The 7 Best Healthcare Credit Card Processing Companies For Medical Practices & 5 Important Concerns
These healthcare credit card processing meet our standards regarding HIPAA compliance, cost transparency, customer service, reputation, and integrations.
Finding the right credit card processing for your healthcare office can be quite daunting if you aren’t well-versed in decoding the slick marketing material put out by payment processors. Furthermore, many healthcare professionals who currently accept credit cards may well be taking a long, hard look at your statements and finding a reason to seek a processor that better fits your medical practice.
If you don’t have a good measuring stick to compare costs or understand what you should (and shouldn’t) be paying for in credit card processing, we’ve written this post for you. We’ll walk you through some complex concepts and give you a better understanding of what to look for from the get-go as you research credit card processors.
The right merchant account platform can provide not just credit card processing, but solid payment security, industrious software integrations, and brand-friendly customer-facing communications. Know that you do not have to piecemeal solutions together. Finding a cohesive healthcare payments solution can take a huge load off your administration team.
Read on to learn about our top seven healthcare payments companies and how they can make your healthcare office run more smoothly!
But before we get into why we chose these companies, here’s a quick note on cost comparison: Every business is different, and that’s why merchant services can heavily impact your bottom line. We recommend that every office be able to identify their effective rate, which is what you’re actually paying for credit card processing with all of your fees totaled up. If you’re unsure whether you’re getting a good deal, we’ll show you how to figure out exactly how much your medical office is paying for credit card processing and help you identify what’s a good effective rate. Our post, Knowing Your Effective Rate For Credit Card Processing Is The Best Way To Not Overpay For Merchant Services, will guide you through all this.
Now, let’s take a look at our top seven processors for healthcare offices, and why we love them.
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Read more below to learn why we chose these options.
Table of Contents
- Why Do You Need Medical Credit Card Processing?
- 7 Best Healthcare Payment Processing Companies
- Looking For One Of These Healthcare Credit Card Processing Companies?
- 5 Features A Good Healthcare Payment Processor Should Have
- Which Of These Healthcare Payment Solutions Is Right For Me?
- In Summary: 7 Best Healthcare Payment Processing Companies
Why Do You Need Medical Credit Card Processing?
Now more than ever, providing convenient and flexible ways for your patients to pay you is critical to doing business. TransUnion Healthcare recently released a report showing patients experienced an 11% hike in average out-of-pocket costs, and this trend continues to rise. That means patients are becoming the “principal payers” — and therefore a shift in thinking about payments in the medical office is critical to your success.
Jonathan Wiik, principal of healthcare strategy at TransUnion Healthcare, said the following in a recent statement:
Given the increased payment responsibility, being able to determine a patients’ ability to pay is increasingly important for hospitals. In order to allow patients to focus on getting the care they need, healthcare providers need processes and tools in place to help patients meet their financial obligations and to establish funding mechanisms that will benefit both the patient and the provider.
Payment processing for the healthcare office or wellness center needs to meet the unique challenges inherent in these industries. The right merchant account can do that for you.
Payment Security Is Issue #1
We can’t discuss payments without talking about security. The safety of your patient’s payment information is supremely important in this industry. The HIPAA Journal regularly updates its news section with the latest in breach news, and it can look pretty bleak. Malware, phishing, and successful data breaches can compromise the personal information of thousands (if not millions) of people, and while the payment industry itself faces the same risks, medical offices have that much more sensitive data to secure.
The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS) created a set of guidelines that requires all organizations that collect payment to become PCI compliant. When you’re looking for a merchant account, you can reduce your office’s PCI scope by finding a processor that includes payment security (and hopefully for no additional fees). Keeping the onus of payment data storage and transmission off of your own database and onto a PCI compliant payment processing company is a cost-effective way to keep your patient’s payment data safe.
