Medical practice management software is a type of healthcare software that helps manage the day-to-day operations of a medical practice. Practice management systems are primarily used in medical offices to handle a combination of financial and administrative tasks, such as billing insurance companies via medical billing functions, storing patient demographics in electronic health records, and scheduling appointments.
Most medical practice management systems will ensure the receipt of revenues in a more efficient and profitable manner. With less time focused on the billing process, this can improve the overall patient experience through more reliable service and better communication. Practice management software will ultimately minimize the administrative challenges that stand in the way of delivering the best possible health outcomes to as many patients as possible.
Basic medical practice management software will handle the administrative tasks of running your office, while integrating with a separate electronic health records (EHR) software. Some advanced medical practice management systems will include EHR capability. This can sometimes be referred to as patient management software. Medical offices that outgrow the capabilities of a practice management system (such as large hospitals) may look into hospital management software.
Implementing a reliable medical practice management software will make your medical practice that much more dependable. Patients will continue to want to utilize your services, keeping a flow of revenue into your practitioners hands. Some of the top benefits of practice management software include:
Because patients, private insurance companies, and public entities each may be payers, the amount of documentation and activity involved in capturing revenue is significant.
Medical care charges are often an unexpected and unbudgeted consumer expense. As a result, medical costs lead to a high number of collection issues. Write-offs of bad debt in the double digit percentages are not uncommon for medical practices. And this increases when there are major health issues in the community, like a pandemic.
Claims management and medical billing functionality is designed to shorten the length of AR cycles and minimize the number of instances of uncompensated care.
Medical billing software provides standardized workflows and automation features for managing:
Additionally, advanced features such as error-detection for claims submissions, automated collections communication management, and AR aging-related can not only decrease the labor cost involved in billing, but also boost revenue by reducing instances of uncompensated care.
EMR, or electronic medical records, helps create and store information on patients digitally. Charting capabilities are at the heart of EMR software, which can let you document diagnoses and procedures.
Contemporary EMR software provides a variety of features to help medical providers more quickly and accurately provide the necessary care for patients. Voice dictation, diagnosis and procedural coding databases, visual patient medical timelines, and health plan creation tools are becoming commonplace among EMR applications in medical practice management tools.
Scheduling patient visits involves coordinating availabilities across multiple dimensions. This will ensure the availability of support staff, visiting rooms, and even needed medical equipment.
Given the complexity of health care scheduling, programs that work well for general purpose scheduling often lack the features required for a medical environment. These advanced features that can help meet the needs of health care providers include:
To ensure patients have access to their medical information, medical practice management software offers an efficient and automated approach for turning technical records into health management plans and reports. These formats are more digestible for patients who may lack a medical background.
The best way to share health data with patients is through patient communication features such as automated email communication and online patient portals.
The cost of medical practice management solutions will vary depending on the size of your practice, the number of patients you see, the number of users that require concurrent access, and the level of included services such as support and hosting. It will also be dependent on the functionality included. For example, a simple practice management system that only schedules appointments will be far less expensive than a solution with included EHR and medical billing capabilities.
Smaller medical offices who only need 1-3 users can expect to spend anywhere from $3,000 to $10,000 upfront for a locally installed software. The costs begin to increase rapidly when you begin to expand your need for users and start to require more storage space for the number of patient records needed. For cloud-based medical practice management software, health care offices can expect to pay $39/month to $629/user/month.
Medical practices that desire an on-premise (locally hosted) software should expect larger costs upfront. This is because locally installed software tends to be something you purchase outright. This means you have to pay licensing fees upfront, in addition to any setup fees for implementation and training. This type of setup is common for health care offices that have data security concerns. However, this path does require a higher level of IT knowledge, and you’ll usually need to have staff on-hand to maintain any hardware or servers required.
Web-based software (SaaS solutions) have become increasingly popular within the past decade. These solutions are accessible via web browsers and require little to no installation. This means that the solutions are accessible from any computer or mobile device with an internet connection. These solutions will have their data stored off-site, usually with the software developer or a third party that you pay for hosting. Web-based software will almost always have an on-going subscription cost.