In recent months, the healthcare industry has been navigating a constantly evolving landscape rich in encouraging social distancing launched by the onset of COVID-19. With many unknowns still lingering, the need to safely and securely deliver and receive healthcare services and payments has become more pressing than ever.
The World Health Organization has emphasized the importance of handwashing after personal cash handling reiterating that viruses have the potential to circulate through contact. Credit cards when passed between patients and administrative staff could possibly spread viruses similarly. Now more than ever, various technologies and payment options that help encourage limited in-person interactions or remove them altogether are attractive to patients and healthcare providers alike.
These technologies and procedures can help support safe payment practices, streamline processes and reinforce favorable experiences for all involved in the collections process.
Promote the Use of Online Patient Portals
Online payment portals empower patients to view their accounts and make one-time payments, all from their homes. A win for healthcare providers, online payments can bring reduced administrative fees and quick payment collection upon service completion.
Encourage Automated Payments
Healthcare providers can eliminate the handling of physical credit cards by offering automated payments. Payments can be collected quickly if a provider’s system allows a patient’s payment information to be stored on file in a secure and compliant manner.
Offer Contactless Payment Options
Contactless EMV and mobile wallet options like Apple Pay and Google Pay can allow patients to pay for services without physically touching a payment terminal, allowing payments to be literally as effortless as the wave of a hand.
Regularly Clean Payment Terminals
Some needs can and will continue to require patients to have physical interactions with healthcare professionals and contact with a payment device may be inevitable.
Promote a safe and sanitary space with these guidelines from point-of-service terminal manufacturer Ingenico for device cleaning:
- Before you clean your device, make sure that it is powered down completely. Unplug all cables and wires.
- Slightly soak a soft lint-free cloth in soapy water. Use this to clean the exterior of the device. Be careful to keep moisture away from the device’s openings and any card slots.
- Liquid cleaners should be sprayed onto a soft lint-free cloth and never on the device directly.
- Refrain from using detergents, solvents, or abrasive products to avoid damage to the device’s plastic or electrical components.