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payment processing for medical offices

Secure Payment Systems for Medical and Dental Offices

Ray Moorman

In the midst of ever-changing Federal regulations, decreased insurance payments and a highly competitive healthcare climate, medical and dental offices look to payment systems to help accept more patient payments while keeping their rates low. Accepting credit, debit and other electronic payment types can make a substantial difference in the bottom line for medical and dental practices. Many people today are used to paying for their daily expenses and bills with credit cards instead of traditional paper checks, so consider offering your patients this convenience. It’s important to choose a credit card processing provider that suits your needs and is experienced in working in the healthcare field.

Features and services to consider for your medical or dental office

Today’s consumers expect to be able to pay using a credit or debit card wherever life takes them—including at the doctor’s or dentist office. Here's what you can do with payment features and services designed for your specific needs as a medical or dental office:

  • Accept credit, debit, digital wallet or NFC payments at your office or over the phone
  • Accept credit, debit or ACH transactions via a secure online portal
  • Run transactions and access processing data on a tablet-based system that is portable throughout your office and easy to learn
  • Set up one-time or recurring payments for patients on a payment plan
  • Pull custom reporting to quickly view outstanding balances
  • 24/7 customer service to support your office in real-time in the event of an outage
  • Integrate with QuickBooks or other accounting software for easier bookkeeping
  • Check AVS and CVV to ensure security and legitimacy of transactions
  • Use encryption or tokenization to protect patients’ sensitive data throughout the transaction
  • Cloud-based storage of all storage to take the storage burden off your in-house systems and provide your management with remote data access

You’ll also want to consider whether your practice is comfortable signing a longer term service agreement, or if going month-to-month for payments processing makes the most sense. Choose a processor that offers a straightforward rate and fee structure that you and your staff can understand, so you know you’re getting the most bang for your processing buck. And, of course, partner with a payments processor that is committed to end-to-end protection of sensitive data so you don’t put your practice at risk of a data breach.

Choosing the right payments processor for your healthcare practice

It’s important to choose the right payments processor for your practice. A partner that’s a great fit for a high-volume urgent care facility is probably not the best fit for a slower-paced private practice in a small town that processes far fewer transactions. A payments processor that is experienced in serving medical and dental practices can help your office understand what features and services are worth having for your needs. Consider all of the variables that could affect your costs, including the startup fee, other fees and the monthly minimum your office must meet.

Choosing the cheapest payments processing may not be the best option, as it’s important that you partner with a processor that is committed to security and excellent service. If you’re looking to explore your payment processing options, ask the medical organizations to which you or your providers belong if they have an existing partnership with a processor. That way, you can start with compiling a list of payments processors that are both trusted and experienced in working with healthcare practices. You can also ask other medical providers in your local area which payment processor they use and their experience with their services.

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