Thinking On the Run

Thinking On the RunPhysical Therapy Software

by Erez Lirov

Stretching expectations to find an ideal solution

Can Shannon find a credit card processing system that will meet her definition of excellence?

Mike and Shannon rounded the bend of the track through the park. The weather had kept them from running for a couple of weeks, and Shannon was enjoying the feeling of getting out in the fresh air and moving through the beautiful scenery.

“Isn’t this great?” Mike asked, puffing a bit. “I love getting into the moment and not thinking for a while.”

“How can you do that?” Shannon asked, slowing to a walk. “I think even more when I’m running. In fact, that’s one of the benefits. I can think more deeply as I run.”

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“What’s on your mind?” Mike asked, slowing to match her pace.

“Credit card processing,” Shannon answered quickly. “I know I need to do some research to find the best system for the center, so I’ve been organizing my thoughts. Can I try it out on you?”

“Sure.” Mike plopped down on a bench that gave a view of the park.

“Stretch out first!” Shannon urged him. “Cool down!”

Mike stretched out flat on the bench with his arms and legs hanging down. “This is the only kind of stretching I plan to do. Now tell me your credit card processing ideas.”

“Okay,” Shannon agreed, pulling her nose to one knee. Her hair fell down to the ground, but Mike could still hear her as she continued, “I figure the least a system would have to do for it to be worth the trouble of changing would be to help us catch errors.” She drew her nose to her other knee. “If it would post the payments automatically to the patient accounts, charge the accounts back if the payment got declined, and send us a report at the end of the day, that would make it worthwhile. I figure it takes a full day over the course of a month for us to take care of those things, and I don’t see why a computer couldn’t do it.”

Mike nodded. “It sounds like that would help quite a bit.”

“Right, and it should also let us charge products to the patient accounts. That seems completely realistic.” Shannon pulled her arms behind her, stretching out her chest. “Next level up, if it would notice when recurring payment information we keep on file is about to expire, and maybe alert patients about expirations and if a payment is declined so they can take care of it. It would have to alert us, too. And it could alert us when someone is getting behind, too. That would not only prevent a lot of the errors we face, but it would also improve customer service.”

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Mike sat up and swiveled to look over the park. “Okay, That’s the fair-to-middling solution. What does it take to reach excellence?”

“If the payment system would send out invoices automatically and let us accept payments electronically, we’d shorten the billing cycle and save a lot of time.”

“People prefer to pay bills electronically, anyway,” Mike pointed out. “Most of us are used to paying our bills that way by now.”

Shannon pulled Mike up from the bench and they headed back toward their car.

“So this paragon of a payment system,” Mike asked, “what’s it going to cost?”

“That’s part two,” Shannon laughed. “If I can find a system that meets my definition of excellence, then I’ll just have to see whether I can afford it. But I think that a system like that could result in some real savings just because of the efficiency, so it’s worth spending some time in research.”

Can Shannon find a credit card processing system that will meet her definition of excellence?

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8 replies
  1. Reuven Lirov, M.A.
    Reuven Lirov, M.A. says:

    Shannon is so close! The missing piece is ROI. Shannon needs to actually calculate the potential benefit of a solution before dismissing it at face value for cost. How much does she stand to gain versus the cost she stands to incur? If the benefit outweighs the cost, then it doesn’t matter what it costs.

  2. Michelle Corrigan
    Michelle Corrigan says:

    Shannon is right to consider a merchant that will make it as easy as possible for her patients to not only pay their balance, but keep their account up to date as well. However, when considering a merchant, much like she did with her practice management solution, Shannon needs to analyze cost versus return. Step one needs to be reaching out to her Practice Management Solution to determine what companies are integrated to skip the manual entry process to keep patient balances accurate.

  3. Robin Kortman
    Robin Kortman says:

    Cost is always a factor; however, can you afford not to implement a credit card system that automates this process. Fortis offers patient account posting, separates point of sale purchase postings, defers charges back to account when declined, offers end of day reports. Decreasing the amount of time a practice has to touch each account allowing staff to focus on other tasks.

  4. Jason Barnes
    Jason Barnes says:

    There are a lot of things that are automated in life that people are used to dealing with. Alarm clocks, traffic lights, the list goes on…. Automation is becoming standard with most things.

    However, healthcare, especially care that goes over a period of time is something that people are adjusting to, but automating that helps the patient and the practice focus on the things that matter most. The possibility of automating the POS payment, the copay, and the recurring payment are all real and working already!

  5. Charles Pritchard
    Charles Pritchard says:

    Fortis can meet all the needs of the practice. and offers competitive rates. In my experience with providers, less time entering payments manually, receiving notice when there is an issue with processing a transaction and less errors make Fortis worth the investment.

  6. Heather Miller
    Heather Miller says:

    Yes, I recommend Fortis to all of my providers because of the features such as automatic payment posting, recurring payments and selling POS items. Cost is always going to be a factor but she needs to decide if the costs will outweigh the benefits.

  7. thomasj
    thomasj says:

    I would suggest first finding out which credit card processing companies are integrated with your office management software. After that, you’ll find that there is a lot of competitive in this marketplace. Some of these companies even offer a price matching guarantee.

    But the cost of picking the wrong service is much greater than just the processing fees. An automated system that accurate posts payments, automates payments plans, and generates notifications and invoices will save you office a lot of time, while also reducing errors.

    Billing mistakes almost always lead to frustrated patients who are reluctant to continue their care, and who will not refer you to their friends and family.

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