Accounts Payable
How 11 healthcare companies transformed their payment processing

How 11 healthcare companies transformed their payment processing

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Healthcare companies work hard to keep patients' health records secure. But what about your business payments? Are payables covered by HIPAA too?

The quick answer is that they can be. Choose the wrong payment provider, and you could be in violation of HIPAA without even realizing it.

Read on to learn how 11 healthcare companies tackled the problem and transformed their financial operations.

Key takeaways

Companies in the healthcare industry should take a close look at HIPAA compliance when it comes to their payment provider.

Make sure your payments platform offers a Business Associate Agreement (BAA) to cover your payment practices.

Look for a provider that also offers automation and multiple payment options for maximum benefits.

Does a payment processing provider need to be HIPAA-compliant?

Like so many aspects of HIPAA, the answer depends on the circumstances. Paying for general supplies like gauze or gloves is fine. These items aren't tied to individual patients, so HIPAA doesn't come into play.

But what about payment collection for a medically coded procedure? Or what if you pay for lab tests on patients’ behalf? These kinds of payments can trigger HIPAA requirements.

To protect your practice, choose a single payment processor that can help you stay HIPAA-compliant. That way, your back office team doesn't run the risk of sending the wrong payments through the wrong system.

To learn more about payment platforms and HIPAA regulations, download our guide: 

How to stay HIPAA compliant guide
How to stay HIPAA compliant with AP & AR automation

How to choose the right healthcare payment processing solution

When comparing healthcare payment solutions, be sure to research these 5 areas of potential concern.

  1. HIPAA compliance. Make sure the processor has a Business Associate Agreement (BAA) to cover your payment practices, including proper handling of any medically related notes that might be associated with patient payment data.
  2. Payment options. When you’re paying bills and invoices, it’s best to run all your payments through a single system. Make sure your provider covers all the choices you might need—card payments, ACH payments, international wires, real-time payments, and even sending paper checks when you need to.
  3. Automatic syncing. Does the provider sync with your accounting software or ERP? Make sure it integrates with your existing tools to reduce the number of manual accounting tasks in your payments system—and make sure your ERP is also HIPAA-compliant.
  4. Fraud detection. Beyond HIPAA compliance, healthcare providers need to protect patients (and themselves) against the possibility of both internal and external fraud. Be sure your chosen provider offers distinct roles and permissions, AI-powered error detection, and other features that can help your team minimize risk.
  5. Three-way matching. One of the most direct ways to detect errors is to match supplier or vendor invoices against both purchase orders and receipts. Consider a provider that can perform these checks automatically.

How 11 healthcare companies transformed their payment processing

When your payments provider offers streamlined efficiency plus HIPAA compliance, your back office team can enjoy the best of all worlds—speed, accuracy, and peace of mind.

Here's how 11 healthcare companies are reaping the benefits of expanded payment options and HIPAA-compliant financial automation.

1. RenewalMD

When RenewalMD fell victim to check fraud, they knew something had to change. “I didn’t want to ever write another check on our bank account,” says Scott Regan, COO. “Because the more checks you have in circulation, the easier it is for someone to lift your routing and account numbers. Anybody can fake a check, it’s really easy.”

The practice chose BILL for managing payments to protect its bank account info as well as its patients. With BILL, RenewalMD can make ACH payments easily. And, when it does need to write a check, the system handles that through a private BILL account, so the practice's account info isn't printed on the check.

Plus, they have more control now over their cash flow.

“With BILL, I don't have to pay an invoice right away,” Regan says. “For example, many of our largest vendors give us 90-day payment terms. We used to stick those invoices in a drawer and hope we didn’t forget about them. With BILL, we process the invoice, select a future payment date, and eliminate the worry of losing or overlooking the invoice.”

2. Lightwave Dental

For Lightwave Dental, their biggest issue was the manual way they issued patient refunds. With almost 90 practices, writing physical checks from each location created a security risk, and the accounting team often had to chase down information about who was being paid and why.

Today, with BILL in place, staff accountants can use HIPAA-enabled processes to submit those refunds all at once. Thanks to BILL’s bulk import function, the back office team can condense what used to be a few hours of work every week into a single weekly file upload.

