Skip to main content

Why bother with EHR credit card integration? What are the benefits of EHR-integrated card processing vs. processing done through a third-party service, like a countertop terminal?

The short answer is yes—a big difference. Credit card integration benefits reach far beyond momentary convenience. Your clients, your staff, and your bottom line will thank you for making the switch. Here’s why.

What is Credit Card Processing Integration?

Credit card processing integration simply means that you run all card payments through the EHR that already manages your practice. You don’t have to hire an outside service to process the payments for you, and you don’t have to rely on a countertop card reader plugged into the phone line (or, worse, a card reader clipped to a smartphone).

Integration means that you store your client’s credit, debit, or HSA card info directly in your EHR. The EHR itself pulls that info when staff apply a client-authorized payment to the account. Your client does not have to present the card at the time of service, because the card number and relevant details already exist in the system. The EHR likewise maintains records of every payment made by every client. With non-integrated processing, you must get payment records from the third-party processor and maintain your own set of payment records on your EHR.

A strong integration system can benefit your practice in ways you might not expect. How do you know if EHR credit card integration is right for you?

Your Practice Might Benefit from EHR Credit Card Integration If…

1. Your cash flow is unsteady.

Charging a client’s card at the time of service is the easiest way to guarantee payment. Clients who are billed later might pay late or ghost you entirely. Paying via credit card is a way to capture revenue right away, so you want that method of payment to be an easy choice for those who visit you.

With integrated credit card processing, paying via card could not be easier. Have patients sign your billing authorization form, provide their card info, and you can charge further appointments through the EHR – a no-touch method that doesn’t require them to even produce their wallet.

With credit card processing as the path of least resistance, more clients will choose it, and you’ll capture a greater number of payments on time. Get ready for more predictable monthly revenue and budgeting. And, importantly, you’ll spend less time and money on debt collection.

2. Mistakes are creeping into your billing and payment records.

Mistakes in the billing process can hurt your revenue and your relationship with clients. No one wants a provider who bills the wrong amount and doesn’t have a firm grasp on what you have and haven’t paid.

Non-integrated credit card processing is ripe for errors because of the “handoff” moments when human error can create mistakes. If your practice keeps has to keep multiple payment records – in the third-party processing system and the EHR – staff must remember to update both after finishing the client’s payment process. Missing zeros in the logged payment amount, or payments that are missed entirely, can cause chaos during the billing process.

Integrated processing eliminates these handoff moments, because client card information can be securely stored within the EHR. Clients get a smoother payment and billing experience, which improves their perception of your practice.

3. Reconciliation is a nightmare; you always feel in the dark about card payment records.

If you need reports on card payments, the reporting capabilities available to you will vary widely depending on which third-party processing solution you use. On the other hand, if credit card processing happens inside your EHR, reports are at your fingertips and already matched to your client records and dates of service. You’ll be able to answer any payment questions with ease, rather than contacting an outside service and painstakingly comparing a list of payments with your list of services.

4. You worry about data breaches or employee embezzlement.

It’s an unfortunate reality in healthcare: people will try to steal your clients’ personal and financial information. Some thieves are professional hackers. Some, unfortunately, are practice employees. Your information storage must be watertight in order to protect the clients who rely on your services.

Another benefit of EHR-integrated credit card processing is that it encrypts your clients’ credit card information so no one, be it an outside hacker or an inside staff member, can see your clients’ info once it’s entered. And, if you set up online bill pay through the patient portal, clients can enter the card number themselves, ensuring that no one else touches their information even once.

5. Staff and/or providers are stressed and short on time.

Non-integrated credit card processing takes more work than integrated processing. In most practices, time is at a premium and every step eliminated from the workflow makes a difference.

Consider the tasks that are either eliminated or drastically reduced when you use integrated card processing:

  • Logging into a separate payment processing system
  • Waiting for a client to dig their card from their wallet or purse
  • Installing and maintaining a countertop card reader
  • Logging payment records into the EHR
  • Contacting a third party for a list of credit card payments
  • Reconciling discrepancies between your records and the third-party list
  • Monitoring late payments
  • Contacting clients to collect late payments
  • Working with collections agencies for long overdue payments

What could you and/or your staff do with the time not spent on the above tasks? Could you care for clients better? Would an eased workload increase employee satisfaction and reduce stress?

6. You want to delight your clients with excellent customer service.

Your clients’ expectations for credit card and online payment options are higher than they were even five years ago. Research conducted in 2020 revealed that about half of consumers’ monthly purchases are charged to either credit or debit cards. Many places that accept cards have already integrated solutions that allow consumers to keep a card “on file” and to easily pay bills online.

Clients appreciate a seamless process that allows them to simply authorize a payment and move on with their day. This is especially true in a mental health setting where clients may be experiencing strong emotions and overwhelm. Asking for payment at such moments can feel insensitive, which is exactly what providers want to avoid.

Discover EHR-Integrated Credit Card Processing Benefits with Valant

Could your practice benefit from these advantages? Let us make credit card payments easy for you and your clients. Our set-it-and-forget-it software allows you to store card information with superb encryption security, apply payments with a click, access helpful payment reports, provide easy online bill pay through the patient portal, and even enable auto-reminders for those whose cards are about to expire.

Contact Valant today for a demo and see how we can make your work easier and your client interactions smoother.