The eCommerce age has led us all to believe that payments can be processed instantly, securely and conveniently with ease. To that end, private practices should expect payment from patients to be as simple as pressing send on a touchscreen.
Thanks to the growing eCommerce space, clinicians now have numerous options for payment processing products, each with its own unique, optimizable features and activations. The options are so vast, it can be a challenge to decide which one is the best for your private practice.
Before a clinician looks for a payment processing solution that suits its private practice needs, it’s a good idea to understand how payment processors work, both in general and specifically for private practices. Clinicians should also consider matters of compliance and regulation when choosing a payment processor.
Payment processors are companies that provide services to safely manage money transfers and transactions. For private practices, a payment processor will protect both the clinician and the client to ensure payments and transactions are completed securely.
A payment processor will charge some sort of fee for its service. These fees range depending on the service provider. It can be a monthly subscription fee, an individual transaction fee that includes a percentage (usually small) of the sale itself, or a combination of both.
As we said previously, there are multiple payment processing services on the market that service eCommerce companies big and small. All of the major banks - think JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo - provide some sort of payment processing service for businesses and individual clients.
Other companies like PayPal, Stripe and Square have emerged as key market share holders. Their services are aimed at small businesses and individuals to help complete transactions securely.
For the purpose of this article, we will focus on the latter group. Their services are more accessible for private practices that are in the startup phase.
Square is a credit processing company with multiple products and services to help businesses build and market their work. One of the features that makes Square a popular choice for small private practice clinicians is its compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). When selecting a payment processing company, a private practice needs to be aware of the HIPAA requirement to include a Business Associate Agreement (BAA) in regard to receipts and invoices.
A private practice will likely search for a payment processing service that can deliver invoices and receipts. Private practice invoices and receipts are regulated as Protected Health Information (PHI) under HIPAA. The BAA is a written contract that specifies a clinician’s responsibilities to protect PHI that is disclosed to a business associate. The BAA outlines the uses and disclosures of PHI that the business associate is permitted to make. It also obligates the business associate to protect the privacy and security of patient information.
Square also gets high consumer review marks because of its ease of use and overall value, specifically for small businesses. There are no monthly fees and the price per transaction fee hovers around 3% to 3.5%, plus a 15-30 cent flat fee.
Stripe is an online payment processing platform that is dependent on plugins and integrations to meet HIPAA compliance. What Stripe lacks in built-in patient protection protocols, it makes up for with its smooth integration into a wide range of private practice management platforms that manage HIPAA compliance. Stripe also offers strong, built-in privacy and security protocols.
As with Square, there are no monthly fees and the price per transaction is 2.9% plus a 30 cent flat fee.
Each of the previous payment processing services has unique features that can benefit a private practice. Square with its embedded HIPAA compliance and Stripe with its fluid integration into private practice management systems can provide a new private practice with some of the tools it needs to succeed.
Ease Pay provides the best of both worlds and more.
Ease Pay has built in compliance measures to secure patients health information. Its integration into the Ease private practice operations platform can get your business up and running today. It also adds the ability to provide flexible payment options for clients and more.
With Ease Pay, a private practice will have secure payment processing with the added benefit of payment methods that suit the needs of a new private practice. Clinicians can offer split payments, payment plans and sliding scale payments to give clients more options.
Ease Pay automatically generates invoices that are secure and compliant under HIPAA regulations. Your clients PHI will be fully protected in the Ease Pay system, and invoices will be delivered in seconds. There are also reporting tools to help you track patients' payment status in real-time.
Ease Pay also offers competitive pricing. With an Ease Pay free plan, transaction fees are only 2.75%. Paid plans pay 0% in transaction fees.
Selecting a payment processing service that suits a new private practice’s needs will require time, consideration and knowledge of what’s available. It also demands that a clinician take the necessary precautions to protect patient information.
When it comes time to decide which payment processing system suits the needs of your private practice, always consider what’s best for the client and the practice.
Also, make sure the service you choose fully grasps your intentions as it relates to the private practice’s overall success.