“The import functionality is so important for those larger volume offices,” says Katie Kraig, Chief Accounting Officer of Lightwave Dental. “They used to have 50 checks to photograph and input one-by-one into Sage, and now they can just go, ‘Here's the list, import, pay, done.’”

3. Guardian Dentistry Partners

As a dental partnership network handling sensitive patient data, Guardian Dentistry Partners needed an AP solution that was simple, efficient, and secure. The fact that BILL helps customers stay HIPAA-compliant is a relief to new and prospective partners, facilitating the acquisition process that fuels Guardian’s growth.

Customers who enter electronic Protected Health Information (ePHI) into BILL need to sign a Business Associate Agreement (BAA), which establishes both parties’ obligations to jointly protect the PHI. Plus, customers can limit team members’ access to ePHI by assigning role-based permissions.

Guardian's partners can also rest assured that BILL adheres to the American Institute of CPAs' SOC2 compliance and doesn’t rely on third-party services to issue payments.

Says Head of Accounting Peter Yu, “Our dental partners know that their patient data is safe and secure with BILL.”

4. Millennium Physicians

Millennium Physicians' office

Millennium Physicians manages almost 40 physical offices with a single AP team, treating its 33 practices with financially independent tracking. While this individualized process helps provide unique insights for each practice, it's a lot to keep up with.

Fortunately, combining BILL and Sage Intacct—along with Sage’s optional HIPAA module—made it easy for them to efficiently run a complex medical group.

“BILL with Sage Intacct is the winning combination for us. I wouldn’t recommend any additional setup…unless you like to operate inefficiently,” says Christopher Hopeck, CFO. By sectioning out AP accounts for each practice, Millennium Physicians can manage each location individually from one system.

Plus, with Sage Intacct and BILL, patient data can pass between the two systems while maintaining security.

Says Hopeck, “With any healthcare practice—especially nowadays with so many cybersecurity threats—the ability to avoid potential data breaches and protect sensitive patient health information is imperative. Cloud-based systems protect information as best as possible. BILL helps us protect patient data and maintain HIPAA compliance.”

5. Ascent Respiratory Care

Ascent Respiratory Care is a home medical equipment company that specializes in mechanical ventilation. Their patients typically need fresh supplies on a monthly basis, which the company orders from vendors.

The company chose BILL to take over those invoice-paying duties.

“We do not write checks anymore. I would say about 95% of what we do is all paid out via BILL, whether it's a hard copy check or an electronic payment," explains Heather Thompson, Senior Business Development Associate. "By and large everything runs through BILL, because it makes more sense for us.”

6. Children’s Miracle Network

Young patient and nurse

Over the past 40 years, the dedicated team at Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals has raised over $8.5 billion for 170 children’s hospitals. When the organization implemented BILL Spend & Expense in December 2017, it immediately began receiving 1% cash back on purchases.

“With BILL Spend & Expense, we went from paying for a system to getting a free system that also gave us cash back,” says Burke Bess, Vice President of Finance, Accounting, and Data Analytics.

BILL Spend & Expense does not offer HIPAA protections, so it’s best used for bill payments that aren’t for patients. At Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, the team relies heavily on virtual cards for convenience as well as security. “Honestly, we try to put everything we can through a virtual card—anything from travel to subscriptions to paying contractors.”

Virtual cards even make it easier to onboard new employees and help them relocate, if needed. “We had a new employee, and while he was waiting for a hard copy of a card to be mailed to him, we enabled a virtual card from BILL to pay for his moving expenses, which was really beneficial,” says Redick.

“Another thing that's great about virtual cards from BILL is that if you have fraud, you can just turn that card off and create a new one. And you don't have to deal with a bunch of reimbursements while you are waiting for the new physical card to arrive.”

7. Alivation

Founded by Dr. Walt Duffy in 1998, Alivation is a group of three innovative healthcare companies: Alivation Health, Alivation Pharmacy, and Alivation Research. They’re operated in part by other members of the Duffy family—including William Duffy, the only member of the finance team.

For Duffy, solo expense management meant sifting through monthly charges across some 20 credit cards. “Collecting receipts was my number one—and most despised—responsibility,” Duffy says. But, having discovered a fraudulent charge just 30 days after starting in his position, he also knew it was one of his most important roles.

