The OECD reports that the US spends more than 17.2% of its GDP on healthcare. Additionally, the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMMS) estimates that US spending in this sector will grow by 5.8% before 2025. The question is what mechanisms healthcare facilities have in place to handle these large payments. In other words, how do they facilitate smooth transactions between them and their clients? Merchant accounts are the answer. Here are 4 benefits to opening a merchant account for healthcare.
1. Facilitating Recurring Payments
The average annual spending on medical bills per person represents nearly 17% of the median income for households in America. Consequently, paying these bills at once is an impossible task for many families that have a sick parent or child. Most of them can do it in installments. Unfortunately, tracking staggered payments is a strenuous exercise for medical practitioners because they lack the time and expertise for such an undertaking. Luckily, merchant accounts can help them with this task. More specifically, these accounts will receive money on your behalf, document it, and then issue a receipt for it. They will update your books as well until the patient clears the debt.
2. Processing Checks and Invoices
Some people still use checks as a payment method. For example, did you know that checks accounted for 15% of non-cash payments in 2012? Many of these payments were for services delivered in the healthcare industry. Processing them takes time and resources. Healthcare facilities prefer investing their time, resources, and expertise in other areas. These areas include medical equipment and staff training. Consequently, companies offering merchant accounts fill this void. They invest heavily in financial processing systems such as check readers and payment gateways. They become so good at it that in some cases, medical facilities can accept checks and then receive funding immediately.
3. Handling Payments Securely
A merchant account for healthcare is also an excellent idea because it minimizes fraud. Remember, fraudulent practices are prevalent in this industry. For example, patients can send you fake checks, hackers can infiltrate your systems, and employees can steal from you. Opening a merchant account helps you prevent these cases of fraud. The company behind it will do its best to secure your money because it has a reputation to maintain. It also has systems in place to recover the cash or find the culprit if anything negative happens. Additionally, companies that offer merchant accounts have robust monitoring systems that issue alerts as soon as they detect fraud.
4. Enabling Offsite Payments
Offsite payments are becoming routine in the world of medicine. For example, they occur when people receive virtual care. Offsite payments are likely to increase as more and more people choose virtual healthcare. These payments also happen when doctors travel to the patient’s home to treat or diagnose them. Payments under such circumstances are difficult patients receiving offsite care cannot pay for these services at the facility’s offices. Fortunately, merchant accounts have online payment systems that the patient can use to clear the required amount. Companies that offer these accounts also provide portable card readers that doctors can use to receive payments when they are working offsite.