Increasing numbers of U.S. citizens today have been forced into having an HDHP. Annual deductibles are high –- thousands of dollars for families. More than 40 percent of all people with private medical insurance under 65 years of age have an HDHP. This is a trend that is increasing year-on-year. For healthcare practices, this is bad news. More patients are now being asked for larger amounts to cover the cost of their treatments. These costs have increased by around 30 percent over the last four years. As a result, the burden falls increasingly on medical practices when it comes to collecting those payments. More than 80 percent of small practices are now finding slow patient payments their biggest collection challenge. Is this a challenge that merchant accounts for healthcare could resolve?
Electronic Payment Systems Make A Difference
Evidence has shown that, while most practices are struggling, those that accept electronic payments are improving. Practices accepting debit and credit cards reap the benefits of receiving more income. Meanwhile, their patients enjoy a better experience.
Patients today prefer making payments with debit and credit cards. This makes the chances of them settling their bills at the same time as they receive their treatments much higher. Also, when practices accept cards, they can set up an automatic payment plan. This ensures that they receive prompt regular payments and cash flow remains predictable. However, all the benefits aren’t just for the practice. Studies have shown patients have been more satisfied and loyal to their practices when they offer several payment options. Seventy-one percent of patients recently revealed mobile pay options improved their level of satisfaction with healthcare providers. Ninety-five percent of patients expressed their interests in making payments online through a healthcare web portal.
Taking Cards in Practices
While patients are demanding choice when it comes to payment options, healthcare providers are lagging behind. Many fear that accepting debit and credit cards is difficult. However, with online web portals, taking online payments is a breeze. Existing software systems can even integrate the software for extra convenience. When it comes to the cost of card processing, online payments are also more affordable. Also, collecting payments more rapidly offsets the costs.
How to Save Money with Payment Processing
There are a number of simple steps a practice can take to reduce its payment processing cost.
- Advise the front desk staff to take all the necessary information. Staff members must include all relevant data whenever running transactions. This is important even if the terminal allows staff to carry out the transaction without all the information. Lower fees and rates are possible when a staff member has entered all the requested information.
- Swiping credit cards whenever possible is always a good idea. It reduces the chance of human error when someone inputs the information by hand. It could also reduce the cost of transactions.
- PCI compliance is key, not only because it’s a requirement of the industry, but also because it saves money.
- Shop around for fees and choose a payment processor that offers affordable rates. Of course, it’s important to take care to choose a reliable company, such as BillingTree. Some processors offer very low rates but poor quality of service.
You can find out more about merchant accounts for healthcare by contacting BillingTree. BillingTree’s payment solutions are ideal for smaller healthcare practices that wish to improve cash flow. By putting these electronic payment solutions in place, both patients and practices benefit. Patients enjoy a better user experience while practices see improved revenue collection. It’s a change that is vital for today’s modern healthcare environment.