing in payments or past due balances. Having a credit card/ACH bank account on file will make check-in and check-out easier, faster and more efficient for patients. Our office staff can spend our time on things we think are more important, like following up with insurance claims, helping patients on the phone and in-person and working to make your visit the best it can be.
What about identity theft and privacy?
Under HIPAA, we are under strict state and federal guidelines to protect patient privacy. Your card on file is considered protected health information. Our credit card/ACH bank account processing vendor will store your information on a secure and encrypted site, which will enable us to run bank card transactions through our computer system. Office personnel will not have access to your card information. Only the last 4 digits of your card/bank account will show in our system.
How does this work?
During the registration process, we will ask you to sign a “Easy-Pay Policy.” We will only charge the amount that we are instructed by your insurance plan in the explanation of benefits (EOB) that they send to us after your visit. The insurance companies on average take approximately 1 week to process submitted claims. It simply depends on your individual policy what you may owe. Once the insurance explanation of benefits is received and posted to your account. If credit card/ACH bank account on file is expired/declined, you will have 30 days to update or send an alternative form of payment.
I’ve never had to do this before at any other doctor’s office.
This may be different from what you are used to, but it is not uncommon in many medical practices, imaging centers, outpatient surgical centers and outpatient laboratories to require a card/bank account on file. This is similar to hotels and rental car agencies that require a credit card to be kept on file.
What if I need to dispute my bill or have payment questions?
Please contact our billing department directly to settle payment discrepancies or for other payment questions. This policy in no way compromises your ability to dispute a charge or questions your insurance company’s explanation of benefits. We will always work with you to understand if there has been a mistake. Should your card be mistakenly charged, we will mail you a refund. We will only charge the amount that we are instructed to by your insurance plan in the EOB they send to us.
Will you send me a bill to let me know what I owe?
If your total amount owed is $100 or less, our billing department will process the entire payment on your credit card/bank account on file. Balances over $100.00 will be contacted via phone notifying balance will be charged within 48 hours.
What if I have more questions?
Our billing department staff is available to speak with you about your account at any time during regular business hours at 708-636-3767 option 3.