If you are actively looking for medical office billing software to run your practice, read on. Due to the upcoming growth in Electronic Medical Records (EMR) you want to make sure you are buying medical billing software that you can grow with. The last thing you want to do is buy a software package that is behind the eight ball from the gates. In this article, I am going to cover three (3) tips in selecting the medical office billing software for your practice. With full EMR on the horizon, your decision has never been more important.
Tip # 1: First and foremost, you need to make sure the medical billing software you are reviewing is a good fit for your type of practice. There are many types of medical billing software that specialize in specific functions like Chiropractic, Pediatric, and Mental Health are just a few. Make sure you don’t let the software salesmen sell you a bill of goods that doesn’t fit your practice or isn’t a good fit for the workflow of your business. Map out your requirements before you start looking at solutions and you will be well equipped to make a decision.
Tip # 2: Decide if you want to host the software yourself or use a new ASP or hosted model. The software as a service SaaS offerings for healthcare clinics are emerging as a real alternative to the old boxed software model. Software as a service means that your software runs on the software companies servers. The benefit for you is that you don’t have to maintain the software and pay an IT consultant to update it for you. The solutions typically run online and you can login via any web browser to access your data securely. These solutions make sense if you are looking at EMR solutions as you can simply add other modules when the time comes. You will typically sign a 12 month agreement to use the software then pay month to month based on the number of users you have using the system. This is the wave of the future in software delivery, especially for electronic charts. If you have not purchased the boxed software yet, you may want to at least consider the alternatives.
Tip # 3: Look at fully integrated EMR solutions that have both billing and patient scheduling. In the past many clinics would have a billing and scheduling system that may be two separate systems. With the emergence of EMR, it makes sense to look at solutions that have all three. Some of the solutions even have web scheduling features that allow your patients to login online and schedule an appointment. This frees your staff to focus on other administrative issues. In the future, patients will be able to login to their chart electronically, post payments, and other comments to their physician from one common interface. By moving this direction now, you can prevent a painful migration later. Most of the solutions are mature enough now that you won’t be an early adopter in the software sense.
In conclusion, selecting the proper medical billing software is not only important, but is also the gateway into selecting a platform of software to grow your business on. The online medical billing software options combined with the online EMR software options has never been greater.
My advice is to step back, look at your workflow and select the right solution for your practice that complements and improves your current workflow.