By Shon Wettstein, SVP, Business Development, Intalere, and Dottie Ford, Executive Client Manager and Tim Heasley, Sr. Manager, Direct Sales, Priority Payment Systems
As the medical emergency of the COVID-19 pandemic begins to subside, healthcare providers will be faced with the harsh economic realities of the continuing fallout. Struggling to rebuild their operations, drive revenue via elective procedures, surgeries and services such as rehabilitation, and reestablish and grow patient connections will be the next phase of dealing with the pandemic.
In looking to cut expenses, improve cash flow and grow margins, one area of relatively “low-hanging fruit” that can be implemented relatively swiftly, and begin to literally pay dividends almost immediately is payments processing. Businesses and healthcare providers are migrating from traditional payment processing vendors to more automated, integrated processing platforms that streamline workflows and effectively manage all critical aspects of running a business – from a single source. These solutions can lower your overall costs for merchant services and payment processing – while accelerating payments – with increases in collections in 30 days. Most importantly, they simplify payments so you can focus on patients and your practice. What are the benefits and what should you look for in a payment solution?
Choice and Flexibility – Giving patients options to pay by check, credit or debit cards, including FSA/HSA cards, is important. Whether payment is collected upfront or after the visit, one time or over time, in person or online, look for a platform that enables the most options and also returns consolidated, comprehensive online reporting for easy reconciliation.
Automation of Payables – Providers can possibly earn discounts, rebates and cash-back incentives with AP automation tools that push payments to suppliers electronically and securely. Migrating your suppliers to card payments can streamline workflows and monetize supplier spend.
Time Savings – The right solution helps you to spend less time entering data with tools that bridge the gap between your payment and EHR/PM systems. Platforms/systems that automatically update patient records to reflect payments received, so your staff can focus on patients instead of processing paperwork, are incredibly valuable.
Save Money – The main draw is ultimately a solution that consolidates services with a single provider, so you pay less, earn more and do away with multiple contracts. Some solutions in the market can typically reduce processing fees by 50% for merchant services and ACH processing, lowering your overall cost to accept these forms of payment, in addition to what you can earn in cash-back with AP automation programs.
Recovering financially from the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic will require some creative thinking, new partnerships and the willingness to adapt based on lessons learned. Critically assessing your AP procedures and looking for ways to streamline and enhance cash flow is a relatively easily accessible area to assess and make changes to enhance the economic sustainability of your organization so that you may continue to provide care to the community.
We Can Help
Intalere provides a number of resources that can assist in the areas of financial management and recovery, as well as many other areas of your operations. Please reach out to us to see how we can help. Contact Customer Service at 877-711-5600 or firstname.lastname@example.org or your Intalere representative.