MD HQ has integrations with two merchant services partners: Stripe and Bluefin. These communicate with MD HQ via an API, meaning that once you set up your Stripe or Bluefin account and we connect to it, you continue to handle billing inside MD HQ, rather than having to go to an external website or application.


Each billing service has different strengths and drawbacks, and most of our clients find one that works better for their specific business needs.


Bluefin

Bluefin is a traditional merchant services partner with a cost-plus billing setup (rate varies by type of card used, card present/not-present, etc.) that is typically quite competitive, particularly if you are able to process a significant portion of your transactions via the card swiper in the office. Let us know if you want us to have Bluefin contact you to put together a personalized quote.


You can manage patient recurring subscriptions via your integrated Bluefin account in MD HQ, and subscriptions with Bluefin are more fully integrated into your transaction history in the EMR than they are with the Stripe integration.


Bluefin will send a credit card swiper for use in the office, saving time from manual entry of credit card information and giving access to lower merchant services charges associated with swiped versus "card-not-present" transactions. So, for practices that process a lot of credit card payments in the office, we recommend using Bluefin.


Stripe

Stripe has a simple billing structure and is a quick set-up for your practice. They charge per transaction with no monthly fee (as of this writing, 2.9% +  $.30 per transaction) and no monthly processing minimums, which can make it a good choice for practices with very low transaction volumes. You can manage patient recurring subscriptions via your integrated Stripe account in MD HQ. 


Stripe does not offer card readers for use in the office. For practices that process a lot of cards in office, this can be a limitation.


Stripe does not support any practice that sells supplements online, or practices that offer telemedicine services. This generates a fraud alert in their system and they may suspend your account without warning (this can happen even though MD HQ is separate from the website/online storefront where the supplements are sold).

 

PLEASE NOTE ABOUT SUPPLEMENT SALES:

The underlying processing networks of most credit cards do not support the sale of supplements via their networks.  Supplements are lumped into a single category of "pseudo-pharmaceuticals" that contains everything from nutriceuticals to diet pills, and businesses who sell them are marked (often unfairly) as a high risk to processors.  Despite this label, supplement sales through normal merchant service channels continue to occur, but note that there is the risk of your business being marked as high risk for fraudulent activity, despite your track record. Stripe has a history of being particularly aggressive about auditing and closing accounts on this basis.


Connecting to MD HQ

Once you have an account with Bluefin or Stripe, we need to access that account. For Stripe, we ask that you post the public and private API keys on a sticky note inside your EMR, then let us know by email so that we can go in and retrieve them. DO NOT send via email, as this is sensitive information and email is not secure. For Bluefin, they generally inform us of the necessary information, but you may post your API key on a sticky note inside your EMR when you receive it, then let us know by email, to be doubly sure that we get the necessary information.


Using a Non-Integrated Merchant Services Processor

You do not need to use one of our integrated merchant services providers. If you have a particularly amazing rate elsewhere, or otherwise prefer to continue to use a separate merchant services processor, you may do so. If you want to track charges and payments in MD HQ, using a separate merchant services processor would involve double-entry of this information into MD HQ and your chosen merchant services system. Using a separate merchant services processor also means that patients will not be able to pay their invoices or add a credit card via the MD HQ Patient Portal.