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Payment options

Discussion in 'Practice Management' started by Footpath, Feb 6, 2015.

  1. Footpath

    Footpath Member


    Members do not see these Ads. Sign Up.
    Hey there,

    Just wondering how first time practitioners setting up initially by themselves, went with payments wether I could look at just having cash cheque and Internet banking? For a start till I gained patient numbers then on to having an eftpos machine? I have also have heard about something you attach to a cell phone?. Sorry not technology savvy yet. Also new practitioners setting up by themselves did you provide patients with the ability to run accounts? Thanks for your thought and help in advance :)
     
  2. Leah Claydon

    Leah Claydon Active Member

    I would say 80% of our patients prefer to pay by card. Shop around for the best deal and when you think you've found a good price nail them down some more - everything is negotiable.

    If you are mobile - look at iZettle as an option. About £100 to buy the unit then 2.5% per transaction - it runs off an ipad or iphone. The ipad option is better and gives more confidence to the patient as it looks like a more conventional chip and pin device. You will receive your paymeents within 3 days. It's a good option because there are no ongoing costs of unit rental or the need to buy print rolls.

    Hope that helps.
     
  3. zsuzsanna

    zsuzsanna Active Member

    All my patients pay with cash or cheques with the few odd times when one or two pay by bank transfer.
    Once or twice I had patients who turned up without cash and cheque book and they popped round the local shop to get money out on their card or they came back with the money later.
     
  4. Mike Plank

    Mike Plank Active Member

    I would advise taking cards as the majority of my patients pay with this method. People tend to spend more when using a card as they do not have to physically count out notes or write the amount on a cheque. Taking cheques is now risky as cheque guarantee cards are no longer accepted. Therefore a cheque is now a piece of paper that is no more than an IOU. On this basis a lot of stores do not accept cheques and I have also stopped accepting them. Debit cards have taken over where cheques left off. I would recommend anyone to start accepting card payments if they don't already.
    Benefits are: Money goes straight into account, Less counting notes and taking them to the bank, more professional, modern.
    Downside is it costs more than putting notes into bank but for me this is outweighed by the increase in turnover and convenience. Also I find the bank charges for depositing notes anyway.
    Do not start accounts unless you want to spend money on debt collectors!
     
  5. daisyboi

    daisyboi Active Member

    I have to say that I have rarely had any trouble running accounts for patients but I guess everbody's experiences are different. I spent a long time taking cash or cheque only but in the last two years I have started using a paypal pay terminal which has proved very good. The cost of the card machine is I think currently about £69. After this there is no rental costs or anything and a small transaction fee for each payment. I would highly recommend this because the money arrives in your paypal account instantly rather than waiting for cheques to clear. Also I would say not to bother using a business banking account unless you are planning on borrowing for the business. The fees for these accounts are quite high and you can operate just as effectively through a personal account.
     
  6. ASAPPod

    ASAPPod Member

    It really depends on the social economic status of your patients... However most if not the majority of patients are older and hence have a fondness for cash...

    I would invest in professional receipts / invoices to give patients... It shows your not cheating tax and makes them feel more comfortable when applying for private health repayments.

    Cheers
     
  7. Footpath

    Footpath Member

    I currently work in the area I'm going to practise in , in time once I have setup. We run accounts here I have most people pay just the BMX patients around the 30-50 s don't see to pay they just walk out and presume younput it on account. I guess I can change this easily enough. Does anyone who runs accounts charge for accounts fees? Or add ten percent if your customers don't pay on the day, most health practitioners in this area charge ten percent if you don't pay on the day . ()
     
  8. ASAPPod

    ASAPPod Member

    Hi Footpath... I have a feeling your a young trying to make it in the Podiatry world...

    Im a little worried for you... Honestly Podiatry is a very tough game to play... I have two clinics and honestly I have seen people close up just because they cant get the patients... The biggest issue is getting and holding patients....

    Can I ask how are you going to get the patients?
     
  9. Footpath

    Footpath Member

    Hello ASAPPOD,

    Thanks for your opinion. I intend to get my patient through advertising I'm involved with local running groups, work at a footwear store giving out advice, Talked to physics and doctors, giving talk to probus groups. Any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
     
  10. daisyboi

    daisyboi Active Member

    Sounds to me like you are doing most of the right things. The one exception would be advertising. In my experience this is expensive in brings in very few patients and even fewer of the type you would like. Once you have decided what type of clients/patients you want to populate your clinic, go out and find them personally. It sounds like you are doing that with running groups etc but advertising simply doesn't do what it says on the tin - save your money. That's my tu-penny worth anyway
     
  11. Lorcan

    Lorcan Active Member

    Buy Tyson franklins book on how to run a successful podiatry practice before you do anything else. It's on Kindle.
     
