How Your Software Integration Can Impact Your Bottom Line and What to Do About It

Patient paying via a credit card terminal at the front desk of a dental practice

Practice management software is the standard these days, significantly impacting dental offices’ day-to-day by streamlining transactions, patient information, and other data integral to operations. It enhances efficiency, reduces errors, and provides valuable insights into operations, especially if you are in charge of more than one location. It’s important to keep in mind that these systems often integrate with other critical software, such as those facilitating credit card payments.

And when practice management software isn’t regularly updated, problems are sure to follow.

The importance of keeping software up to date

Keeping software updated in dental offices is crucial for several reasons.

First, updates often include security patches that protect against evolving cyber threats and safeguarding sensitive patient information. Regular updates also ensure compatibility with the latest hardware and operating systems, preventing performance issues or software incompatibilities.

Moreover, updated dental software typically introduces new features and improvements, enhancing efficiency in tasks like appointment scheduling, billing, and patient records management.

Staying current with software updates helps dental offices provide better patient care, maintain regulatory compliance, and optimize overall operational workflows.

However, when practice management software isn’t regularly updated, users may face security vulnerabilities, compatibility issues, and miss out on new features or improvements. Outdated software can also lead to compliance issues with evolving payment standards. If you aren’t running the most recent upgrade, it may not share all the information required by the processor, resulting in additional charges that can really add up.

If you had an update of your software recently or the name on your merchant statement has changed, you need someone to look over your merchant services rates and fees to make sure you’re processing at the lowest possible cost.

But before you jump on the latest major overhaul, Merchant Advocate’s Cheryl McKenna suggests you wait a beat and do your research ahead of time.

“If you’re the first one to get an update, then you have to deal with all the glitches,” she warns. “There’s a fine line between waiting the right amount of time for bugs to be worked out and risking a HIPAA violation.”

One example that came to mind was a client who shared they were being forced to “play whack-a-mole with new issues” regarding updates not synching between their client portal application and their payment processor’s.

How to avoid unnecessary fees

Having an outside consultant working with you can help. The software provider isn’t always aware if there’s a problem or how to fix it.

Merchant Advocate has extensive experience in this area and understands not only what information the processor needs to avoid fees but can also ensure pricing is fair.

“When it’s an update that affects merchant services, we’re going to flag it during their monthly statement audit,” McKenna explains. “Say, a new line item pops up that’s indicative of a communication issue between the software and the integrated merchant provider. We might identify that the address verification is being incorrectly passed, or the corporate data from an insurance company’s virtual credit card data isn’t being passed. That’s one of the values of Merchant Advocate checking your statement every month—we’ll notice immediately!”

“Dental offices will most certainly pay more if they’re not passing all the correct data with the transaction,” warns McKenna. “I had a client who updated their practice management software, and all of their Visa hand-keys were charged almost a percent more. If we hadn’t caught it, they would have unnecessarily paid more than $8,000 that year!

Merchant Advocate is a proud partner of AADOM and has helped clients save more than $300 million in excess processing fees. Find out what they can do for you with a free consultation and analysis.

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