Payments in the Patient Booking Gateway

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We find that there is a higher number of 'no-shows' with the PBG. There is also a proportion of course of no-shows with telephone/other-email bookings. We have now introduced an over-the-phone refundable booking fee of $85 when new patients call for an appointment. This does two things. First, if the caller declines to pay then the caller is probably of low value to our business. Secondly, we can be assured that the caller will arrive. Let's face it, no-shows inconvenience accessibility for other patients as well as wasting valuable staff time. My question is, can the PBG include a payment modality for new patients for this fee?

Note: This conversation was created from a reply on: Marketing your Patient Booking Gateway.
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Michael Molton

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Posted 2 years ago

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Timothy, Business Care Manager

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Hi Michael. I’ve created a new idea for your post. We are looking at implementing payment options for online bookings made using the Patient Booking Gateway. However, there are some complexities with taking a full payment, as Medicare and health fund claiming cannot be performed until the patient is seen, which affects many of our users.

We are talking to several payment gateway providers in relation to the possibility of placing a holding fee on the patient’s credit card for guaranteed payment of the consult once the service is rendered or to charge a no-show fee as per your booking terms, similar to amounts held when hiring a car or booking a hotel room when the final fee is not known. Any additional amounts are released once the transaction is completed. 

Depending on the health modality you’re working in, pre-payments can be a complex issue. Technically, taking an online payment is the easy part! We are still working to iron out a few issues here.

Guest Bookings may have a higher no-show rate, but they do make the initial booking process easier. Turning off Guest Bookings and only accepting registration requests from new clients does minimise no-shows, depending on your validation process for these patients i.e. calling and confirming all new registrations in your Patient Booking Gateway, which can also include some pre-qualification questioning. 
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Perth Natural Medical Clinic

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Online booking payment.

Just wondering when or of it will be possible to have a payment facility for online bookings? So we can take a deposit for bookings made online etc.
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Timothy, Business Care Manager

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Hi PNMC. Please see our previous response regarding payments in the Patient Booking Gateway above. We are unable to provide an ETA regarding this feature at this stage. 
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Perth Natural Medical Clinic

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Hi, just wondering if there are any updates on patients being able to pay a deposit when booking appointments online? 
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Dr Goran

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We have found this to be the case also. As online new client bookings grow as a proportion of overall new client bookings, there seems to be less importance placed on keeping the appointment. I support the idea of having a deposit payable when making an online booking, and urge smartsoft to enact this as soon as possible.