Healthcare Payments

10. 01. 21

How do your patients pay for their care? How long does it take for patients to receive their bill and send their provider that payment? A total of 73% of physicians report it takes at least one month for their patients to make payments. Healthcare providers must offer high-quality customer service while maintaining an efficient practice. This lag in payment time is an obstacle for patients and providers alike, but Card on File presents an effective solution to this problem.

Card-on-file payments are resonating with both retail and healthcare consumers. “There are now more than 500 million Apple Pay users, 207 million Netflix subscribers, and 200 million Amazon Prime members worldwide, with countless other subscription and on-demand services. Each of these players require customers to save a COF for one-time and recurring purchases.” These numbers show an increasing consumer preference for utilizing card-on-file payment options. “In a U.S. research study, 48% of consumers mentioned that they save their card information on websites / apps for shopping.” With so many consumers placing their cards on file to submit payments, healthcare providers that offer this option can better address their patients’ payment needs.

The card-on-file approach to patient payments is secure and fast, but many practices and patients may not be aware of the perks. How does CoF work? How can digital patient billing benefit patients and practices? Learn about our card-on-file services for healthcare.

Advantages of Card-on-File Payments for Patients

CoF offers the following client benefits:

Saving time: It can take months for patients to pay their medical bills. Patients often prefer electronic medical bills, yet paper billing remains standard in healthcare. Many patients have to manually fill out paperwork they receive in the mail to submit a credit card payment. CoF services for healthcare allow patients to share their card information via digital registration forms. They can complete any necessary paperwork before their appointment, saving them even more time.

Preventing late payments: Late payments are a persistent issue in the healthcare field. While some patients purposely delay paying a medical bill for financial reasons, others may forget to pay or be unsure of how to do so. CoF patient payment services streamline the entire process, significantly reducing the incidents of late payments and the accrual of fees.

Increasing safety and sanitation:COVID-19 has forced healthcare providers to find inventive ways to maintain social distancing and keep patients feeling safe. Automated card-on-file payment processing allows practices to offer a touchless payment method. Patients do not need to take any paperwork from a practice employee or even hand over a credit card. This option minimizes contact and reduces a practice’s cleaning time.

Providing security and fraud protection: Patients may be hesitant to hand over their credit card information because they may not fully realize how secure this information will be. Practices can benefit by educating their patients about how CoF services offer security and fraud protection. Reputable CoF systems comply with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act and the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard. By design, these systems allow for safe, secure transactions.

Advantages of Card-on-File Payments for Providers

Medical practices also reap the benefits of CoF payments. Your practice can demonstrate a commitment to customer service and efficiency. Additionally, CoF software for medical practices offers the following advantages.

  • Keeps payments consistent: Over the past two decades, hospitals have racked up billions of dollars in uncompensated care. Hospitals and independent medical practices face revenue cycle management challenges that can make patient payment inconsistent. While some of these obstacles, like increased consumer financial responsibility, are difficult to solve, making the payment process as easy and efficient as possible is an essential step. When your practice can receive credit card payments, it caters to patient preference and avoids potential delays with paper-based billing. CoF systems also come with the possibility of automated payments, which can even further improve payment consistency.
  • Increases efficiency: CoF software for medical practices improves efficiency. By shifting the payment process to a digital, credit card-based platform, practices can dispense with mountains of paperwork and eliminate the need for cash or checks. Faster payment processing and less time spent chasing patients for payments and late fees give medical practice staff more time to focus on impactful tasks, like patient care.
  • Enhances patient retention :Offering people a convenient, secure way to pay can help improve patient satisfaction. When patients feel their payment process was efficient and safe, they’ll be more likely to return to your practice for future visits.

Tips for Introducing Card-on-File Payments to Patients

While many patients prefer healthcare credit card payments, it can take time to introduce a new solution to them. What should you do if your practice is looking to add a card-on-file system?

  • Explain the benefits: Communicate with your patients. Find a way to explain that a change is happening and how the new payment system will benefit them.
  • Assure safety: Safety is likely to be one of the top patient concerns when switching to a CoF system. Will their information be safe? Explain how your practice will safeguard their credit card information and prevent fraudulent transactions.
  • Communicate: Prepare your practice staff to answer any questions that patients may have. Clarify that moving to this new system is not only beneficial, but it is also becoming the norm across the healthcare industry.
  • Highlight flexibility: Payment is a significant concern for many patients. Let them know that a card-on-file system should not add any undue stress. It gives patients flexible payment options that help them manage their financial responsibilities. If patients need to, they can create a custom payment plan through the CoF system.

Know the Risks

Card-on-file payments offer healthcare practices a multitude of benefits, but this approach is not without risk. Any digitally stored information is potentially subject to a data breach. System vulnerabilities could expose your patients’ information and your practice. Take the time to find a CoF partner that offers a system compliant with HIPAA and PCI DSS. This choice helps minimize risk by securely storing information and protecting against fraud.

Getting Started With Card-on-File Payment Processing From Rectangle Health

Rectangle Health offers a CoF solution that allows medical practices to easily facilitate payment and store patient information securely. By adopting Practice Management Bridge®, your practice can provide a digital, touchless payment solution, replacing outdated paper-based processes. Our system complies with HIPAA and PCI DSS. Plus, our trained risk management experts monitor all transactions to protect your practice.

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