Credit is good for health?

It used to be “cash only” for services at the Bartholomew County Health Department Nursing Division, but that’s about to change.

Beginning in February or March, the nursing division also will begin accepting credit cards as payment for vaccinations, screenings and other services.

“A lot of people assumed we could take credit cards. We’d be like sorry, cash only,” said director of nursing Amanda Organist. “It was kind of a hindrance to a lot of our customers.”

The division has been unable to offer credit card transactions because of a shortage of telephone lines at its new facility at 2675 Fox Pointe Drive, where the division moved in August. The division is now planning to use the service Govpaynet to process credit card transactions, Organist said.

The new system is wireless and does not rely on land-based phone lines, she said. The wireless processing machines may be used outside the office, allowing card payments at special events such as the division’s annual Drive-Up Flu Clinic and various out-of-the-office medical screenings offered at community events.

Customers will be charged a fee to use their card, Organist said. The division doesn’t have exact charges from the company yet, but a proposed fee schedule may be between $1.50 to $3 for transactions up to $100.

Fees hypothetically max out at $11 per transaction, but Organist said it is unlikely many customers will spend enough to reach that point.

The Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department and Solid Waste Management District already use the service. Organist said she heard about the program after attending training sessions with these agencies.

The health department’s environmental health and vital records offices are located in the Bartholomew County Government Building at 440 Third St. near downtown Columbus already have a working credit card system.