How to choose the best online payment solution for dental software

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The U.S. dental industry is undergoing a period of expansive change. As market shifts take place, driven by new demographics and technological advances, your dental practice faces particular challenges. Crucially though, successfully rising to these challenges creates opportunities for you to grow as a business. Chief tasks include adapting to a better informed and more demanding customer base and offering a truly innovative online debit card and credit card processing solution while complying efficiently with data protection and regulatory protocols.

Best online payment solution for dental software - hero illustration of male and female dentist with dentistry tools floating around them

A mere 30% of patients pay for their healthcare online, however, 61% say that they want to. This discrepancy demonstrates the enormous potential to take your patient experience to another level by delivering a frictionless payment processing system that the market demands but continues to largely go without.

Benefits of payment integration for your dental office

Payment integration is the process of connecting with a digital payment gateway through a set of application programming interfaces (APIs). The integration equips your dental practice to accept online payments securely via debit and credit cards, and other popular digital payment methods.

There are a number of important benefits that you can take advantage of by integrating with the right payment gateway. You can enhance your customer experience by accepting and managing card and digital payments. Improved card security minimizes the threat of fraud, beneficial to both your customers and your business. It’s also essential to provide for customers who prefer to pay in person. For instance, the baby boomer demographic in particular is less digitally-savvy than their millennial or Generation Z counterparts. The ideal payment management system should also, therefore, provide a brick-and-mortar front desk debit and credit card terminal.

In general, a payment integration can help streamline your entire payments operations process by enabling you to incorporate convenient add-ons like a shopping cart and payment portal for your website, accounting software, automated transaction reports, among a host of other features. And, crucially, a payment integration should equip your practice to comply or exceed security regulations of the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS).

Under current U.S. healthcare payment workflow stipulations, dental practices have had a tendency to manually reconcile payments and bill patients for rejected insurance claims or dental work that is not covered by insurance. This typically involves a great deal of administration and many dental practices employ one or more staff specifically for payment processing.

A payment integration with the right solution provider eliminates this process through automation. Your practice can benefit as a result by allowing staff to focus on more strategic initiatives. Plus, offering on-site payment acceptance speeds up the overall process, both for your practice and your patients.

Security and compliance

A comprehensive payment solution should also provide the requisite capabilities to efficiently comply with regulatory obligations and offer aggressive payment and data protection against fraud. Indeed, between 3% and 10% of the $3.3 trillion U.S. healthcare market is lost to fraud every year.

As you know, one of the most important regulations that your dental practice must comply with is the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), which obligates companies that deal with protected health information on their patients to have “physical, network, and process security measures in place and follow them.” Upgrading to digital methods of saving, accessing and sharing patient data can generate a range of benefits but it can also increase the threat of a data breach.

Any business associates of your practice with access to such patient information must also be HIPAA-compliant. For instance, a HIPAA-compliant data hosting provider must “have certain administrative, physical and technical safeguards in place, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.”

Along with other regulations, such as OSHA and Medicaid, the process of compliance can feel overwhelming, but it doesn’t need to be. Your practice can ensure full and efficient compliance by focusing on each regulation one at a time and breaking them down into actionable steps. It is essential to do so in a rigorous manner, to avoid any possible fines later down the road and the increased focus on your business from regulators that may accompany them.

A HIPAA-compliant payments integration solution takes care of your regulatory obligations, so you can focus on other areas of your business. The following tips can also help your practice implement and maintain good data security practices:

  1. Carry out a risk assessment, looking out for possible vulnerabilities a hacker can expose.
  2. Improve network security with anti-virus updates as soon as they are released, and leading security solutions.
  3. Train your employees on data security best practices.
  4. Dispose of data no longer needed, in a secure way.
  5. Integrate ultra-secure payment protection, with processes such as tokenization and point-to-point encryption.

Payment gateway integration for dentists: Making the right decision

The right dental payment processing solution can generate a host of important benefits for your practice. From increased efficiencies and mobility to improved patient experiences, and from high-grade sensitive data security to assisting with full regulatory compliance, an online payment gateway is capable of helping your business in a number of important ways. Putting in place an effective payments integration solution that offers comprehensive security regulation compliance will position your practice for enhanced business outcomes.

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