Our best-of-list includes payment processors for healthcare that prioritize data security, but we know that when you run a medical office, you have many other immediate needs beyond security. Making it easier for your patients to pay you and increasing those “touchpoints” along the way in the payment process can mean reducing costs, increasing cash flow for your office, relieving your back office, and earning trust from your patients. That’s a win-win!
How To Navigate HIPAA-Compliant Credit Card Processing
As you know, HIPAA mandates that healthcare providers secure the personal health information (PHI) of patients. This includes the medical, financial, and personal information of patients, and it includes not just digital data but written and oral information as well.
Finding HIPAA-compliant payment processing is of paramount importance. To be fully HIPAA-compliant, a processor must not only protect the sensitive data of patients, but must also have a business associate agreement, or BAA, in place for protection against any potential data breach. Strictly speaking, payment processing isn’t a HIPAA-covered activity, but features such as billing management and reporting services (services offered by most healthcare-friendly processors, as they are hugely helpful!) are likely to require a payment service provider to be HIPAA-compliant.
That’s why a BAA can make the difference between a HIPAA-compliant processor and a non-compliant one. It’s why Square makes our list of the best HIPAA-compliant credit card processing companies while PayPal does not.
7 Best Healthcare Payment Processing Companies
Our favorite providers of healthcare credit card processing have met our standards regarding not just HIPAA compliance, but cost transparency, customer service, reputation, and integrations. Our top providers of HIPAA compliant credit card processing are the following:
- Dharma Merchant Services
- Payment Depot
- Chase Merchant Services
- Payline Data
1. Stax By Fattmerchant
Stax by Fattmerchant
Best for medical businesses seeking a processor that integrates with data analytics.
We here at Merchant Maverick recommend Stax by Fattmerchant based on its established reputation of providing great customer service and clear pricing for its customers. With a robust analytics dashboard as well as the overall fantastic value in services and features, we think it should be at the top of your list, too.
Stax offers a 0% markup rate, subscription pricing model, and robust features, including invoicing, virtual terminal, and POS software that comes standard. While it’s true that Stax doesn’t have a laundry list of third-party integration options like some others on our list, its payment processing, POS system, and Stax terminals all seamlessly integrate.
For more information about hardware, features, customer reviews, and more, read our full Stax by Fattmerchant review.
- Transparent pricing
- No binding contracts
- Fully integrated Stax Pay payment platform
- Customization/branding offered
- Not suitable for low-volume medical businesses
2. Payment Depot
Best for membership pricing.
Payment Depot is another merchant services provider that has earned our coveted 5-star review. They consistently deliver excellent service with transparent, affordable pricing and a fantastic reputation for health-related credit card processing.
Payment Depot has a membership pricing model that can save your healthcare office money on expensive markup pricing. Transparent pricing, an established reputation, and a specialized medical processing package with numerous integration options make Payment Depot a great fit for medical offices.
Check out our full Payment Depot review for further details.
- No percentage based markups
- Flexible agreement options
- Great customer service
- Seamless integrations
- Not cost-effective for low-volume medical businesses
3. Payline Data
Best for providers seeking interchange-plus pricing.
Payline Data qualifies as one of our top 7 choices for healthcare payment processors because it’s earned our 5-star review with excellent marks in nearly all categories we reviewed. Your medical office won’t need to worry about buried fees, as the standardized pricing packages eliminate the negotiations and guesswork.
Payline Data demonstrates a high amount of integrity through its sales team, transparent pricing, and even charitable giving. What’s more, the company offers a plan tailored to the needs of medical offices called Payline Medical.
Check out our full Payline Data Review to find out more about their fraud protection, hardware options, and more details.
- Transparent interchange-plus pricing
- Multiple payment channels
- Great customer care
- Hidden developer tools
4. Dharma Merchant Services
Dharma Merchant Services
Best for its trustworthy business practices.
Dharma is a fantastic option for credit card processing in the healthcare or wellness office. With no annual fee or monthly minimum account limits, and transparent interchange-plus pricing, Dharma delivers consistently excellent service all around. Plus, you’ll have access to a full range of Clover hardware, and the multiple payment channels on offer make processing in-person and over the phone quick and secure for your office.
