Are you trying to decide on what payment processor to use for your healthcare business? Read on to learn how to choose the right one.
Most healthcare providers report it takes longer than a month to collect on the bills they send. The number of unpaid healthcare bills has also been rising over the last few years.
Some challenges in healthcare billing are less about the ability to pay and more about payment processing. Support for electronic payments is universal among patients, but providers still use paper. The accepted methods of payment are usually limited, as well.
One thing is clear: The right payment processor can help you manage the revenue cycle more efficiently. With the right payment process, you can overcome the challenges of the revenue cycle.
How do you know you’ve found the right processor for your healthcare business? Our guide can help you determine the best selection for your business.
Look for Key Features With a Payment Processor
Not every healthcare provider has the same needs. The payment solution you choose for your business will need to reflect your unique needs.
There are some key features almost any processor should provide. They include:
- Online bill payment services
- Follow-up, such as text reminders
- Security features
- Point-of-service devices
- Data collection that accommodates your needs
- Preauthorization and certified payment processing
Other features should work to shorten the payment cycle. In addition, everything should be offered in one convenient, integrated platform. If a provider doesn’t offer these features, it’s time to look somewhere else.
Think About Data and Security
There are many rules about the collection and use of data in the financial sector. In the payment processing industry, the largest credit card processors created security standards.
The regulatory framework is different for the healthcare sector. For example, you’ll need to make sure your payment processing system is compliant with HIPAA. It’s one reason data collection must be customized to your business’s needs.
Security is another important consideration, whether you’re in healthcare or not. Credit card information and other client data can be quite sensitive.
In the healthcare industry, though, you have additional concerns. For example, information about a diagnosis can harm a patient’s job prospects.
You’re already aware that data security, storage and management are important. They’re just as important when you select a payment processor for your business.
Look for companies that go above and beyond. They do more than meet the bare minimum set out in standards and regulations. They’re always one step ahead, creating better security for your data and your patients.
Take a Peek Under the Hood
What’s powering the payment processing system you’re adopting for your business? We’ve already mentioned that the provider should supply point-of-service devices. Integration is key. Your business already uses solutions for everything from patient intake to scheduling appointments. If your new payment processing system doesn’t integrate, you’re in for a mountain of trouble.
You can avoid this costly scenario by taking a peek at what’s behind the services you’re signing up for. Ask about how any payment processing system will work with your current systems. If the platform doesn’t integrate with your accounting software, it’s time to consider another provider.
Think About Value, Not Price
Price is a particular sticking point when it comes to credit card processors. It’s one reason so many businesses choose not to offer credit card payments at all.
You might be tempted to go with the payment processor that offers you the lowest price. This is often a mistake.
Instead of thinking about price, take a look at value. One payment processing system might be more expensive than another. That might be because it offers you more services and flexibility.
In other words, the most expensive option provides better value.
Don’t forget about the importance of customer service when you’re calculating value. A company that charges more might be a better bet because they offer you more support. The bargain system may offer little to no support at all, which actually costs you more in the long run.
Ask About Scalability and Flexibility
How big is your healthcare company right now? Maybe you’re a start-up getting off the ground. You might be a well-established private practice, but you’ve brought on a new partner and want to grow.
Can your payment processor grow with you?
Many companies make the mistake of signing up for a system that offers them no room for growth. The solution looks right at the time, but the healthcare provider soon finds the processor can’t keep up.
Ask about the different services your processor provides. Can you upgrade services or add services as you need them? Can you scale back on services you’re not using as much as you thought you would?
You may need additional services, such as collections or electronic medical record management. The best providers can help you integrate these functions for a streamlined process.
The best payment processing system will be able to grow with you every step of the way.
What Payment Options Are Available?
Another key aspect to look at when you select a system is which payment options you can offer to your patients. Bill payment times are often improved when patients choose from several payment methods.
We’ve already talked about credit card processing. Another option you want to make sure is available is electronic payments. This is often the easiest and fastest way for patients to pay you. It benefits both you and your patients.
Build a Relationship With a Partner You Can Trust
The right payment processing solution can help you conquer the challenges of the revenue cycle. More than anything, you need a payment processor you can trust. Look for processors that are recommended by others in your industry.
If you’re still not sure what the right payment system for your business looks like, talk to us today. We can help you determine your needs and find the perfect fit for you.