HiLiteMD Payments: Alternatives To Dirty Money
I think we all know that “Paper Money” is dirty in the most literal sense. When cash or coin is exchanged between parties, one must consider the journey that this money has been on, where it has been and with who. Southern Medical Journal study found pathogens — including staphylococcus — on 94% of dollar bills tested. Paper money can carry more germs than a toilet or garbage can. Money found in hospital environments have even more exposure to dangerous microbes: viruses and bacteria that can live on most surfaces for about 48 hours carry the live flu virus for up to 17 days.
No one expected the COVID-19 outbreak to turn into a Public health emergency. Throughout history, the world has dealt with such pandemics and as such, this often leads to a paradigm shift in how everything functions around us. With all the information we know about paper money it is a wonder why there has not been more of a push in previous years for more electronic options of payments.
2020 has opened the doors for payment innovation and to push for payment transactions that reduce the exposure of transmitting COVID-19 and other pathogens that can be transmitted with money. Point of Sale (POS) payment devices offer electronic transaction for payments in exchange for goods and services with debit cards, credit cards and now mobile payments. Recent innovations like “contactless or touchless” payment systems have been in use since September 2007 and growing slowly in popularity until COVID-19 hit. With COVID-19 the push for this method of payment shows promise to being the primary method for collecting payments and for good reason as it will help us from getting sick. Since March 2019, usage of contactless payment systems has risen over 150% in the U.S.A.
Other countries and other retail sectors are taking the lead on these types of payment transactions, but alarmingly the healthcare sector is still lagging. With the Healthcare industry re-framing in these hard times with COVID-19 we are at a pivotal time to review all areas where we can make patients safer and where we can improve on outdated processes. Several studies and reports point to the need for implementing these payment systems now more than ever due to the COVID-19 pandemic that shows the virus living on money up to four to five days.
17,000 people were included in a recent poll-study conducted by Mastercard covering 19 countries. Around 82% of the people viewed contactless payments safer, cleaner and more convenient over physical money. The healthcare industry in other countries is gaining momentum in adopting cashless payments. As an example, 30 hospitals in Vietnam that recently implemented touchless payments to make patient collections streamlined and safer reported a positive patient experience. The Vietnamese government even took a step further by encouraging commercial banks to offer incentives and affordable service fees for those who opt-in for a cashless payment system.
With HiLiteMD , we have already taken the lead for touchless and contactless payment services. We offer these digital payment services for hospitals and patients alike. HiLiteMD deploys mobile and contactless payments that range from Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Google Pay, where consumers use smartphones or smartwatches to pay in clinics/hospitals along with credit cards with a NFC chip, allowing patients to hold them near a reader to pay their balance.
HiLiteMD covers the full spectrum of payment with website payment portals and payments for outstanding balances that are sent to patients with digital statements. Our patient financial management system is key in helping manage payments and collecting outstanding balances for a streamlined patient experience. Once the patient makes a payment, our integration with the Practice Management system automatically posts these payments.
Let us dive a bit deep to explore a bit about contactless payments. So, what exactly are contactless payments? Just a way by which you pay for services without swiping your card or passing it on to another person. Your transactions are handled digitally just by a tap on your phone or waving your credit card over a payment device. Imagine how easy it can be for hospitals and patients to implement this process and quickly see the benefits of improved collection process and decreasing the exposure of pathogens. When implemented, it makes the patient experience comforting and hassle-free. At HiLiteMD, our fully secure and PCI compliant financial management system has proven to be a platform where healthcare providers and patients can manage their payments with confidence.
Let us analyze the benefits of these systems when used in hospitals and clinics.
- Patient experience
In this crisis, it is only advisable to avoid any unnecessary contact and maintain social distancing, especially in hospitals where the risk of transmission of COVID-19 is higher. If not paying by the web or through HiLiteMD’ s mobile statement process, adding a touchless payment solution with HiLiteMD gives patients a way to safely pay balances in the clinics and hospitals without compromising their safety or the safety of staff.
A cashless system cuts down administrative costs of staff that manage finances and payments being collected by patients. Maintaining a cash register itself is a process and with the reduction of cash payments this improves staff workloads for healthcare providers where resources can be used to focus more on the patient experience and other tasks.
Standing in a line waiting to pay-off a past-due treatment balance is time consuming for the patient and poses unnecessary safety concerns. Adding a touchless system not only saves time many folds when compared to our conventional hospital billing practices, but it allows healthcare providers to set the example better for keeping patients safe.
- Financial controls
Every workplace faces fraud and theft. Many healthcare providers might have encountered such instances because of the cash payment system and having a cash register to maintain. Hospitals using the system have reported increases in their annual income and reduction of theft.
The HiLiteMD payment process was designed with 30 years of healthcare financial performance experience. HiLiteMD offers the patient a safe and convenient way to pay outstanding balances and gives billing team automation and insight with financial dashboards to oversee payment performance for better decisions and better outcomes.
CEO| Chief Revenue Officer