Staff in a health care setting have many roles including but not limited to managing patients, inventory, administrative tasks and collecting payments. Being responsible for the monetary side of a business in any setting is a serious task that requires accuracy and efficiency. It is beneficial for both the practice and the patients when this is done properly. Here are the most effective ways that you can collect payments in 2021 to streamline the way you do business.
One. Software payment integration
This software is commonly used to collect payments from patients and send them directly to you by processing the card in real-time. This method is fast, saves time and reduces errors that can be made with manual billing practices. Software payment integration is dependable and a highly safe way to collect payments. Data is encrypted to keep your patient’s confidential financial information, just that, confidential. If you are collecting payments via an e-commerce site, you can ask patients if they’d like to store their details safely, so they don’t have to re-enter them every time they make a purchase. This type of software allows you to customise your payment gateways with multiple application program interfaces (API’s). If you don’t see patients in person, you can organise some of the following payments below.
Two. Automating recurring payments
In an ideal world, patients would settle their account at the end of each service but if your practice is like many others and allow part payments or scheduled repayments, you can benefit from automating reoccurring payments if you don’t already. Rather than chasing up due installations, you can automate them with practice and financial management software. It also takes the pressure off your patients, they no longer have to remember when payments are due or waste time organising for a bill to be paid.
Three. Sending outstanding balance reminders
If your patients do not want to set up an automatic payment plan or, you simply want to offer your patients flexibility, you can schedule automatic reminders about upcoming payments and notify them when balances are overdue. Sometimes people forget, and days or weeks could even go by before they realise they didn’t make a payment. This is a great way to get paid on time while being accommodating. Automated reminders are not only beneficial for collecting payments but they can be sent to remind patients of their future appointments. This can cut down on no-shows drastically which can save you precious time and lost revenue.
Four. Set up a patient portal
Having a patient portal is a great way to get your patients to engage in your business, and by adding a payment option, you can encourage self-payments. The more convenient you make it for your patients to pay, the more inclined they will be to do so. They can settle their account at a time that suits them 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This also saves staff from having to manually process payments which can improve productivity. Rather than spending hours each week doing this, their skills can be directed to other more important aspects of the practice. You can also set up an online booking section that enables patients to book an appointment online without having to attend the clinic or ring during business hours to schedule a visit with the practitioner. This can boost revenue further.
Five. Securely store patients credit card information
As we touched on earlier in the post, storing patients credit card details for recurring payments is an effective way to settle accounts in a timely fashion. If you do decide to store patient credit card information, you should know that you are obligated to do so legally by being PCI compliant. This means that you must have a full understanding and apply these standards, The Payment Card Data Security (PCI DSS) requirements. This ensures you are protecting your patient’s data from security breaches and theft. Covered under these standards include:
- How you handle a credit card number that you have been given via a letter, email or similar.
- How you handle an over the phone reading of a credit card number.
- Taking credit card payments online.
- Collecting payments with a physical electronic terminal machine.
It can save you a lot of time. Instead of waiting for a patient to pay their bill or them not paying altogether, you can automate the payment when it is due.
Not implementing a quality financial software program into your business will see you fall behind. It ensures your business is running at its best, and there is no room for error. It is a big responsibility to collect payments from your patients because getting it wrong can tarnish your business and its reputation.
To learn more about how you can improve your practices, billing and payment processes, check out our website here at Nookal. We have formulated a comprehensive practice management software program that has been designed with business owners like yourself in mind. It can help you to streamline your finances, improve productivity, and simplify the way you run your practice. It can alert you to discrepancies to cut down on errors drastically. We offer a free 30-day trial so, if you haven’t already converted, there is no better time than now to try. You’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain!