The healthcare industry faces strict regulatory controls when it comes to protecting practices and patients. Partnering with a payments processor who offers expertise in the industry and compliance can help alleviate the common problems experienced by healthcare providers when it comes to collecting and managing payments.
Problems with Payment Processing in Healthcare
Data security concerns are one of the most significant problems with payment processing in healthcare. Between the increased number of digital payment transactions and the rise of cybersecurity incidents, healthcare providers must take appropriate measures to protect their patients' data from unauthorized access or theft through proper HIPAA compliance.
As a provider, you should be aware of the stringent conditions you must adhere to follow this level of compliance. HIPAA helps protect patients from data breaches due to healthcare providers' lack of security measures. However, your payment processor may not be current on the latest compliance policies.
REPAY is HIPAA-compliant and goes to great lengths to ensure our employees know the ins and outs of these policies so our partners are always protected. Massive data breaches can heavily impact your business and your reputation. To mitigate risks, you must verify that your healthcare payment processor complies with both PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) and HIPAA regulations.
Patients Use Different Payment Methods
Unlike other industries, healthcare payment processing involves multiple parties, such as insurance companies, healthcare providers, third-party administrators and patients. This adds some complexity, which can cause confusion and delays in payment processing. Compared to retail transactions, patients typically don't pay at the time of service, nor do they pay the entire amount. Some can't afford the burden of their medical bills and need to make incremental payments over a fixed period.
It usually takes most healthcare providers over a month to collect payment from their patients. Patients wait weeks to receive a statement of their charges while you wait for the insurance company to pay their percentage of the care the patient received. This process takes a while, and the turnaround time costs your business time, money and resources.
Healthcare providers can diversify their payment methods and options to support and improve the payment experience. This goes beyond accepting credit and debit cards, ACH, digital wallets and more, but also includes offering payment plans, financing options, card-on-file storage and early-payment discounts to accommodate patients. With more options available, they're more likely to pay what they owe. If you want to offer these features to your patients, you'll need a payment processor that not only supports them but also ensures each payment method is secure by meeting the latest compliance requirements.
Errors Lead to Delayed Payments
Healthcare payments can be riddled with errors, from patient payments to paying vendors and suppliers. Patient billing errors can happen at any stage of the payment process, leading to delayed or incorrect payments. This problem is widespread and typically caused by the lag time between patient care and payment. Their bill goes through multiple channels and often takes more than a month to process.
At the end of the day, the patient often has no idea of their responsibility, and you could be left in limbo, wasting valuable time as you wait for your staff to track down the patient’s information. Having a simple payment portal gives your patients the power to set up payment plans and manage their bills themselves, freeing up your staff to focus on patient care.
As for the accounts payable process, cutting paper checks and manually entering data can be time-consuming and error-prone. This process lacks efficiency and can negatively impact relationships with suppliers and vendors due to delayed payments. Accounts payable automation simplifies outbound vendor and supplier payments and offers several benefits, including eliminating inaccuracies, promoting greater back-office efficiency, enabling better tracking and management of payments and more.
Improve the Healthcare Payment Process with REPAY
As concerns grow over today's healthcare costs, you need a payment processing solution to boost your bottom line and save money. REPAY provides healthcare providers with a secure, efficient and customizable solution for accepting and managing payments.
By improving the payment process, REPAY helps healthcare providers focus on what they do best — providing quality patient care. Contact us today to learn more about how we can benefit your business.