Earlier this summer on the InstaMed blog, we talked about payment integration; specifically, why providers should integrate and how to integrate payment into existing systems and processes. Now that we’ve covered the why and the how, let’s talk about ways to maximize the benefits of payment integration.
Integration helps providers collect more efficiently. Embedded payment functionality allows payment information to automatically populate into your existing practice management system, which streamlines your processes and minimizes staff overhead. With greater efficiency, providers have opportunities to do more. Take your integration to the next level to reap all the benefits and ultimately collect more patient payments.
Here are five ways providers can maximize integration benefits.
- Collect at Every Patient Interaction Point
Your integration should let you collect payments at every patient interaction point, so make sure you are utilizing them all. This includes your most visible payment channels like the front office, your website and IVR communications. You can also expand payment capabilities to less obvious channels, such as your patients’ bank bill pay portal or their health plan’s website. Take advantage of all the ways you interact with patients and integrate payment capabilities at these touchpoints. The more opportunities you create for patients to pay you, the more likely they are to pay.
- Make Payments More Mobile
Integrate with the devices you already use to collect more patient payments. For example, if you use a check-in kiosk, enable payment here to maximize the benefits of this interaction point. Your patients are on the go, too. According to the Sixth Annual Trends in Healthcare Payments Report: 2015, 64% of consumers reported an interest in using a new mobile payment system such as Apple Pay, Samsung Pay or Android Pay to make a healthcare payment. Make sure you optimize your online payment capabilities for mobile, and allow patients to pay you this way.
- Integrate Payments…and Beyond!
Find other ways to integrate payment capabilities that go beyond processing payments. If you collect patient email addresses, use email to engage with patients around payment: email receipts, add quick links to your online payment portal and communicate balance updates.
- Enable Text Messaging
Don’t let integration stop at email communications. Enable text message communications for your patients, too. Many patients already manage other aspects of their finances through text messaging, so it is likely they would appreciate this option for their healthcare bills.
- Know the Security Risks
As technology advances and security demands grow, it is important to understand how you store and protect your data. With integration, you increase the systems that are talking to each other and increase the accessibility of your data. This is great for improving efficiency, but can create risks when storing and transporting sensitive payment data. Make sure you know your PCI scope and understand which systems have the ability to touch your cardholder data. The good news is integration also delivers security benefits, including reducing your PCI scope.
There is significant value in integration and plenty of ways a provider organizations can benefit. Integration can improve efficiency, deliver better patient engagement options and help providers collect more payments. The key to successful integration is for providers to understand all of their options, know best practices and be aware of the risks associated with exposing data to more environments.