The ability to process credit card payments is a must for any behavioral health clinic because of the number of clients who prefer to pay via credit, debit, HSA, or other type of card. Clients not only want the option to use their card, they want the process to be fast and convenient.
Behavioral health providers often choose to integrate their credit card processing directly into their EHR in order to meet these client expectations. Integrated credit card processing lets you enter your clients’ credit card information right into the EHR, where it will be available for future payments. Card transactions are managed through the EHR rather than through a third-party processing software or a desktop card terminal.
What advantages does EHR integrated credit card processing offer, and is it right for your behavioral health practice?
Why Credit Card Processing Integration?
Making card payments part of your EHR cuts down on mistakes and elevates the client experience in several ways.
Fewer mistakes in payment processing
Human error creeps in when credit card processing is done outside the EHR. Staff may process a payment through a desktop credit card terminal but forget to enter the payment record into the EHR, or may enter the record with a typo changing the payment amount.
These mistakes can cause confusion when it’s time to reconcile bank statements and can even result in incorrect numbers on bills sent to clients. This creates hassle for you and your staff and erodes your clients’ confidence in your ability to handle their money.
However, when card data is safely stored in your system with integrated credit card processing, front desk staff can simply pull the information directly from your EHR with every payment, and each transaction is auto-logged into your own system—no typos, no missed records, and no confusion later.
Increased payment efficiency
Any process that runs directly through your EHR helps to streamline your office’s workflow. Once you and/or your staff sign into the EHR, you can handle any card payment with just a few mouse clicks. The process will be fast and unobtrusive without requiring much from your client besides their consent to payment.
Practices that use third-party software, on the other hand, have to log into an additional system to process payments and switch between that system and the EHR as they work. This requires extra time to log payments into the EHR records. If you use a countertop card terminal, you may have to troubleshoot technical problems, and clients will need to pull out their wallets every time they need to make a payment.
The extra efficiency gained from integrated credit card processing carries over into the reconciliation process. If all card payments run through your EHR, it’s much easier to circle back and check specific payments against dates of service to confirm what clients have paid for.
Better Data Security
Data theft and embezzlement are unfortunate realities that all healthcare providers must guard against. Data security breaches affected 45 million healthcare patients in 2021 alone, a record high. Some attacks come from within; it’s not hard to find headlines of healthcare workers using patient credit cards to pay for their own expenses.
If your practice keeps clients’ card information on file, you are responsible for protecting their financial information along with their healthcare information.
A good EHR integrated credit card processing system should offer strong encryption for client credit card information so that you and your staff—and potential hackers—can’t see the actual card numbers after they’re put into the system the first time.
Without this integrated processing, practices may turn to far less secure methods of storing card information, such as:
- Electronic spreadsheets of client credit card numbers.
- Writing card numbers on notepads while taking payments over the phone.
- Emailing card information to a staff member in another department.
Spreadsheets can be accessed and printed. Notes left on a desk may be seen by other staff, or even another client. Email and other unencrypted computer systems can be hacked by outsiders or unauthorized staff members.
Even the most diligent front desk assistant can’t guarantee that your patients’ credit card information will never make it into the wrong hands. Integrated credit card processing provides an elegant solution to this problem.
Improved Patient Experience
Having payment information securely stored in your system enables you to offer convenient features that today’s consumers increasingly expect, such as touchless payments, paying online, or setting up auto-pay.
Your clients likely enjoy these features at the hairdresser, from their utilities provider, through their online streaming accounts, and much more. These are no longer luxuries or perks. They’re basic expectations. The convenience is especially important in emotionally charged situations like behavioral health treatment. No therapist likes to ask for a credit card as they pass the tissue box to a weeping client. No patient who’s anxious about their appointment wants to battle a glitchy card terminal at check-in.
Credit Card Processing Integration with Valant
Valant is committed to excellent integration solutions for all of our software features. Our credit card processing feature has all the integration capabilities you need to make accepting card payments fast and easy.
- Strong encryption to protect cardholder data
- Reports to aid with reconciliation and tracking payments
- Online payment through the patient portal
- Streamlined payment options
- Automated messages to users whose cards are about to expire
Our goal is to be transparent and easy to use. Unlike some credit card processing companies, we give you an accurate pricing estimate without any hidden fees or surprise additional costs. Our talented tech support team can have integrated credit card processing up and running at your practice in about a week, and we’ll be here any time you have a question or need help.
Why commit extra time and hassle to a third-party merchant service provider when you can all the functionality you need within one easy system? Contact Valant today for a no-pressure demo of our integrated credit card processing feature.