EMV: Maybe Not Such a Big Deal for Healthcare Providers

October 22, 2015

By: Stacy State, Director of Marketing

With all the excitement surrounding ICD-10, you may have missed another change that happened on the same date.

Due to a shift in liability that began October 1, 2015, whenever your organization accepts payment in the form of a physically present debit or credit card equipped with an EMV (Europay-MasterCard-Visa) chip, you will NOT get paid for any fraudulent charges on that card unless you run it through an EMV device.

Kind of a scary thought, right? Not so fast! Before you run out and buy an EMV device, it’s best to weigh both the cost and the risks.

Payments made online or by phone using a debit or credit card are not affected. The shift in liability only affects physically present card transactions, and then only if your organization is presented with a counterfeit or stolen EMV card and doesn’t run it through an EMV device.

But how likely is that to happen? According to research conducted by both HIMSS and PNC Bank, the extensive amounts of identifying information providers typically have about their patients (such as medical records and insurance information) makes them less susceptible than storefront retailers to card fraud.

In 2014, ZirMed saw an overall fraud rate of only .001% for card-present transactions among our healthcare clients. This negligible amount of reported fraud leads us to believe that many provider organizations will choose not to purchase new EMV-enabled POS equipment, at least not immediately.


For those choosing to invest in such equipment, however, it’s important to note that not just any EMV reader will work. It has to be pre-programmed to work with the payment processing software you use, so purchasing one at random from an online retailer like Amazon is not a viable option. Fear not, though, as ZirMed has you covered!

Over the past several months, we’ve been working on an EMV payments solution, and we expect it to be ready in early 2016. And remember, transactions using payment method information saved via ZirMed Patient Center’s Card on File functionality will not be affected by the liability shift, as the cards are not physically present.

We recommend that you take the time to understand your own risk levels compared to the upfront and ongoing time and costs involved before making your decision on whether to implement EMV. To learn more, see our free document, EMV Facts & Myths: How EMV affects credit card payments to healthcare providers and organizations.

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