Medical Practice Management Software Buyer's Guide
The Best Medical Practice Management Software is All About Centralization
By: Bergen Adair, Market Research Associate
Medical practitioners and staff want to spend their days healing the sick and the injured — not filling out forms, scheduling patients or worrying about billing. Medical practice management software (aka practice management or PM) is the foundation on which a successful medical practice is built. Without accurate billing, scheduling, reminders and outreach functionality, a healthcare facility cannot run at maximum efficiency or successfully treat a full population of patients. In the most recent iterations of practice management applications, vendors have expanded functionalities to offer a complete suite of everything a medical practice needs in a single system.
- Medical practice management software combines scheduling, charting and billing in a single interface
- PM helps reduce physician burnout and manage population health
- The basic features to look for in a PM solution are EHR/EMR integration, scheduling, billing and population health management
- Choosing the right PM system for your practice involves requirements gathering, peer review, shortlisting and vetting
What This Guide Covers
- Benefits of Medical Practice Management Software
- Population Health
- Implementation Goals
- Top Practice Management Software Features and Functionality
- Advanced Features of Practice Management
- The Vendor Comparison & Selection Process
- Final Thoughts
Benefits of Medical Practice Management Software
The best practice management software will help medical practices manage their time and patient flow in an orderly manner. By combining scheduling, charting and billing functionality, users don’t have to bounce between programs to perform necessary tasks. This not only improves efficiency — which equals money in your practice’s pocket — it also helps reduce burnout and frustration from users. When your practice staff is happy, they can do their job keeping your patient population healthy.
What is Population Health and Why Does it Matter to Practice Management?Population health is an emerging concept wherein the care of patients is managed by a provider, group or health system in a more multi-faceted and comprehensive way. Commonly, population health is seen as managing patients outside of the clinical moments where they are present with a healthcare provider.
Compensation models from government (Medicare, Medicaid) and commercial payers are adapting to the population health model. The compensation for providers is now moving towards outcome-based and standards-based reporting on the management of patients, regardless of the number of times a patient has been seen. This is dynamically different from the traditional model of providers charging for each visit to a clinic by a patient regardless of their chronic disease or other identifying factors. With the growth of population health, new tools are required to ensure patient care is effectively coordinated and providers monitor quality and utilization benchmarks.
A new practice management application should be able to support population health activities and goals. PM systems offer a variety of tools and support to ensure patients are adequately identified, billed and scheduled for routine and acute moments of care.
Medical Practice Management Implementation Goals
Move Away from Paper Records
|The charting features of an EMR, EHR or PM offer a pretty simple goal: transfer from paper records to digital ones. This helps practices be more organized, as digital records can be searched and stored in a fraction of the space that paper files require. PMs are also more environmentally sustainable, as they don’t use paper. The best practice management systems improve the ability of your practice to communicate and integrate with other practices and hospitals, streamlining patient care across providers.|
|Speaking of communicating with other practices, improving communication in the medical world is a huge bonus of practice management systems. The old joke that doctors have the worst handwriting of any profession is well known for a reason, and eliminating pharmacy errors and miscommunications due to illegible handwriting is just one of many medical practice management software benefits. PM solutions can also make it easier to communicate with other providers such as hospitals and specialty practices, offering a more complete understanding of a patient’s medical record.|
Streamline Staff Workflows
|Whether a patient is booking an appointment online or a physician is taking notes on an encounter, your practice staff shouldn’t have to bounce around between systems to get it done. Because EHRs and EMRs are somewhat notorious for integrating poorly with other systems, getting a practice management system that offers everything in one package can eliminate integration headaches.|
Improve Patient Care
|At the end of the day, patient care is the end-game for medical practices, and practice management helps achieve this in a variety of ways. PM systems help reduce wait times in the lobby and allow patients to schedule their own appointments online — and who doesn’t want to get in and out of the doctor’s office faster? Patients can also access their records via a patient portal, giving them insights into their treatment and forming a partnership between care providers and patients.|
Top Practice Management Software Features and Functionality
PM systems offer everything from basic clinical documentation to paperless check-in solutions. Because of the expansive breadth of offerings that now seem commonplace, clinical practices and providers in search of medical management software must evaluate these applications by identifying the key needs of their practice. Looking primarily at the core offerings of the application, such as the provider comfort, usability and reliability, you can select a system that is right for your unique practice.
