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What Every Dental Practice Should Know About Online Payments

Melissa LuVisi
May 16, 2019

Patients are increasingly responsible for dealing with their own health care payments that payers and employers once managed for them. Despite this, many providers still rely on paper-based, manual payment collection processes that can be confusing for patients and require a significant 109f6883-f265-48db-a232-f566ac0d4aeeamount of money and time to do effectively.

You can decrease the amount of time and money your dental practice spends on making collection calls and mailing paper statements by giving patients the ability to pay online. Collecting online payments makes record keeping easier for you and your patients will appreciate being able to pay their bills anytime and anywhere through a method that they already use.

After all, no one wants to stand numb and exhausted at the front desk fumbling for cash or writing a check with gauze hanging out of their mouth. So if your dental practice is still using paper statements as your primary payment collection method, here are some important reasons you’ll want to start accepting online payments today.

Make it easy for patients to pay you faster

According to the Trends in Healthcare Payments Annual Report, 79 percent of patients said that they would prefer to pay online through their provider or a website. And 80 percent of patients said they want to pay their providers via their own secure mobile devices. The ability to pay online gives patients the flexibility to manage their money better and ensures you get paid on time.

Sadly, over half of all healthcare providers still use paper statements as the primary method for payment collections. And almost half have not changed their billing process in more than five years. Not surprisingly, 76 percent of providers said that it took more than one month to collect from a patient.

tab32’s all-in-one cloud-based dental practice management software platform includes a digital payment system that can streamline patient billing and automatically update your records. Patients can track their payment history and your dental practice can run reports to know what accounts have been paid.

Leave no doubt about security

When patients pay online, you must ensure that all online processing services are HIPAA and PCI-DSS compliant. Nearly all patients believe that security is important in health care billing, so any online payment technology will need to be fully secure to gain patient trust. Payment processing portals must be, by law, compliant with financial and health care security regulations.

By installing an online payment portal, you will ensure compliance so that all of your customers know that they can trust you with their sensitive payment card information. And payment portal software is extremely secure so there is virtually no chance of any kind of credit card hacking or fraud.

Paper checks can get lost in the mail and cash payments can get incorrectly recorded. When patients pay online, they can also be given the chance to create recurring payments so that they do not forget to pay. And automatic reminders can be sent out before payment is due so that patients can guarantee the money is in their account and ready to be withdrawn.

Give your patients the flexibility to pay anyway, anytime

Some patients prefer to use credit cards online, while others would rather stick to eChecks and ACH payments. By providing the opportunity to use virtually any form of payment, you will be more successful in collecting dental payments online.

Online payments can be made anytime day or night and the account is credited almost immediately. When a patient can pay online, the payment is not dependent on mail delivery or having to drive to the dental office in order to pay their bill.

tab32’s HelloPatient allows practices to collect partial payments upfront such as co-pay or booking fees while patients are requesting an appointment online. This can help reduce no-shows and improves the probability of onboarding patients that are truly interested in forming a long-term relationship with your dental practice.

Conclusion

With each patient, your dental practice has the opportunity to change someone’s life, or at least help them get a healthier smile. But would you like to have more patients not only accept treatment but pay for it before or at the time of service? And would you like to see an increase in the timeliness of payment collections?

When you make it easier and quicker for patients to pay their bills, it can help boost patient satisfaction and your practice’s bottom line. It has been shown that patients will consider switching to a new provider if the payment experience is easier. To learn more about how you can integrate online payment solutions into your practice that are simple, reliable and effective, check out your free demo of tab32’s dental practice management software today.

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