Is Integration Smart for my Business?: A Series

5 Minutes read

Part 2- Medical Offices 

In a continuation of the integration series, we continue with medical offices.   To give context, we define medical offices as any of the following individuals: doctors, surgeons, dentists, oral surgeons, physical therapists, or chiropractors.  Is the integration of credit card payments into software powering medical offices good for medical offices?  Software powering a medical office has made patient management and care improve.  In the restaurant industry, integrating credit card transactions makes complete sense.  There are many value added, benefits to doing so.  However, in the medical industry,  let us see the pros and cons, we’ve discovered.

Pros

In theory, integration of credit card payments into medical software sounds good.  It only really updates records in the patient file that they’ve paid.  Practically speaking, integration of payments does nothing for a medical practice.  Because non-integrated payments, essentially do the same thing.  It is one click of a button to update the record of the patient as paid vs having the payments integrated.  

The only pro for integration of credit card payments into an EMR or practice management software would be secure credit card storage for future payments.  If a medical office needed to store a credit card for a payment plan, for example.  However, the highest card data security standards must be in place in order to protect cardholder data.   

DentiMax, a dental software, claims to “reduce counter clutter” but what clutter are they talking about? A simple pinpad? If that is considered cluttering your workspace, you need to reevaluate what carries importance on your desk. Similar companies claim to save time and effort with their integration payments, yet they don’t. If you look at a previous installment of the series, there are several benefits for the restaurant industry. Those benefits, like tip reporting, time clock management, and detailed reporting options, actually save the employer time and effort since those benefits are tangible to the business owner. But with medical software payment integration, you lose more than you gain.

Cons 

Typically, there are usually three important things lost when integrating credit card payments into a medical practice software.  The practice loses:    

  • pin debit in many cases
  • address verification in many cases 
  • the ability to lower the cost of insurance reimbursement payments via single use credit cards.

Additionally, with our team’s research, we’ve discovered contracts with the credit card processing companies with liquidated damages early termination fees.  Liquidated damages early termination fees are absolutely terrible for business owners when enforced.   If an early termination fee is in the contract, usually it will be a set number, such as $395.  A liquidated damages, early termination fee can be calculated by taking the profit to the processor over three months and multiplying by the remaining months of the contract.

Here’s the explanation.  As an example, the profit to the processor on average is $100 per month and there are 18 months left in the contract.  In order “to get out of the contract early” of which there are no value-added benefits, the business would pay the processor $1,800!  Seems like armed-robbery by the payments’ industry and these integrated payment processors?  This is one of the major issues, which seems to go unnoticed?!  Be careful what you are signing with an integrated credit card solution with medical software.

Why does this matter to your business?   

Glad you asked, because losing these three things: pin debit, address verification and lowering the cost of insurance payments via a credit card will cost your practice money.  We have seen practices paying over $750 more per month than they should, because of these three-simple, cost-saving methods not being available.  That’s $12,000 per year for the sake of integration!  

Let’s cut the example above to $250/month in savings for an average practice processing $25,000 per month.  Ask yourself this question, is the integration worth $3,000 per year?  What if the processor raises your rates or charges some outrageous PCI non-compliance fee or integration fee?   If you’ve completed the PCI compliance, per the 3rd party company’s instructions, and they still say you are non-compliant and must pay the non-compliant fees, how does one handle this issue?  What if you figure you are not receiving the value promised from the software and go to change and find a liquidated damages early termination fee, as described in this article under cons?  

Has payment integration been oversold? 

It seems, credit card payment integration for medical practices has been oversold for years without much of a benefit to the medical practice.  Software companies in medical office verticals are capitalizing on “ease of use” or “all in one” terms for a cash grab, including separate integration monthly fees and payment processing revenue sharing.  How does one deal with declining reimbursements from insurance companies and higher overall costs to run medical practices?  Wouldn’t it make sense to do something practical?  Crunch the numbers on integrated credit card processing verses a non-integrated solution.  Most of the time, the medical practice is losing, and sometimes it is a huge loss per month.

Add to the fact, liquidated damages, and for nothing value-added, a business could pay huge fees to get out of the contract.  Sounds like a one-sided contract for integrated credit card payments in medical software.  Could this be a money grab for the software company and the payment processing partner?  You decide.

Would you like to make more money this year?  Our historical data has shown savings verses integrated payments in medical software of $100-$750 per month.  There are factors, which determine these savings, such as average ticket, monthly payment processing volume, card types accepted, and insurance company reimbursement on credit card volume.  What if an examination of your medical practice payment processing could put thousands of dollars back in your pocket?

How does one crunch the numbers? 

Crunching the numbers is simple, but here’s the challenge.  One must find an ethical credit card processing company.  Ask how they are helping medical practices eliminate fees, while providing excellent customer service.  Ask them for proof.  Hint– there should be video testimonials, digital reviews, references, and case studies, not just the testimony of a good sounding sales person.  With corroboration of their story, then have your merchant statement evaluated.  Relationship is paramount, but there should be “proof in the pudding”, proof that they are truly helping medical practices eliminate merchant fees.   

Another option to save money verses integrated credit card processing for a medical practice is investigating a surcharge or cash discount program.  Again, do your research on the company.  Make sure they are ethical and upstanding.  Check  for references, look for video testimonials, and digital reviews.   

 

Contact us for a thorough examination of your payment processing, 877-651-1655.

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