A Payline Case Study: Offering Easier Payment Solutions to Skilled Nursing Facilities

The Client’s Backstory:

North American Client Services provides office support and consulting services to 35 skilled nursing facilities operated by one parent company. These services include accounting, payroll, legal, and human resources, among others.  Their mission is to assist skilled nursing facility clients so that they can focus on providing the day-to-day, five-star patient services that all of their residents deserve. The ratings of their skilled nursing facility patients reflect a continued commitment to excellence in patient care, which is based on the desire to provide every aging individual with a dignified experience.

Their Accolades:

Currently, only about 20% of all skilled nursing facilities in the United States ever achieve a five-star Medicare rating, which is the highest rating possible. Nearly 80% of the skilled nursing facilities that North American Client Services provides services to have been awarded five stars by Medicare.  All the facilities that North American Client Services serve are highly ranked with a minimum of a four-star rating. 

Before determining a rating each year, Medicare carefully analyzes a skilled nursing facility by performing an annual survey, reviewing facility quality measures, assessing staffing levels, training, and specialized skills. Medicare also looks at the past three years’ results of this analysis in every facility’s yearly assessment. This means that a five-star rating is only awarded to facilities that continue to demonstrate a long-term commitment to excellence.

Industry Insights:

As a result of the Baby Boomers coming of age, post-acute care is a rapidly growing, essential health and social service, accounting for nearly $2 trillion spent annually on personal healthcare.  Medicare spending accounts for nearly 15% of that staggering number. Post-acute care services like skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) support enhanced coordination between general acute-care hospitals and post-acute providers to improve the overall quality of care during a patient’s rehabilitation and recovery. This continuity of care can greatly reduce costly medical errors and total spending on healthcare-related expenses. 

The Client’s Challenge:

Regardless of your industry, customer loyalty is not automatic, it’s earned. A brand’s promise is only truly fulfilled when a patient/customer can be sure that they will receive the appropriate level and quality of care, in a timely manner, and that their personal data will remain safe and HIPAA-compliant. It’s just that simple. They want to know that their cash transactions will be simple and seamless, and above all, secure. Where do you find the right partner that will provide you with the best options for online credit card processing with the latest technology, iron-clad security, and professional customer support?

The Client’s Search:

Where do you find anything these days? You start your search with Google and near the top of the list of 400 million results, Payline Data appears and you start counting the stars. Gold stars in reviews to be exact, and lots of them; mostly fives. In fact, great reviews were a key driver in the search and the company reached out to the top five review writers to hear more about their first-hand experience with Payline’s products and services. They also visited the website to research products, services, and pricing in greater detail and were impressed with the customer-specific and transparent pricing solutions that were offered. NACS reached out to the ten companies that appealed to them most. Only one of the inquiries was answered by a human (from Payline), within three business days. Other companies eventually followed suit and a total of four introductory calls were scheduled. Two were no shows and one had to reschedule. Only one followed through when they said they would: Payline Data.

On the initial call itself, the company representative was impressed that Payline was able to show them a live example of a similar company so quickly. The example of an 18-location dentist office that uses Payline services demonstrated how a relatively simple solution could achieve their common goals. A combination of the quick follow-through and a customized demonstration propelled Payline to the final three to be forwarded to the company’s decision-makers. 

The Client’s Decision-Making Process:

Once we passed the first screening, we were connected to Mark, their VP of risk management to present another demonstration and start a conversation about pricing. After establishing an easy rapport with him, we were then scheduled to speak with Jonathan, the company President. 

Our initial contacts appreciated that there was only one Payline representative on the phone call. Some competitors had three or more people on their calls and spoke over each other, making it difficult to hear and understand their message. Having one person dedicated to facilitating the entire process from beginning to end, even after approval, instilled a great deal of confidence in the NACS team. Having a single, dedicated contact was an important consideration in the decision-making process. 

The Decision Makers and Their Roles:

  • Monique Nguyen- Initial Point of contact, Business Analyst for North American Client Services 
  • Joelle Moore- Vice President of Reimbursement for North American Client Services
  • Mark Walton- Vice President of risk management, North American Client Services
  • Jonathan Soley- President of North American Client Services
  • James Ellis-Sherinian– Chief Operating Officer of North American Client Services
  • Jeff Daly- Chief Financial Officer of NAHS (the holding company)

Challenges the Client Presented to Payline:

North American Client Services needed a viable, reliable, easy-to-use hardware solution for each of their 35 skilled nursing facility locations. The main pain point was that 10 of their locations didn’t accept credit cards at all, because they did not want to have each location’s staff be required to ask for a patient’s personal information (e.g., Social Security Number and Date Of Birth). Because a good chunk of their locations were not accepting cards, they felt as though they were losing revenue. Additionally, they felt their pricing was good, but not great. 

Problems Payline Could Fix:

  • Every location could apply under the parent company, so no individual at each location had to provide personal information.
  • Payline could provide easy reporting all on a single, easy-to-navigate dashboard. This would allow them to have all transactions in one place, making it extremely easy to toggle between locations, view overall financial reports, or view specific location reports.
  • Payline could save them money by accepting larger transactions ($10,000 or more) via ACH, making it easier to avoid risk reviews. They did not currently accept ACH, but giving them the ability to have every location process credit cards and ACH, would be a big boost for their overall revenue. 
  • Payline would also provide FREE hardware-valued at $16,000- with a three-year contract.

