Merchant Services includes many components and, for many healthcare providers, that means managing multiple processing relationships, paying hefty transaction fees, and determining how and when to take payments—and that’s not even taking the cost and management headaches related to Settlement-Based Reconciliation into consideration.
What if there were a simpler and less expensive way to handle Merchant Services?
Some providers are beginning to see the impressive benefits of relying on a single proven Merchant Services vendor for all of these services—saving time, money and revenue cycle management worries in the process. Partnering with a single partner can yield impressive benefits, such as:
- The ability to accept more payment options: Look for a vendor who accepts a wide array of credit, debit, ACH, health care savings accounts and digital wallet payment methods like Apple Pay and PayPal.
- Lower processing rates: A single source vendor has buying power that you may not have through your current processor relationships.
- Fewer contracts to manage: A single provider would manage all the processor and gateway contracts needed to accept credit cards, freeing up your staff for more strategic initiatives.
- Rapid fund deposits: Confirm that your provider funds within 24-48 hours.
- Facilitation of pre-, point and post-service patient payments: Ensure that you can secure payments through a variety of proven digital platforms such as texts, IVR and portals.
- Strong security: Take into consideration PCI risk with taking payments. Does your provider include point-to-point encrypted devices for EMV chip, mobile and contactless payments?
- Automated reconciliation: Make sure your vendor provides insight into every stage of the payment process, so you can know the funding status of every payment at all times.
With all the COVID-related change hospitals and clinics are managing today, employing a single-source Merchant Services partner that includes a safe way to physically take payments can reduce work and stress for your front office staff. Having “contactless” payment options—either through a tap card reader or digitally through a text, IVR or payment portal—brings ease of mind to both the patient and your team.
When payments are made, the merchant services vendor efficiently records it and quickly manages getting the funds deposited. Then, on the back-end, you’ll want to streamline your reconciliation process to reduce unnecessary write-offs (see our post on how to best do this).
These benefits are obvious for healthcare providers, but patients benefit too. If you can securely accept payments at any remote or physical patient touchpoint—from the moment they arrange an appointment until they make their last payment for health care services—you will reap the benefits described above while giving your patients more options for how and when to pay. In other words, you and your patients will enjoy a classic “win-win” scenario and your practice will be in a better position to weather our current challenging times.