|Patient Scheduling||Important to the selection of a new practice management application is the ability to accurately and adequately schedule, bill and identify patients who are covered by a contract with shared savings opportunities. This includes patients who are covered by government-subsidized health insurance (Medicare, Medicaid), those who have elected to purchase supplemental insurance (Medicare Advantage) as well as those who are on commercial insurance that has value-based care components.|
|Billing Modules||Accurate billing features are a vital aspect of a practice management application. The International Classification of Diseases, version 10 (ICD-10) was rolled out in the United States in 2016, and it is imperative that your practice management systems support billing ICD-10 codes. More and more payers, including Medicare/Medicaid (CMS), are offering value/risk-based contracts that must meet specific requirements in order to be eligible for shared savings and enhanced payments.|
|EMR/EHR Integration||Many PM systems are now offered by EMR companies. This offering of a unified solution provides one base for scheduling, coding, billing, clinical documentation, EMR functionality, registry creation and patient outreach. However, in many cases, a combined EMR/PM system may not be truly integrated because the original code base of the applications could have been produced by separate organizations and then merged through acquisition or strategic partnership. Providers must be thoughtful about which PM system they select and whether or not to choose a combined PM/EMR solution.|
Advanced Features of Practice Management Software
Increasingly, practice management applications have built out more capabilities focused on population health that aim to enhance a provider’s revenue and their ability to treat more patients successfully. As the US healthcare market pivots to a value-based payment model, in lieu of the traditional fee-for-service model, new opportunities are now available to ensure that revenue opportunities are maximized and the coordination of care for patients is shared both within and outside the confines of the physical clinical location.
|Population Health Monitoring||A new practice management application should be able to support population health activities and goals with a variety of tools and support to ensure patients are adequately identified, billed and scheduled for routine and acute moments of care.|
|Insurance Eligibility Verification||In order to effectively decrease days in accounts receivable and improve cash flow, it is imperative that practices have the ability to verify a patient’s insurance eligibility before the patient is seen. practice management systems allow clinical staff to verify insurance eligibility for either a flat monthly fee or billed by transaction. Insurance eligibility checks should be completed in real time and the output should be easy to read and understand to ensure there is no ambiguity for reception or billing staff.|
The Software Selection Process
Finding the right PM application is driven by understanding the specific features that are required to ensure a clinic runs smoothly. There is no one-size-fits-all product, and choosing the best medical practice management software for your organization will require a combination of identifying your needs, seeking guidance from peers and shortlisting vendors.
Look to local organizations and groups that best represent similar interests like HIMSS, MGMA, AHIMA, or a specialty-specific local or regional organization to learn more about efficient PM applications. These organizations should offer relevant advice about how to maximize the efficiency of your processes, which may depend on your size, ownership makeup, specialty and other factors. Once specific areas of improvement have been identified, engage with the resources within the organization that are responsible for those areas. Begin by identifying goals for this technological and operational investment.
Properly structuring the selection process for an upgraded or new practice management system is important to keep priorities in line, timelines and budgetary constraints in check, and to ensure all important considerations are addressed during the process. Below are six steps to help you select the best medical practice software for your organization.
Step 1: Identify Key Stakeholders to the PM Selection Process
Medical practice management solutions are critical to practice operations and the financial success of the clinic. Moreover, there are significant aspects of risk and fraud that need to be considered. Due to the nature of this acquisition, it is imperative to identify key personnel from all areas of clinical and financial operations and include them in the vetting and decision-making process.
Step 2: Assess Existing Workflow and Revenue Cycle Features
The identified team for this project should prepare for the selection process by evaluating, assessing and studying the current workflow and revenue cycle process for the clinic. Understand the features and functionality that are currently in use, the processes that appear outdated or inefficient, and the areas that could benefit from automation or attention.
