AdvancedMD Software Review

AdvancedMD is a true online web-based practice management system. It is available to anyone with user access and a Windows operating system. The software is designed for seamless integration with the physician, office staff, and medical biller. It is one of the systems that we use in our medical billing service.

System requirements are an important consideration when purchasing software. AdvancedMD has minimal system requirements. There are no servers, backup requirements, or hardware support costs. AdvancedMD is a service not a software purchase. The support costs are included in the monthly fee. Find out if this type of service is cost effective for your office by reading the details about web based medical billing software.

Graphic User Interface or GUI - The data entry screens for support files, patient demographics, appointment scheduler, claims inspector, and collections list are well laid out and easy to read.
Patient history, transaction entry, and payment entry screens have very small text boxes, buttons, and lots of detail fit onto one screen. While it is helpful to have all information in one window, it is still very busy to look at. It is not a deal breaker, just something to get used, and it certainly has an impact on the learning curve.

Patient Scheduler - AdvancedMD has a very sophisticated patient scheduler. Dates, times, and appointment intervals are customizable by provider. Time can be blocked out or held as needed. Multiple views are available by day,week, and month, appointments can be color coded by reason. Patients can be easily checked in and superbills printed. Patient copays are posted through the scheduler and receipts printed. The user can choose the appropriate authorization and referring provider for the visit.

The best feature in the scheduler, and in the software in general, is the integration of the scheduler with charge entry. Charges can be quickly entered because a list of patients is pulled from the scheduler. This feature is a great audit tool because it provides an automatic reconciliation of charges to patients seen.

Demographics/Support Files/Insurance Entry - In patient demographics, you can search for patients in a wide variety of ways. There is an automatic zipcode feature. Custom fields can be created and used in reports. The software supplies automatic CPT and diagnosis code updates. The charge codes can be classified by type for better reporting and inventory is available. You can set up multiple charge and insurance allowed amounts by financial class. Insurance carrier history is stored by date.
You cannot set defaults for demographic entry. Other than financial class, there are no additional fields to categorize patients that can be used for reporting through filters. In some areas, the software requires more use of the mouse than I would like, however, the repetitive functions like posting charges and payments use keyboard commands.

Transaction Entry and Patient Ledger AdvancedMD is an extremely efficient system if the provider and office staff participate in the billing process. At a minimum, if the scheduler is used properly, transaction entry and paymentposting works smoothly. The ledger is color coded to reflect charges, payments, and adjustments. Insurance payment posting is driven by visit number and when allowed amounts are set up properly, this process goes quickly. Adding notes and documentation is very good throughout the program.
Working in the ledger requires a fair number of screen changes if you have to unapply and reapply payments and adjustments or transfer amounts to/from insurance or patient responsibility.

Claims Processing is where this software shines because the integration with the McKesson clearinghouse is seamless. In the Claims Manager module, the claims are reviewed by the biller, inspected for errors, rejected claims reprocessed, and clearinghouse reports reviewed. Electronically rebilling claims is also very easy. Paper claims are generated through Microsoft Word, therefore, they can be edited prior to printing. The program offers several levels of edits. Insurance edits check for invalid policy numbers and such. CCS (Correct Coding Initiative) edits check for errors in CPT, diagnosis codes, modifiers, etc.
If you process all claims electronically (set up the system to have McKesson print your paper claims), then the system is very efficient. Billing paper claims in bulk also works fine. However, billing paper claims individually is a slow process. Personally, I like the flexibility to easily print one claim at a time, especially if it enables me to clear paperwork off my desk. I also don't like the fact that I have to close the day before processing claims. This creates problems when two users are working at separate locations and have to attach notes or referrals to paper claims.

