Medical billing is a nightmare. To anyone reading this who works in the medical field, we are well aware that this is preaching to the choir of the highest degree. Yet when it comes to the nuts and bolts of accepting payment, doctor’s offices operate in a very similar fashion to any typical business enterprise. The logistics of working with insurance companies, collection agencies, and angry patients might feel like an exercise in futility, but working with a reputable merchant services provider can at least handle the technical aspects of accepting cash, credit cards, debit cards, and much more.
With this in mind, today we will explore how medical offices handle electronic payments, some of the details of accepting online payments, why doctor’s offices present a uniquely challenging bookkeeping problem, and how healthcare organizations can use POS systems to keep their data centralized.
Doctor’s Offices Accept Electronic Payments like any Small Business
Industry and insurance complications notwithstanding, doctor’s offices are more similar than dissimilar to other small businesses when it comes to accepting cash and electronic payments. Issues to consider include choosing the best merchant account provider, determining fee structures, and more. Here is a short checklist that any doctor’s office or other small business should run through:
What types of payments will we accept? Answers might include cash only, credit and debit cards, EBT payments, and/or online payments. The vast majority of doctor’s offices will want to accept a large variety of payment options.
What type of credit card processing fees work for my office? All credit card and debit card processing comes with associated processing fees. However all of these fees are not the same. Businesses can choose which credit cards to accept and also which merchant pricing model best fits their needs.
What hardware/software will we need? Not all POS systems and credit card machines are created equal — nor are the apps that can be used on each. Choose your hardware and software carefully to make sure they meet your demands.
Accepting Online Payments for Healthcare
Unless your business is connected to a massive network with its own in-house online payment processing solution, you will likely be working with a payment gateway provider to accept online payments. It is most common to work with a merchant account provider through whom a payment gateway will be established. This means that your e-commerce payments and your in-person payments will all be connected on the same system.
Another key benefit of working with a merchant account provider is that they should provide the same security and encryption services as they do for in-person transactions. If you accept both in-person and online payments, establishing a payment gateway with the help of a qualified merchant service provider should give you all of the utility and assurance you will need.
Many consumers will give pause before giving credit card, debit card, or bank information online. Security measures such as CardSecure protect both your business and your patients from malicious cyberattacks. By using CardSecure and an experienced merchant services provider, you can avoid penalties including chargebacks, account suspensions, and even account terminations.
Doctor’s Offices Face a Bookkeeping Nightmare
So what about the true elephant in the room when it comes to doctor’s offices and billing: bookkeeping? While there is no magic solution that will solve all of your bookkeeping problems, there are ways to ensure that your payments, inventory, employee data, scheduling, and much more can all be kept in a centralized location. Two of the most prominent ways that a merchant account can help keep your books in order include:
Point of sale (POS) system integration: POS systems are much more than just the hardware you will use to swipe or dip credit cards. They also come with customizable menus, a robust app market, real-time reporting, and 24/7/365 tech support. This system allows bookkeeping to be automated, in real-time, using customized data points to fit your business needs.
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems: similar to, but different from POS systems, are full ERP integrations. ERP is a type of business management software that allows doctor’s offices to use a variety of customizable app combinations to manage inventory, track patient visits, operational concerns, store customer data, and much more. It is important to note that while POS and ERP are independent entities, it is entirely possible to combine these two forces into a singularly maintained database. This can allow for customizable reports, mobile payment integration, e-commerce integration, etc!
True Merchant Helps Businesses Accept and Track Payments
True Merchant is a Better Business Bureau accredited merchant services company which focuses on helping small businesses. We understand that the details of processing debit card and credit card payments are often the last thing on business owners’ minds. That is why we offer transparent, fair pricing models for our top-notch services including CardSecure, NFC payments, online payment solutions, and much more! Our flexible solutions fit the needs of small businesses within the medical field, service industry, retail industry, and many others.
field, service industry, retail industry, and many others. To learn more about how True Merchant can help your small business, please contact us today by calling or filling out an online form. One of our qualified merchant services professionals will be happy to get you started.