Record and understand all current practice management expenses. How much does it currently cost to code, bill, adjudicate and report on expenses and overhead? What do you pay for scheduling software, coding/billing software, and personnel? And, what metrics are being used to effectively evaluate the success and efficiency of current practices?
Step 3: Identify Desirable Features
After evaluating the workflow and current operations, determine if there are completely new functionality or feature sets that would be of interest or value to your operations. Most likely, new PM applications are available with a host of new and different features than what is currently in use today at your location(s). Without consideration of vendor, identify the features that are of interest to you. Remember to consider other resources and personnel as well, including the patient, as to what would make the experience of engaging with the clinic most valuable. Consider hosting a brainstorming session and identify ways to engage your entire staff to gain a wide variety of perspectives into what works and what doesn’t.
Step 4: Identify and Compare PM Systems
Identifying potential PM partners can be accomplished in a number of ways. Depending on your organization’s relationship to complementary or community resources, it may be most beneficial to catalog the vendors and products currently in use by your peers and identify the most highly respected and successful PM systems in use in your networks. As well, issuing a Request-for-Proposal (RFP) will garner attention from interested vendors to submit their bids and information regarding products that could suit your needs.
It is important to include all of the identified needs from Stage 3 as part of any RFP you publish. It is also worthwhile to ask your shortlisted vendors for a trial or demo to preview the software functionality for yourself and have your staff take it on a test run. If the system can’t perform the tasks you need it to during the demo, you can be fairly certain it won’t be the right solution for your practice.
Step 5: Compare a list of Medical Practice Management Software Vendors and Conduct Demonstrations and Site Visits
Create a formal RFP that outlines your specific requirements for a new PM solution. Include specific information vendors will need from your practice that reflects the workflow you currently or ideally would like to create. Require vendors to detail the functionalities and features of their product in direct support of the ideal workflow and to include pricing information. Also, request to see examples of the vendor’s work and a list of at least three references that you can call. Do additional research on these firms’ reputations and ability to deliver their work on time, within budget and as promised.
Step 6: Final Selection and Contracting
After a thorough review of all supporting documentation from the vendors, weigh each product's system features vs costs and make a selection that will yield the most benefits. Make sure your contract with the selected vendor is thoroughly vetted by a legal team to protect you and ensure the product will be delivered as intended. Then, begin to implement the new system with a thorough plan for employee training and reap the rewards of improved efficiency and functionality.
The process can seem daunting, but getting the right all-in-one practice management tool is a crucial step in making your practice the best it can be. This medical practice management software comparison can be used as a jumping-off point to guide your decision-making. And don’t forget that although patient care is the ultimate goal of medical practices, it isn’t always the utmost concern of medical software vendors. Bringing the search back to the core goal of improving your patient care will help keep you headed in the right direction!
Top 10 Medical Practice Management Software Leaders(of 47 products) GET THE IN-DEPTH REPORT
Behavioral health specific EHR which has been built from the ground up over the last 4.5 years with a software team of approximately 60. Inpatient, outpatient, substance abuse, mental health, psychiatry, Autism, IDD, case management, eRx including controlled substances, labs, portal, secure messaging, credit card integration, reminders, Dragon, key performance indicators and much more.
