- November 25th 2011
Even as patients increasingly are paying for care out of their own pockets, more practices are stopping them from doing so with one of the most-used items in their wallets: credit cards.
A third of physician practices did not accept credit cards as of April, up 5 points from 28% last year, according to SK&A Information Services. The company, which aggregates data on physician practices for pharmaceutical and device manufacturing companies, did a telephone survey of 202,650 physician offices nationwide at the behest of an undisclosed credit-card company client.
SK&A said a specialty's interest in accepting credit cards seems to be linked with its reliance on patient self-pay and the age of its patient base. The highest acceptance rate was in plastic surgery, with 91% of practices open to plastic payments. Pathology, at 21%, had the lowest acceptance rate. Family physicians had a credit card acceptance rate of 71.9%; internists, 53.1%; and geriatricians, 32%, according to SK&A.