Why NACS Chose Payline:

  1. For the overall savings. NACS was provided a savings analysis and their first month of processing FREE for choosing Payline. 
  2. “The reason we did not have 10 locations processing credit cards was that we did not want to ask patients to provide their social security numbers. When Colin showed us how we can avoid that, we saw the revenue potential we gained through that.” – Mark Walton. 
  3. Free Clovers were a big selling point. To them, that showed a commitment to developing a long-term, mutually beneficial partnership. “If you trust us enough to give us all of those Clovers, then we trust you to be the right partner, so let’s start the application process.” – Monique Nguyen
  4. Easy reporting in one place for the parent company and each individual location
  5. The ability to easily add new locations as the company continues to grow
  6. “The Payline dashboard is so easy to maneuver I couldn’t believe it. I go in at the end of every month to see overall revenue and revenue for each location. That includes credit cards and ACH transactions. This saves me hours every month.”- Joelle Moore

Roadblocks During Implementation:

While the Payline experience has been awesome, they did have a few black to get over. At Payline, you are always set up with an account manager to help through these items. For NACS specifically, rolling out ACH, including the underwriting process, took some time. Because some of the larger transactions taken with ACH ($75,000+) there were documents required to get through underwriting. Additionally, some credit or debit cards were getting declined through their Clover solutions. For the vast majority, this was due to insufficient funds on the card, but there was also some additional training needed to locate the reason for decline codes and how to work around them.

The one remaining thing that NACS does not prefer is that Payline pulls the fees before the customer statements come out, causing a 2 to 3-day lag in collecting funds. Currently, there is no fix for this issue.

What About the Numbers: 

Some Promising Numbers:

  • Original net rate: 2.3%-2.7%
  • Net rate with Payline: 2.1%-2.5%
  • Original fee structure: Interchange +.1%, $10, and $.10
  • Fee structure with Payline: Interchange +.07%, $0, and $.10

Payline Provided Solutions:

  • A better net rate: 2.1%-2.5%
  • More competitive fee structure: IC +.07%, $0, and $.10
  • Savings of a couple of hundred dollars per month with Payline
  • 34 free Clover Minis with a three-year contract ($16,000 value)

Now that all locations have the ability to take cards, revenue is up! COVID-19 has adversely affected overall revenue and Payline delivered the tools that helped them stay afloat. Having all locations with the ability to accept cards has been a big game-changer. Addiotnally, they have noticed that their net rate has gone down noticeably:

They also really enjoy that the statements provided from PAyline are easy to read. They separate the interchange rates from the fees associated with their Payline account and have always been there to help explain when the statements come out.

COVID-19 Impact: 

Most hospitals aren’t performing elective surgeries right now so new patient admission numbers are down across the board. Additionally, any COVID-positive staff member or patient in certain counties can shut down the entire admissions process. New overall patient acquisitions have really stalled, though some locations are experiencing some more positive growth. 

Because Payline gave them the ability for each location to take credit cards and accept ACH payments, their revenue has stayed in a manageable place even through COVID-19.

Why Our New Customer Loves Payline:

  • Payline makes it easy for an entity with multiple locations to apply as an organization
  • PCI Compliance is simplified and linking multiple locations is easy. They only have to go through the process once and then all locations are marked as compliant. 
  • Set up is easy. The parent office sends out an easy-to-follow, step-by-step Virtual terminal video created by Payline, for additional training when needed. Thorough training reduces processing mistakes and saves time and money.
  • Payline provides competitive and transparent pricing while providing customers with software that includes services such as invoicing, recurring billing, ACH payments, and a dedicated payments page. Easy plugins connect to new or existing POS systems,  Quickbooks, and the credit card reader of choice. The first month with Payline is FREE. No risk, no upfront fees, and no cancelation fees. https://paylinedata.com/apply-now/
  • Simplified statements from Payline (use images below)
  • The Clover Mini Solution provides patients and employees with a quick and intuitive checkout process. Administrators can receive secure payments, print or email receipts, and integrate with over 300 apps, and more. Swipe, Chip, Tap. It’s that simple.
  • Reporting for multiple locations makes it easier to balance the books more efficiently with the ability to process ACH settlements multiple times a day. An ACH payment solution can: eliminate checks and frequent trips to the bank, save patients time paying bills by creating a seamless, carefree process
  •  Payline payment options ensure HIPAA-compliance and reduce the likelihood of identity theft by removing the need for paper statements
  •  Using ACH payment solutions can be beneficial: not only will your business be seen as environmentally friendly; your customers will appreciate the convenient payment options provided by your processing.
  •  Customers receive continuity of customer service with a dedicated salesperson and account manager that stays with them throughout the entire implementation process (Colin is the key point of contact for NACS)
  •  ACH, or Automated Clearing House, is a computer-based electronic network for processing credit and debit transactions between customers and participating businesses. They provide bank-level security and reduce the risk of fraud.
  • All their data is in one place on an easy-to-navigate dashboard!