I’ve been meaning to write about this since I did my own set-up recently so here goes. As far as I’m aware, there are two ways of providing live private health fund rebates and estimates at the point of sale:
Both of these options have advantages and disadvantages, that is the topic of this post.
Hicaps is the oldest, probably most trusted solution. You will have seen hicaps terminals at many health practices in your travels. Physiotherapists, chiropractors, remedial massage therapists etc. are all using them. It uses that National Australia Bank for the optional (though free of charge) EFTPOS functionality.
- You can have seperate EFTPOS settlement arrangements for associates/partners
- Less training – Many receptionists and practitioners are already familiar with how it works
- Marketable – The brand is well known so when you display it in store or online people know it means they can claim easily with you
- Requires a landline (Hicaps have just released a mobile terminal but it doesn’t support many funds at this stage)
- Is more expensive than other options due to combination of terminal rental and phone line costs
- The landline will be engaged for 20-30 seconds during transactions
- It is slower than other options – who loves waiting for technology!? Not me
Healthpoint is less well known probably because the brand is never really shown or promoted directly and you can use one of four merchant providers to receive the claim amount and settle EFTPOS.
- Choice of Merchant Provider – Commonwealth, Suncorp, ANZ or Tyro
- Faster technology available – Tryo can process a claim in as little as 3 seconds
- You don’t need a phone line! (but you do need a broadband connection)
- Some banks will waive the fees for a business transaction account for you
- The brand is not well known
- You need a broadband connection (I have detailed the cheapest way to do this without a landline below)
- You may not have the option of settling funds to multiple practitioner accounts (Depending on your merchant provider)
- Options such as Tyro require you to use specific practice management software which can be expensive and you may not want to use it
Basic Cost Comparison
Upfront connection fees for new landline: $59 – $299 depending on if you already have the wiring for a physical phone line installed.
Phone line rental $24.95 + Terminal Rental $40 = Minimum $64.95 / month
Bank fees: ~ $10 / month for a business transaction account
Total Setup: $59 – $299
Total Monthly: $64.95
3G/4G Modem Router: ~$100. Less second hand. (must have at least one Ethernet port)
Mobile Broadband Dongle: $19
Mobile Broadband Prepaid credit $10 / month + Terminal Rental ($30-$60) = Minimum $40 – $70 / month
Bank fees: $0 waived
Total Setup: ~$119
Total Monthly: $40 – $70
As you can see, Healthpoint has the potential to be both cheaper to set up and cheaper per month however to set-up Healthpoint up in this way requires that you have practice management software and that you have some technical expertise.
For many people, installing Hicaps will be easier and more straightforward. If you already have an active phone line in place then Hicaps is a good option.
I ended up opting for using Healthpoint with the Commonwealth bank as this can be done without practice management software. The terminal is $60 / month for up to $3000 turnover but I like the fact I do not need a phone line for this set-up.
If you do not want to install a new phone line then Healthpoint is a good option and I would encourage you to read my other article ‘Setting up Healthpoint without using a Phone Line‘
* Prices were current at time of writing but are subject to change.
# I am NOT professionally or officially affiliated with any brands or products mentioned.