While you will face monthly fees and an additional monthly charge to send invoices, Dharma’s pricing is very transparent, so you won’t get any surprises when your bill comes. You won’t have to worry about any binding contracts, early termination fees, or leasing agreements, either, putting Dharma high on the top seven list for HIPAA compliant payment processing.
Read our full Dharma Merchant Services Review for more information.
- Transparent interchange-plus pricing
- Trustworthy business practices
- Multiple software options
- Not recommended for offices processing less than $10,000 per month
Best third-party processor for medical offices.
Square is one of our favorite payment processors, and the answer to the question “Is Square HIPAA compliant?” is a resounding yes. It offers a wide range of features with no monthly fee and transparent payment processing. The Square POS includes great security and features like reporting, invoicing, patient profiles, and more, all while being free. Plus, with healthcare-focused data integration options like IntakeQ, you can opt to add more functionality by going paperless and automating both the intake and payment process.
While Square can be a great choice for credit card processing for medical practices, it’s not for everyone. Square is a third-party payment processor — instead of opening up a dedicated merchant account for each user, Square aggregates all of its users under one account. This setup makes payment processing accessible to almost anybody, but it comes with some account stability issues. The healthcare industry faces relatively low chargeback risks, but to understand how to avoid the “red flags,” we recommend reading our post, How To Keep Your Payment Processor From Holding Funds Or Terminating Your Account.
To learn more about Square, check out our full Square Review.
- Flatrate pricing
- Robust dashboard
- Options for Email list growth
- Healthcare integrations
- Developer tools
- High fees
- Account stability issues
6. Chase Merchant Services
Chase Merchant Services
Best direct processor.
Formerly known as Chase Paymentech, Chase Merchant Services is — you guessed it — the merchant services subsidiary of JPMorgan Chase Bank. Chase Merchant Services is a direct processor offering both flat-rate and interchange-plus pricing, credit card terminals, a proprietary payment gateway, a virtual terminal, and more.
Along with the above, Chase Merchant Services offers a services package tailored to the needs of medical offices. This package includes patient billing management and scheduling.
If you’re interested, read our Chase Merchant Services review.
- Both flat rate or interchange-plus pricing available
- No middleman
- Has a special feature package for medical businesses
- Non-transparent pricing
- NFC-based payments are not available
Best for telemedicine businesses.
Telemedicine is considered a high-risk industry by payment processors. Thankfully, high-risk specialist PaymentCloud offers a payment processing package targeted at telemedicine businesses. This package includes an online payment gateway for telemedicine portals, invoicing options, and solutions for eCheck and ACH payments.
PaymentCloud also services standard-risk businesses, which most medical practices fall under, making PaymentCloud a solid solution for both telemedicine and in-person medical offices. See our PaymentCloud review for the full scoop.
- Month-to-month plans for low-risk businesses
- Free credit card terminal
- Virtual terminal available
- Non-transparent pricing
Looking For One Of These Healthcare Credit Card Processing Companies?
Some payment solutions marketed to healthcare companies may be attractive to some businesses in the industry while still falling short of what we require to be included in our list of the very best. Let’s mention one such solution you may have come across.
CareCredit isn’t actually a payment processor or merchant account provider. It’s a service that allows your patients to spread out their healthcare costs through the use of a special credit card. While this service may be able to help your patients afford their healthcare expenses not covered by insurance, it isn’t a payment processor, and therefore it does not make our list of top healthcare payment processors.
5 Features A Good Healthcare Payment Processor Should Have
As you narrow down your search for healthcare payment systems, keep in mind the most pressing challenges facing your particular business. Each of our top options has unique strengths. For example, if you have multiple offices and you have current software considerations (e.g., QuickBooks integration), something like Payline may be a great fit. If you want a simple solution that’s easy to use while fully syncing across mobile and office locations (with loads of additional add-ons), Square could be the best choice.
