Have a balance? Pay it online

Friday, July 31, 2009

SANDWICH, Mass.--Cape Medical Supply has saved itself and its customers money by adding an online bill payment feature to its Web site recently.

The feature saves Cape Medical from having to mail bills and customers from having to mail checks - at 44 cents a pop. Additionally, it saves the provider precious time. 

“We don’t have to wait to get the check, then get the check to the bank,” said Michael Sheehan, assistant business manager. “Now payments are automatically hitting our bank. All we have to do is download a file in the morning that tells us what payments came through the previous day. It’s an easier process all around.”

To use the feature, customers go to www.capemedical.com, select “pay your bill” under services and enter the amount they owe. They’re then redirected to a secure page, where they submit more detailed information and enter a credit card number.

Most customers use the feature for co-pays and for taxes on products like commodes, which are, otherwise, 100% covered by insurance, Sheehan said.

“We’re getting about 15 transactions a week,” he said. “It’s


Only a small percentage of providers have online bill payment features on their Web sites, but that number is growing, said Jeremy Kauten, general manager of VGM Forbin.

“When the economy dove, people started looking at their Web sites more seriously, whether it was from a business operations perspective or a marketing perspective,” he said. “It’s not a novelty anymore; it’s a requirement.”

Adding an online bill payment feature to a Web site can be inexpensive, depending on the level of sophistication, Kauten said. A simpler feature that collects general contact information and payment information can cost less than $2,000, he said.

That’s the route Cape Medical took, Sheehan said.

“We tried to make it as straightforward as possible,” he said.