  12. Footpath

    Footpath Member

    Thanks for your suggestion I read this book last year, lots of advice and helpful tips.
     
  13. Blarney

    Blarney Active Member

    daisyboi,

    I'm not sure about your previous experience of paid advertising - but you obviously didn't get the return or 'bang for your buck' that you expected.

    For every €100 spent on advertising we get back €800 in revenue. Yes that's an 8/1 return.

    I couldnt run our clinics without the lifeblood that is advertising.

    Justin

    www.podiatry.ie
     
  14. daisyboi

    daisyboi Active Member

    Well I guess everybody's experience is different. I guess it also depends on how you choose to calculate the return. My average patient spend is £360 per annum. The last advertising executive I spoke to showed me that for his £2000 advert, all I would need to be in profit is 6 responses from his advert. If that is your logic then the returns on advertising could be painted as very significant indeed. However, this is a slight of hand and does not represent the true return for the advertising expenditure. In actual fact, to be in profit from his advert I would need 56 new clients. The advertisers like to claim all the revenue generated from the client as theirs but this is simply not the case. They get the client through the door for the very first time only, any subsequent business is down to the work of the clinic and its staff and is not attributable to the advertising. When considered in this light, I feel its not a good investment and pound for pound is much less valuable for my clinic than simply joining sports clubs, giving talks and word of mouth from existing patients. However, I appreciate as I said at the beginning that everyone's experience is different. I'd be interested to hear how others establish the worth of their advertising and where they feel it is value for money.

    regards

    Dave
     
  15. Blarney

    Blarney Active Member

    As per previous post I spend 1 and get back profit of 8 - not income.

    Advertising channels are google adwords PPC, website that captures visitors details and then you market to them, newspaper, posters in other physio/GP/dental/sports clubs and many many more income generating options.

    The try it once - it didn't work - I won't ever do that again - is not the way to go.
    Perhaps your message asn't to the right person.

    The normal name, rank, serial number ad that I used to use and NEVER WORKED:

    AnyTown Foot Clinic

    Foot Pain
    Diabetic Clinic
    Ingrowing Nails
    Orthotics
    etc

    Late nights Thursday


    The advertorial story with we love to fix feet and we help lots of people like you get rid of your foot problems is GOLDEN!

    Justin

    podiatry.ie
     
  16. daisyboi

    daisyboi Active Member

    Ok. Over 18 years of practice, I've tried it more than once, in a variety of formats. I've yet to find anything that corms anywhere close to the value of word of mouth referral. That being the case, that's where I choose to concentrate my efforts. As I've said a number of times, that's my personal experience but I'm sure others differ. I must say though that a return of 1000% or there abouts (I'm assuming that's the minimum needed for your 800% profit) is certainly very impressive and I'm glad that's working for you.
     
  17. pod2008

    pod2008 Welcome New Poster

    I suppose it all depends on your "ideal" patient and who you want to attract to your clinic?

    Just some food for thought
     
  18. Footpath

    Footpath Member

    Thanks for your advice I have read this book.
     
  19. fayp

    fayp Member

    Most of my patients used to come by word of mouth, now most come via viewing my website. Even older folk, get their children to look online for em.
     
  20. Footpath

    Footpath Member

    Thanks for everyone's help. Just updating I have got a lease in a Medical centre with four docs of whom have been telling there's patients that they have a pod coming in yet I won't start practising till April 2017.
     
  21. JaneyT

    JaneyT Member

    Hi Footpath!
    I too am in a doctors surgery (although I didn't start here). I find that most of my new referrals come from word of mouth. Some come into the surgery with a foot problem and ask if there is a pod in town. Some are referred by the GP (but are not told that its private - AWKWARD!) and a fair few are sitting waiting for the doc appt and see my advertising in the surgery - there is a powerpoint running in the waiting room. Only recently have I started advertising. You can get a basic free listing with Yell.com, and I also registered for free with Therapies Network. Using a google search for a pod in your area these are top of the list, unless there are sponsored sites. I also advertised in the local parish mag, as my client base (majority elderly) tend to read these sorts of things!

    Ref payments, I use SumUp, pretty much the same as iZettle and paypal, I would definately opt for contactless if your charges come under £30 as the touch pads are really sensitive on the sumup card reader. Their charges are 0.95%, less than the other providers, card reader £60. definately worth it. However. Going mobile is tricky as it depends on the signal from your phone, GPS and bluetooth. Not reliable, so for visits I still rely on cheque and cash. If you want a hardwired card machine, there are lots of offers out there, I did loads of research initially before I opted for the phone device, simply because uptake is fairly slow in the elderly and it wasnt worth paying for. I have seen offers on OSGO for card machine subscriptions.
    Hope some of that is helpful!
     
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