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One Third Doctors Not Taking Credit Cards

Posted Jun 02 2009 1:14pm

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This was a statistic that surprised me! According to The Physician Office Credit-Card Acceptance Survey, by SK&A Information Services, 33% of U.S. physician offices do not accept credit cards as a form of paymen t, according to a new survey.

This represents a 5 percent increase since a similar survey was conducted last year.

So far, I don’t think I’ve run into any of my physicians who don’t take  credit cards. A few don’t take my insurance… so I know they take my cedit cards.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise since a lot of people are putting their credit card payments last on their priority list, somewhere after rent or mortgages, car payment and groceries. But still, if you need care and you even have decent credit, it seems odd a doctor would say “cash or check.”

But the survey results show that “physician practices are limiting this form of payment because patients are eing adversely affected by high interest rates, maxed out credit limits and a more challenging ability to qualify for credit.”  ( read more here )

And what is most sad is how it statistically breaks down in level of acceptance among speciality:

  • Ophthalmology (84 percent)
  • Dermatology (81 percent)
  • Critical-care medicine (37 percent)
  • Geriatric medicine (32 percent)
  • Dialysis (27 percent)

The survey found that “the offices that accept credit cards most often are those of plastic surgeons, with a 91 percent acceptance rate.” So if you need that mole removed or, even better, a bit of botox, whip out your card. But if your life depends on it and you need dialysis, better find another form of payment.

What does that mean for those of us who live with a chronic illness?

It’s a sorry state we’re in.

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