patient engagement

Why Your Practice Website Needs Online Bill Pay

Whether it’s for cell phones or medical bills online payment solutions are convenient and accessible ways for almost anyone to make and receive payments. COVID-19 restrictions and anxieties make it even more important for families to have the ability to pay their child’s medical bills online. Here’s why your practice should consider online payments – and how to make the most of online bill pay to engage with families and improve collections.

As Millennials and Gen Z parents continue to have and raise children, parents expect to find convenient ways to pay their child’s healthcare bills. By adopting a myriad of payment solutions at your practice, you create convenience for busy families – and perhaps shorten collection times along the way.

Why Adopt Online Patient Payment Solutions?

Convenience for families is the number one reason, but why else should your practice adopt online bill pay? The benefits extend to your practice, including increased security and less friction in collecting patient payments.

Add to Your Digital Arsenal

It’s likely that your practice has adopted several web-based or software-based tools to care for your patients and families. Your EHR, practice management software, and telehealth service work hard so that you can focus on seeing patients, and online payments have similar perks. When you work with a quality vendor for patient payments, you can be assured that your families’ important personal and financial information is encrypted and secure.


Reduce Parental Workloads

Efficient payment collections include in-person practices and boundaries, such as a solid front desk strategy, practice policies, and avenues like payment plans to help struggling families. When you add a payments vendor to your set of practice management tools, you offer families a service that makes making payments from the daycare parking lot or your reception area easier and even less stressful than being asked to pay upfront. 

Reducing stress and increasing convenience don’t guarantee a better collections rate, but it certainly helps parents’ customer experience. A less stressful visit is a calmer experience for kids, their families, and staff, which contributes to your practice’s culture and reputation as a safe, positive place for families to be.

Getting Started with Online Payments

Selecting a vendor or service for payment solutions reduces work required by office staff to collect and process credit card and other online payments. Since your vendor will be handling collections and sensitive information, it’s important to select a partner you can trust and depend on. Here are some questions to consider when choosing your payment solutions vendor:

What services am I being offered for the value? A vendor may charge quarterly, per transaction, or with a services package. Whatever the method, weigh the value you’re receiving for the cost. Will you save money if you don’t have to send out invoices and pay for envelopes? Does the vendor work with patients directly when they have questions about their payment? If the vendor is located in a different time zone, determine when and how your questions will be answered, and whether the person calling can speak to a real person on the phone or access other resources online.


Is there mobile access? Generations Y and Z prefer online payments, especially via mobile. A vendor who can offer patients access to payments on their phones or tablets adds another level of ease to families’ experience. This is also a great opportunity to determine whether your practice’s website and other online resources are readily available on mobile devices, too. Learn how to create a website families will love in our previous post.


Which vendors partner with the services I already use? You don’t need to select a vendor that partners or integrates with your EHR or patient portal or other services, but doing so can facilitate communication when there are updates to be installed, patients contacted, or when there are features your office wants to give input on. For example, some PCC EHR users choose Payment Pros, a PCC partner, as their vendor. Payment Pros’ knowledge of PCC EHR capabilities and services enables them to help solve their client’s questions promptly.


How will I use this service to engage with patients? How your parents engage with your payment vendor may vary. If your patients are directed to a distinct app or website to make their payment, they might trust that their financial data is secure and safe with a financial entity. On the other hand, when parents can make payments directly on your practice website, the convenience and ease of the experience becomes associated with your practice. Which variation you choose is up to your practice, your vendor, and your families’ response.

How will our office integrate online payments? Engagement with your families is the number one way to improve both financial and clinical outcomes. Some research suggests that talking about patient finances honestly with families can improve patient engagement, too. Changing payment methods is an opportunity to listen to families’ needs and deliver resources to help them make payments on time and with ease. 

In concrete terms, this will look different in every practice. You might train front desk staff to walk parents through downloading an app, accessing payments via the patient portal, or talk through the benefits of having a credit card on file. You can share policies and resources that assure families their financial information is safe and secure, and lay out boundaries about what constitutes late payments and when bills are sent to collections agencies. You might even create videos or blog posts for your website so that moms and dads can find out more about online payment options after the kids are in bed.

The better you understand your options for online payments, the better prepared you, your staff, and your patients will be to make the change to paying bills online. It’s likely that your practice will continue collecting payments at the front desk or through the postal service, and that online bill payments will be one efficient tool in your collections arsenal. Ready to learn how to level up your front desk’s collections strategies? In this webinar, PCC’s Lynne Gratton takes from her decades of experience in pediatric practices to share the ways your front desk staff do the most important work at your office.

Why Your Front Desk Has the Most Important Job In Your Practice

Allie Squires

Allie Squires is PCC's Marketing Content Writer and editor of The Independent Pediatrician. She holds a master's in Professional Writing from NYU.