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How IVR Payment Solutions Can Help Healthcare Providers Create Efficiency

This is a guest post by Barnard Crespi, Co-Chief Executive Officer of Datatel. Datatel is integrated with Sphere for secure payment acceptance via Datatel’s IVR solutions.

Learn how IVR Payment Solutions Can Help Healthcare Providers Relieve the Stress on Staffing and Business Operations Caused By the COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has drastically impacted the functioning of healthcare providers across the board. Business leaders have been forced to recalibrate their entire operations, quickly activate business continuity plans, make staff reductions and/or reallocations and implement work-at-home policies where viable. The ability of healthcare providers to respond promptly to their patients’ phone inquiries, prioritize payment calls and maintain PCI compliance and data security as staff works from home can be compromised by the need for on-the-fly re-architecture of business and security processes to respond to rapidly changing developments.  For those healthcare providers seeking a solution to what might very well end up becoming a long-term issue, IVR payments can be a vital payment acceptance solution.  Implementation of IVR payments can help healthcare providers relieve the stress caused by the need for significant staff changes while enabling them to continue processing patient payments.  All this without compromising customer service or PCI compliance.

IVR Payments  (Interactive Voice Response) is a technology that allows patients to make payments over the telephone by interacting with an automated system, as opposed to having to  provide their payment card information  to a live agent. Because it is fully automated, an IVR payment solution can operate 24/7 as opposed to being limited to a business’s normal hours of operation (“normal” being an ever-evolving concept in these uncertain times). And for those healthcare providers that for various reasons still require the involvement of an agent or staff member in the process, IVR can be deployed in such a way as to allow representatives to speak to patients and then  transfer the call seamlessly when it’s time to collect and process the caller’s payment information.

Types of IVR Payment Solutions

There are two primary types of IVR payment solutions.

  1. Customer (Patient) Self-Service – IVR Payment Solutions:

With Customer (Patient) Self-Service IVR payments, your patients call into your organization’s existing phone number and select “Payments” from your front end phone menu (e.g. “To Make A Payment Now, Press 1”. You can set it as 1, 2 or 3 which ever works best for your organization). Your phone system will transfer the call to your DatatelPay-By-Phone line, which is branded and configured to your specifications. Your patients can make a payment using their payment card, in a PCI compliant environment with transactions processed in real-time to your Sphere, Powered by TrustCommerce account. Datatel’s IVR Payment platform is integrated to the Sphere/TrustCommerce gateway so organizations can process payments securely. Sphere’s experience in integrating patient payments for hundreds of leading health systems over the last 15+ years gives comfort to patients and providers that their data will be kept secure.

  1. Agent Assisted – IVR Payment Solutions

While your representative is speaking with a patient, he or she can transfer your patients to the DatatelPay-By-Phone line when it comes time to collect the patient’s payment information. Your representative can then exit the call, thereby ensuring the confidentiality of your patients’ payment card information. This solution leaves your patients confident that their information is safe and secure and you can rest easy in the knowledge that your phone payment solution support your PCI compliance.

Datatel’s IVR Payment Solutions can help you manage call payment activity efficiently and securely. Among its many advantages are:

  • Your patients can securely make phone payments 24/7, outside your regular business hours
  • The stress on your staff is reduced and your operations are more efficient and responsive by not having to devote time to handling payment-related calls. This can also work with representatives who are re-deployed to work from home.
  • Compliance with industry security requirements (PCI and HIPAA) and keeps you in compliance while you re-deploy your workforce.
  • Transactions flow directly into your existing Sphere, Powered by TrustCommerce account without having to make any changes.
  • Datatel posts the payment information back to the EHR automatically.
  • Datatel IVR solutions can be deployed in a matter of days. Depending on the complexity of the deployments, implementation times can take as little as 5 to 12 business days.

We are hopeful that with the efforts of medical experts and scientists globally, the current COVID-19 pandemic and the impact that it has on all of our lives will begin to subside. Businesses and organizations that are  burdened with coping with all of the implications need to make sure that they are not just making decisions that help them navigate the here and now, but that will also serve them well when things eventually return to normal (or whatever the new normal ends up being).

In turbulent times like the ones we are experiencing, when the situation changes throughout the day and reaction time is of the essence, our experienced and dedicated teams of IVR Payment Solutions specialists can have your IVR Payments Solution up and running in a matter of days with no need for any hardware or software for you to buy or install. Contact us, we are here to help.