Electronic Remittance Processing - Electronic remittance is a seamless process. Remittance files are automatically populated in the Remittance Processing module and can be easily posted.
If the allowed amounts stored in the system do not match the allowed amounts in the remittance, the ERA requires manual intervention to post. In these cases, it is easier to post the ERA manually. The system works best when all the allowed amounts are set up and maintained correctly. If you are billing secondary insurance carriers and need a copy of the EOB, they can be looked up by visit number which is a great feature. However, there is no easy way to know which page of the EOB to print. An enhancement in this area would be nice to have.

Deposit Entry/Insurance Payment Application - A payment made at the time of service can be easily processed through the scheduler and then it will be automatically applied to the charge when it is entered. This is a great feature. Because claims are created by visit, it is easy to post insurance payments. By entering the visit number from the EOB, the correct date of service is selected automatically. The payments will be distributed for you if the allowed amounts are set up correctly.
Entering deposits is easy, however, you cannot recreate a deposit slip after the day is closed. Also, it is difficult to trace a payment in the ledger back to the deposit without the batch report.

Statements can be handled electronically or printed on paper and they look very professional. You can prevent statements from printing for a patient, add notes, use cycle billing, and set up collections rules to generate dunning messages and collections letters.
Statement management is very powerful but it is also complex and requires extensive training. It is important to use great care when setting up statement rules. If you plan to send statements electronically, I recommend generating paper statements first, until you are confident that the setup is correct.

Collections - If you like a completely paperless system, then AdvancedMD is a good choice for you. The Collections List is a completely automated online aging process. Collections work is assigned by user. The list is recalculated daily based on followup date so collections are handled much more efficiently.

In addition, the system also has a Denial Tracking List. You can easily post EOBs and place denied claims in a hold category to be researched later.

Reports - There are a wide variety of reports in AdvancedMD and the data can be downloaded for use with Microsoft Access if more complex reports are required. The program has a period close feature which allows you to run "locked down" reports for previous time frames. Also, the system can generate reports that reflect reimbursements for a specific time period. Providers often like this type of information.
Despite the number of reports, there are some limitations on filtering of information and using Microsoft Access to customize reports requires programming skills.

Security - As you would expect with an online program, the system security is very good. User access can be restricted by feature and then, by activity within each feature. You can run production reports by user, check the audit trail, or verify user entry in order to see what is really happening within the office.

Accounting - AdvancedMD has batch capability, stores history, and has a period close feature. These strong accounting features make it an excellent choice for multi-provider practices. Read about batch vs. real time processing in the review of Medisoft. See how this feature affects your practice or billing service.

Interoffice Messaging - One of the features I really like is the ability to send tasks back and forth to other users. This is especially handy when you are off-site. In addition, tasks can be used as reminders to follow up on authorizations and such.

Integration - AdvancedMD has its own EHR software and integrates with other products as well.

System Performance/Technical Issues - The software has very good performance and speed. If you have many simultaneous users (over 10), you may want to think about getting a T1 line. The service is very reliable. I have been using it for five years and have had only four hours of downtime due to a network problem.

The training and technical support is very good. There are online webinars you can watch to improve your knowledge.

In summary, AdvancedMD is typically best suited for multi-location, full-time providers in a large practice setting where strong financial accounting and audit features are required. It handles high volume claim processing through the use of the Claims Manager, Collections List, and Denial Tracking. In addition, the practice will benefit by saving administrative time through the use of online charge slip, scanning, integrated forms, mail merged documents, etc.

It is important to be aware that the software is complex and has a very long learning curve. It is pretty intuitive in some areas but not in others. It does a lot, so it takes a lot to learn how to use it. As I've said, the software works most efficiently when the practice staff participates in the process.

One of our billing service clients is a chemical dependency recovery facility and we implemented AdvancedMD for them because it is a perfect fit for their type of practice. We have one provider and 15 users. They have several locations and we shuffle no paper because everything is scanned. We take advantage of the referral features for authorizations and we use form and mail merge features for our correspondence. In addition, our clinicians record their chart notes using the progress note feature.

AdvancedMD is a great fit for the right practice. You really have to see it to appreciate it. Please contact us if you are interested in a software demonstration.

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