Since implementing BILL Spend & Expense, William estimates Alivation has saved more than 20 hours each month in the finance department alone. They also earn rewards on Spend & Expense purchases, so they pay nothing for the platform and get rewarded just for using it.

8. Artemis Health

As a software company in the healthcare industry, Artemis Health is all about helping companies get the most out of their spend. The company chose BILL Spend & Expense for its combination of valuable rewards and enforceable budgets.

Steve, their Controller, loves the ability to set up automatic coding for recurring payments. With BILL virtual cards, you can input that information once, and then every following transaction is coded accordingly, which is perfect for monthly bills and subscriptions.

He also notes that the budgeting software that comes with BILL Spend & Expense is a major differentiator compared to other card companies he's worked with. The cards, rewards, and software are all completely free to use.

9. blinkcns

blinkcns blink reflex technology

Biotech company blinkcns is pioneering blink reflex technology to improve the detection and management of neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, dementia, and migraines. Like many startups, one of the keys to their success is the ability to predict and manage their cash flow.

That's why their finance team uses Pay By Card with BILL Accounts Payable. The feature lets them pay vendors by credit card even when those vendors don't usually take credit cards. "The fees are minimal—the same as they’d be with any credit card—and it will save us time and help us better manage cash flow. BILL Pay By Card is a great option for a startup like ours because it helps us extend our cash availability.”

10. Myomo

Medical robotics company Myomo offers a powered brace that restores function in paralyzed arms and hands. The team sees the powerful impact of its technology daily, like the father who was injured in a motorcycle accident and could finally hug his 4-year-old kid for the first time, among countless other stories.

Unfortunately, supply chain issues have impacted operations, driving them to order larger quantities of supplies and materials farther ahead of time to ensure they have what they need, when they need it.

The company turned to BILL's financial automation for help. 

“BILL is a cost-effective product. It’s efficient for all users. BILL doesn’t just automate AP, which is the front end of it, it also automates and simplifies the entire process from the controls to the payment process.”

11. BetterRX

BetterRX is out to radically change patient care in the hospice setting. The company chose BILL's automation to free them from the tether of paper checks—and the manual processes that come with them.

“We've been fully remote for years, thanks in part to BILL,” says Randi Letendre, CFO. “We're a technology company, and having the right accounting tech stack is important to us. Having BILL—which lets our people work from literally all over the world, accessing the platform anywhere, from phones and other devices—is fabulous.”

Today, BetterRX uses BILL to pay almost all their vendors. “A lot of our bills are for the contractors who build out our software platform and keep it HIPAA-compliant,” says Mandy Stroup, Accounting Specialist at BetterRX.

“In essence, for anything that is ACHed out of our bank account to a vendor, we prefer to put the invoice into BILL,” Stroup explains. “The ease of having vendors be able to ACH between connection IDs or send out checks makes BILL a no-brainer. BILL has definitely been worth it for us.”

See what BILL can do for your healthcare industry business payments

BILL’s multiple payment options—ACH, credit cards, virtual cards, international wire, real-time payments, and even physical checks—help your finance team manage your cash flow with the peace of mind that comes from a HIPAA-compliant partner.

Payment option Use case
ACH A low-cost, secure digital payment option to domestic vendors who accept ACH payments, when you don’t need to make a payment immediately
Virtual cards When you want a secure, free, and fast way to pay vendors who accept credit cards
Credit cards (Pay By Card) For businesses that want to earn credit card rewards on bill payments and defer payments to better manage cash flow
International wire For payments to international vendors, typically for large amounts
Real-time payments For vendors who require near instantaneous payments, including on weekends and holidays
Paper checks For vendors who don’t accept digital payments and still require checks

Further explore BILL business-to-business payment options and each of their benefits with this guide:

Choosing the Best Payment Options for Your Business

BILL payment options enable healthcare AP teams to curate the perfect mix of payment methods to build successful vendor relationships, streamline payments, and manage cash flow.

Ready to see what BILL's financial automation platform can do for your business? Learn more about BILL for healthcare organizations here.

The information provided on this page does not, and is not intended to constitute legal or financial advice and is for general informational purposes only. The content is provided "as-is"; no representations are made that the content is error free.