When conducting your research, bear the following factors in mind so that you get your particular business needs covered by your chosen processor.
Multiple Payment Channels
Offering a range of payment options to your patients is more important than ever. Our iniquitous system has been requiring patients to bear a growing share of the costs of healthcare. Healthcare offices that put capable payment systems in place now can meet the evolving needs of your business and your patients.
Payment processing isn’t just about swiping. Here are some other tools that help you offer payment flexibility to your patients:
- Hardware & POS: Whether you want something sturdy for your countertop or a sleek tablet mobile processing option, consider what will best equip your front and back office.
- Virtual Terminal: Every medical or wellness office should be ready to take a payment over the phone. A virtual terminal securely stores and processes your patient’s payment data. Keeping this information off of your own system and secured in a virtual terminal is not only best practice, it reduces your PCI scope (and fraud liability) in the process.
- Invoicing & Recurring Billing: Moving to electronic invoicing could save your office both money and time, not to mention give your patients more options in paying you. Recurring invoices can help automate for repeat services or agreements that are common in wellness centers.
- ACH & Online Payments: Medical centers with a web front should consider payment flow. ACH payments are a cheap and easy way to collect payment directly from your patient’s bank account. Additionally, online payments provide a convenient and secure way for your patients to pay an outstanding bill and avoid the stamp. Not to mention you get paid a lot faster this way.
If your office relies on existing software programs, integration is certainly a critical consideration. Finding a processing company that works with medical software can make things like implementing HIPAA compliant payment methods that much easier.
Good Customer Support
Finding the help you need, whether it be technical expertise or a question about funds, is also something important to consider. Check out our full reviews of each credit care processor to learn what customers are saying about the company in question. Not all processors offer 24/7 support, but finding quality support when you need it during normal business hours is important.
One of the biggest points of contention in the healthcare payment processing industry is the contract. We strongly encourage every healthcare office to read and understand their merchant account agreement. While every company on our list gets a clean bill of health when it comes to long-term, binding contracts, even some of the largest payment brands have unforgiving agreements that get very expensive (and very frustrating) for the merchants they serve. We recommend signing up with companies that offer more flexible terms like month-to-month agreements and no cancellation fees.
When you’re looking for a payment processor for your medical or wellness office, upfront pricing may be more elusive than you might think. We see a lot of “teaser rates” that mask hidden fees and similar bait-and-switch tactics. Again, reading your contract is crucial to understanding what you’ll actually be paying. Most of the picks on our list have transparent pricing, and we’ve uncovered the pricing structure of those whose pricing transparency leaves something to be desired. Regardless of the nature of your business, understanding how to look at your bill and determine what you’re paying for credit card processing in total can be critical.
Which Of These Healthcare Payment Solutions Is Right For Me?
Knowing the services you require as part of your payment processing package is the key to finding your ideal healthcare payment processor. It’s easy to overpay for services you don’t need, and it’s also easy to get stuck with something that doesn’t serve your growing needs. Looking beyond the sticker tag and considering what each credit card processor offers in total value is critical to finding the service that will help you grow your practice while accomodating your patients.
Interested in learning more about our top picks? Click the links to our reviews and get the full story on each option we’ve presented. And for more guidance on making your medical business run more smoothly, check out the following links!
- The Best Medical Practice Financing Options
- Our Guide To Invoice Factoring
- Cardholder Data & Why It Matters
In Summary: 7 Best Healthcare Payment Processing Companies
- Stax by Fattmerchant: Best for medical businesses seeking a processor that integrates with data analytics.
- Payment Depot: Best for membership pricing.
- Payline: Best for providers seeking interchange-plus pricing.
- Dharma Merchant Services: Best for its trustworthy business practices.
- Square: Best third-party processor for medical offices.
- Chase Merchant Services: Best direct processor.
- PaymentCloud: Best for telemedicine businesses.