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The Hidden Costs of Running a Practice

How to find that missing money

In reviewing financials for medical practices, there’s one line item that sticks out because of the amount as well as this gnawing sense that it’s just unreasonable relative to all the other costs of running a business.  

That line item: credit card fees.

It’s the amount deducted by a “merchant processor” every time someone pays for services using Visa, Mastercard, or American Express.  Depending on numerous factors, the account(s) at each practice ends up costing several percentage points of that revenue. If the majority of transactions are done via credit card, this becomes a significant hit to the bottom line.  

When I ask business owners and administrators about this, I typically get a shrug of the shoulders response that indicates it’s a cost of business they can’t do much to reduce. 

Not true. Enter Merchant Advocate.

Years ago I was introduced to Eric Cohen, the founder of Merchant Advocate.  Having formerly been a reseller of credit card processing machines, he realized that his own customers were getting burdened with fees along with periodic rate increases with absolutely no increase in service levels (or customer satisfaction, for that matter).    Feeling like his customers were being taken advantage of, he left and started a service to represent them and negotiate lower fees with their processor. In the 15 years since he started that business, Merchant Advocate has saved clients over $100 million in fees. They analyze $20 billion worth of credit card transactions each quarter and consistently find that 72% of businesses are overcharged on credit card processing. 

How can they help you?  

The chart below shows a sample statement that will look familiar if you are the one who has to review the bill each month. They are near impossible to decipher, using terms and language that are unknown to even savvy financial executives.  

Merchant Advocate will analyze your statements at no charge and determine if you can be helped.  If your rates and fees are reasonable, they will tell you that.  If you’re being overcharged, they will negotiate better terms with your current process (ie, no need to change workflow or equipment). 
Once the negotiation is complete, they monitor your statement monthly — reviewing every line item — and share the savings with you and without any upfront cost.  

The typical client savings is 35%, helping practices and businesses of all sizes. They can integrate with medical practices and hospital systems and offer solutions to those who have been told “sorry, there’s nothing you can do about it.”  

I’ve been recommending Merchant Advocate since 2014 and doctor/business owners tell me it’s “found money”, with savings ranging from $200 to $10,000 per month.   

If you’d like to have your statements reviewed, simply click the link below and we will make it happen. Once your statements are received, we typically have initial results back within 2-3 days.  

The time it takes to gather the data: 15-20 minutes.

The result: you save money.

Link to analysis:

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