DrChrono brings the medical practice of the future to reality by enabling medical providers to be the best they can be. The company built the first iPad and iPhone EHR, and its EHR and medical billing platform is the most flexible and intuitive on the market. With it, you can manage all aspects of patient intake, clinical charting, billing, and revenue cycle management. The platform is cloud-based, mobile-driven, standards-supported, fully compliant, and highly awarded. DrChrono EHR includes customizable medical forms, e-prescribing, access to over 40,000 labs, robust scheduling tools, real-time patient eligibility checks, patient portal and more. The DrChrono App Directory also offers a multitude of apps that a practice can select from to bundle in and a medical API for healthcare app developers. With a 94% clean claim rate, DrChrono RCM services work to improve your practice profitability. We offer you consistent workflows, continuous monitoring of claims and a decrease to your administrative task, so you focus on patient care.Our team of dedicated billing experts, in-house coding compliance officers, and certified medical coders handle the complete lifecycle of your medical claims. The DrChrono EHR can be accessed from web, mobile, or iPad. Have all your information within arms reach at any time. Our fully customizable forms or prebuilt forms created for your specialty will increase your practice’s efficiency or use our pre-built forms that best fit your specialty. Any prescription including those of Electronic Prescribing Controlled Substances can be sent electronically on iPhone, iPad, or the web. Easily submit lab orders from your iPad or web to over 40k local labs around the United States and have the results uploaded directly into your patient’s chart. With our custom vitals, you can create baseline health data and monitor each patient’s health measurements over time.The patient personal health record app (PHR) and patient check-in apps guide patients through registration; at their next visit, they simply confirm their information with a tap.Use Free Draw function to easily annotate on diagrams, x-rays or other files. They can also use the iPad's built-in cameras to take pictures and embed them in the patient's record.Utilize our pre-populated billing codes to bill accurately and get paid much faster.We are integrated with Box, a HIPAA-compliant cloud storage system to allow you to sync and backup files easily between your EHR and the Cloud.
Azalea EHR is 2015 ONC certified and supports Promoting Interoperability (PI). Users can document SOAP notes, send orders and capture billing from a single screen. The HIPAA-compliant telehealth platform is fully integrated and enables real-time charting. Patient records can be accessed at home, in the practice or in the hospital. Azalea also offers a fully-integrated mobile application, appointment reminders and patient portal. A data integrity validation feature will check various field entries (such as date of birth, insurance, and address) and then notify users of inaccuracies. Designed for efficiency, the cloud-based infrastructure drives cost savings in hardware, speeds deployment and training time, and increases application availability. Azalea is suitable for community and rural health care settings, including multiple speciality practices. Azalea Health’s comprehensive revenue cycle management (RCM) services- from claims submissions through denials management - optimizes billing and maximizes reimbursements. Expert billers, with in-depth knowledge of more than 30 specialties, maintain a pulse on the latest regulatory developments and reimbursement standards. Intuitive dashboards and detailed reporting provide full transparency into our RCM processes and the status of your claims. Additionally, when you choose Azalea RCM medical billing services, the Azalea EHR, is included. Azalea RCM includes:Electronic claims submission Reimbursement accounting Denials management Patient invoicing Collections Detailed billing reports Physician contracting and credentialing
Practice Managers and Medical Billing Company owners are consistently surprised by their PracticeSuite experience - great software at a great price! Tackle all aspects of revenue management from flexible appointment scheduling, to patient self-pay, to complicated insurance billing and denial management. Leverage advanced reporting and dashboards to monitor and improve financial performance.
Centricity™ Practice Solution is a fully integrated Electronic Medical Record (EMR) and Practice Management solution designed to help you enhance the clinical and financial productivity of your ambulatory practice. Though designed to work as a single fully integrated unit, if desired, the modules may be used independently.
Valant is a completely new platform built on modern technologies including an elastic and infinitely scalable data model, mobile app-inspired experience, and an on-demand ability to respond to change without additional investment in time, money, or training. Our platform isn’t an EHR, it’s the technology partner community mental health deserves.
The AthenaCollector® practice management platform gives doctors and practice leaders tool to renovate business structures and keep both the clinical and the clerical side of the office optimized for modern efficiency.
AdvancedEHR is the revolutionary way to manage patient health. Every click, feature workflow is designed to increase clinical quality, reduce costs, improve staff efficiency promote patient satisfaction. Customize the charting templates to fit your specialty integrate AdvancedEHR with AdvancedBilling so your data is automatically shared between systems.
Kareo is a leading medical billing and technology program for an independent practice. With a variety of medical billing and practice marketing tools, this cloud-based software documents and assists clinical processes - from consultation to treatment and follow-up care.
