• Avivit Fisher

How Your Clients Can Pay You with HIPAA Compliant Apps


Historically, many therapists have been shying away from accepting credit card payments. Mostly because it's been easier to accept cash or checks.


Now, however, most clients prefer to use instant money transfer. It's convenient and, frankly, almost nobody carries around a chequebook with them anymore.


And while there are many e-transfer options available; like Zelle, Venmo, Apple Pay and Even Facebook, not all of them are HIPAA compliant to use for your therapy business.


The nature of your work demands from you to uphold a certain code of ethics by keeping your client's confidentiality. The problem with most of these very convenient payment apps is that they are not designed to preserve the identity of people using them as a secret.


That said, you can always just start using Square, which gives you a credit card terminal. Square is HIPAA compliant and you can even do your invoicing through Square as well. Many brick and mortar businesses use Square and if you see clients in person and handle billing on the spot, it may be a very good option for you. It's important to remember that it's not a practice management tool, but strictly a credit card processing option.


Another additional benefit of using Square is the extra convenience of accepting FSA and HSA cards in case your business is set up for it.


But what if you want the flexibility of the e-transfer services only?


Well, there are several methods for accepting instant payments. But first I would like to list the ones that are NOT HIPAA compliant.

  1. Venmo

  2. Zelle

  3. PayPal

  4. FaceBook money transfer.

I would also stay away from Apple Pay and Google Wallet, even though Google Drive is technically HIPAA Compliant.


So what do you do when you want to offer the payment convenience for your clients?


From my research, I learned that the best way to manage billing, uphold payment ethics and be able to quickly transfer the money into your bank account is using software built specifically for medical and therapy providers.


Luckily, there are many companies that have developed services which are catered specifically to independent therapy practices. I will list the four most prominent solutions here. Full disclosure: I am not affiliated with any of these companies, so my recommendations are based purely on my own research. If you want to see additional options, you can see the best-rated billing software here.


  1. Simple Practice. As the name implies, this practice management tool is meant to make operating your therapy business easy. You can use it for billing, scheduling, documentation and even telehealth. And it also has a mobile app, which is a must feature for managing a business in 2020.

  2. Kareo. Voted as one of the best 20 software for Mental Health practices, Kareo is meant to be a very user-friendly and all-inclusive practice management tool. It is a little more expensive but offers an analytics tool to help you better understand your revenue data as well as the telehealth feature. And, also, it has a mobile app.

  3. Therabill. Geared towards speech-language pathologists, developmental therapists, social workers, behavioral/mental health specialists, psychologists, and nutritionists, Therabill is meant to be especially convenient for claims processing.

  4. Therapy Notes. One of the most trusted software by mental health providers, Therapy Notes is focused on making administrative work easy for a busy private practice. It includes all the billing and the payment features that you need to help you get paid quickly and efficiently.


Conclusion

As a business owner, I understand and encourage the will to offer convenience to your client. After all, convenience is one of the main driving forces in today's consumers' mentality. But I also want you to make sure that you protect yourself and your business, by using HIPAA compliant payment solutions.


True, they add to the operational cost of your private practice, but they also reduce the risk of future complications and help you stay organized.


Let me know which applications and software you use for your practice. Also, why did you choose the one you use?


Leave a comment below, I'd love to read it.





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