Blog | February 20, 2014

A Marriage Of Healthcare & Payment Processing

By Mike Monocello, editor-in-chief, Business Solutions magazine
Follow Me On Twitter @monocello

BSM-CreditCards

When your March issue of Business Solutions arrives early next week, you might notice that much of the editorial has a healthcare-focused slant. Whenever we ask VARs, MSPs, and vendors about hot markets, healthcare is always on the list. The cool thing about the healthcare market is that almost every technology can be sold to hospitals and their related offices. Even POS can be sold and installed at hospital cafeterias. Additionally, healthcare is a great market for payment processing.

The March issue includes an article, Discover Payment Processing Sales Opportunities Outside Of Retail, that provides advice for — you guessed it — selling processing to markets other than retail. The article didn’t take a deep dive into any particular vertical, however. As supplementary content to the article, we asked executives from three companies, JetPay, Mercury, and TSYS, to address the healthcare market specifically.

Todd Fuller, Executive VP of Business Development, JetPay:
Cardholder data security, enhanced reporting data availability, and receivables acceleration and efficiency strategies are among the top concerns for healthcare providers.

Healthcare providers deal with HIPAA privacy issues on a daily basis, and therefore understand the importance of PCI regulations and cardholder data protection more than most industries. Another challenge that healthcare providers have in their back offices are the tedious and expensive tasks of payment reconciliations — whether for insurance reimbursements or patient-portion payments. The ability for their processing partner to pass through additional data elements such as Patient ID numbers, insurance claim numbers, services provided, doctor(s) seen, and other types of data on a transactional level in the payment processor’s reporting system can have a significant impact on their internal back office efficiencies.

Finally, healthcare providers are beginning to better understand how to communicate with their patients and understand their patients’ particular financial circumstances. This is creating a bigger demand for accepting payments via recurring billing or scheduled payment plans, electronic invoices, online payments, text reminders for payments and other receivables strategies.

Brett Narlinger, Senior VP of sales, Mercury Payment Systems:
Know your customer’s day-to-day business. Any time you’re addressing a new market, it’s important to really understand the current systems, their concerns and compliance requirements, and ways to help streamline their business. For example, where HIPPA privacy rules are concerned, there are real ways that technology can be used to keep patients’ information confidential. Cloud-based software solutions can help remove the burden of document management from the practice manager, and integrating payments into that system becomes another value-add to the practice that results in additional recurring revenue for the VAR. In order to fill the trusted advisor role, the VAR or MSP working with the practice owner or manager needs to understand the infrastructure that is already in place and make suggestions for improvement in order to be successful.

Bill Lodes, director of developer partnerships, TSYS:
My experience in dealing with VARs/MSPs who are selling payment processing is that they have a number of challenges/hurdles to overcome to get payment processing into the healthcare provider’s office.

The sales pitch requires it to be geared more to the solution set and what that solution set contains in order to effectively address the common requirements in this space:

  • Accepting co-pay payments
  • Posting adjudication responsibilities (amount not covered by insurance) and
  • Outstanding account receivables

as well as feature/functionalities, including:

  • credit card on site
  • recurring payment functionality, and
  • posting adjudication follow-up billing using card on file

Although an obviously important stage in the process, the above-mentioned items only focus on addressing the solution. Another integral piece of the practice to consider is the buying/decision making dynamic. The doctor who owns the practice is the person who authorizes the spend, but in most cases, the practice’s business/operations manager is the person who will ultimately drive the decision.

 

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