ChartLogic Practice Management (PM) delivers everything you need to accurately and efficiently manage administrative and financial tasks, including registration and scheduling; eligibility and verification; claims, billings and collections; user dashboards and reports. ChartLogic PM automates a variety of routine tasks, and alerts you to probable errors. We provide hundreds of specialty-specific templates, patient education materials, and pre-configured superbills, all of which you can tailor to meet your needs.NEW: Connect Patient PortalOn any device or browser, easily engage with your patients through a convenient portal to improve the overall patient experience and quality of care.
ChartLogic Billing Revenue Cycle Management services use accurate billing practices to increase financial performance.ChartLogic’s Medical Billing Services takes the billing burden off the medical office, liberating providers and staff to concentrate on patient care. Your staff never needs to touch the billing system again. Our combination of expertise and leading-edge technology improves your performance without increasing costs, saving money for patient care.NEW: Connect Patient PortalOn any device or browser, easily engage with your patients through a convenient portal to improve the overall patient experience and quality of care.
Drive revenue with ease. AdvancedBilling features all the tools you need to manage your A/R and claims processes in one convenient database. The robust clearinghouse automates manual processes, auto-generated worklists improve productivity expedite reimbursements automatic claims scrubbing gets you an almost-100% first-pass claim acceptance rate. This software is just as powerful as what our 500+ billing service partners use.
AdvancedMD is the leading web-based software solution for the independent private practice. Products include practice management, electronic health records, patient experience, medical billing financial reporting systems.
Because we know you have more important things to do than flip through a calendar. AdvancedScheduling helps you see more patients speeds up scheduling processes with recurring appointment, waitlist management, patient room tracking appointment reminder tools. A faster front desk lets your front office team focus on checking in patients, collecting copays scheduling your clinicians facility to full capacity.
Streamline your practice to improve bottom line results.Whether you’re a solo practitioner or part of a larger health system or physician network, Harmony can tailor a complete practice management solution to streamline your day-to-day operations. We will train your staff on our software, serve as a comprehensive practice consultant, and negotiate contracts with insurers.
All in one cloud based solution! We offer EHR, Practice Management, Billing Solution, Patient Portal and Self Check-In Kiosk. We also have our own Clearinghouse, with unlimited claim submission, and automatic eligibility checking. Billing Service available, if desired. System enabled for EPCS, MACRA/MIPS, patient payments on line, and much more! Everything you need in one fully-integrated package!
CentralReach is a leading provider of EHR and practice management solutions that enable applied behavior analysis (ABA) clinicians and educators to produce superior outcomes for people with autism. The company is revolutionizing the ABA space with cutting-edge solutions including precision teaching, clinical data collection, scheduling, billing, and learning management. Trusted by more than 50,000 clinicians and educators, CentralReach is committed to the ABA community.
Centricity Practice Solution is a highly usable and exceptionally customizable solution for ambulatory practices. The Centricity EMR module enables you to practice medicine your own way and helps you tackle industry change head on. Put the power of Centricity technology, along with the exceptional service from Quatris Healthco, to work for your practice today.On its own, or paired with Centricity Practice Management, Centricity EMR is a powerful solution for your practice.
The philosophy behind the Praxis EMR electronic medical records platform is that no two doctor’s offices are alike, and EMR software needs to be customizable and versatile in order to support today's healthcare industry. By bringing this innovative approach to health record management, this EMR system is supporting healthcare providers in key ways. One way to describe the utility of Praxis EMR as a cloud-based EHR and EMR system is as a self-learning resource. By accumulating and presenting data, Praxis EMR can help doctors to look at real trends and establish the commonality of various kinds of presentations. By using this intuitive software, doctors can figure out how to most efficiently document common cases, and how to tackle the more rare cases that emerge in their offices.
Transform your practice with CureMD’s Cloud-based Electronic Health Record in a way you never imagined before. With a powerful knowledgebase, CureMD EHR version 10g is built for usability, performance and reliability. It delivers the unthinkable – an enterprise grade Specialty-specific solution for a fraction of the cost compared to the competition.
Conventional medical billing systems give you just software. athenaCollector delivers more, combining our network of over 75,000 providers, our continuously updated rules engine, and our back-office teams working on your behalf. Our experts take on your most time-consuming tasks, like claim submission and follow-up, denial management, payment posting and more, getting practices paid 6% more, and 32% faster.1 By working at massive scale for our 72,000+ clients, athenahealth drives results with unparalleled accuracy and efficiency. It’s part of our proven approach.
Innovative, functional and easy to use: it’s time to experience PrimeSUITE®, the integrated electronic health record (EHR) and practice management solution from Greenway Health™. Certified for meaningful use Stage 2 and prevalidated for patient-centered medical home (PCMH), PrimeSUITE offers better solutions for organizations of all sizes.
As a competitive platform for electronic health record and practice management cloud-based software, CareCloud helps doctor’s offices to assess information and make decisions. This customized cloud-based solution looks at patient care, medical billing and all sorts of practice administration tasks with the same intuitive engineering and design. Get effective medical practice management tools for any type of office, whether it's a cardiology office, a dermatology office or a primary care provider.
e-MDs Cloud Solutions is the answer for clinicians who need the latest technology coupled with extreme high usability to help them cope with a changing, increasingly complex medical practice environment. Cloud Solutions is written from the ground up as a true browser-based Electronic Health Record (EHR). Created by a company founded and lead by a doctor, the result is a true physician’s EHR that models the excellence of e-MDs 16 years of market experience, and the advantage of the input of thousands of physicians
A versatile electronic medical record software tool helps medical provider offices to streamline clinical workflows and work efficiently in a high-stakes, high-pressure field. eClinicalWorks EHR/PM is made to accomplish key objectives in healthcare: its cloud-based EHR design assures doctors and others of competent medical billing procedures, a good interconnected EHR system, and great communications and interoperability for architectures.
Getting paid may not be everything, but it’s close. MedicsPremier enables that with a remarkable 99% success rate on first-attempt clearinghouse claims as reported by Emdeon. Add to that its CPT / DG linking, Auto-Eligibility Checking and Auto-Modifiers, patient / provider credentialing, copayment displays, and more, MedicsPremier really is the system that gets you paid!
Allscripts Practice Management (PM) and Allscripts Payerpath form a complete solution to help physician practices of all sizes overcome rising costs, shrinking reimbursements and ever-changing regulations to improve every step of the revenue cycle.
PrognoCIS Practice Management Software help you quickly identify and confirm patient insurance benefit eligibility level and copay, work with many different - clearinghouses, efficiently manage your accounting books, and to easily reconcile patient accounting and insurance billing. It is ICD-10 compliant and Meaningful Use certified.
CareCloud Central is a medical practice management solution that boosts productivity by automating the day-to-day tasks that can slow an office manager down. Central delivers much more than medical billing software. Sure, it has the tools to help generate cleaner claims and reduce denials, but our easy-to-use practice management software also streamlines your workflow to deliver seamless handoffs across departments.
ECLIPSE® is a practice management software used by over 7,000 Chiropractic, Physical Therapy, and Medical practices across the United States. ECLIPSE® has been the leader in chiropractic software technology since 1985 and has routinely topped multiple independent surveys by state associations in the past few years. Which is what you might expect from the company that created the “zero-in” user interface, invented case management, first integrated SOAP billing, introduced the very first Windows software for healthcare providers, and developed Real Time Data Flow to eliminate competition for a patient's chart in your office.
McKesson Practice Plus™ is a complete electronic office solution that connects the clinical, billing and scheduling for multiple departments and locations to enhance workflow throughout the practice. Designed to support a high volume of variable transactions, McKesson Practice Plus has helped transform thousands of physician practices by driving productivity, saving staff time and improving reimbursement, cash flow and financial performance.
Pricing & Cost Guide for Medical Practice Management Software
See the Price/User for the top Medical Practice Management Software… plus the most important considerations and questions to ask when shopping for Medical Practice Management Software
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