Medical Billing Software
Making The Best Choice

Choosing the right medical billing software for your practice or medical billing service is one of the most important decisions you will make. This article includes valuable information about what features to look for in your practice management software.

You may already be experienced with practice management software. If so, some of this information may be obvious or not apply to your practice. However, I encourage you to take the time to review it. You may pick up some useful tidbits.

Your medical billing software is a business tool you will use everyday. The wrong choice can cost you valuable time and thousands of dollars. You are running a business. Your decision should be based on business requirements not on emotion.

Before scheduling software demonstrations, you should decide what environment you will be working in. Are you looking for software that can be used by several users and/or at different locations? Have you considered the differences between desktop software vs. web based practice management software?

Once you know your work environment, it’s time to look at the various needs of your practice or billing service and how your software will meet those needs. Medical billing features are important but a practice should also consider additional features that improve medical office efficiency; features like the scheduling program and superbill.

The following links provide ideas about system features you should be looking for in your medical billing software. Some of these articles are in a question and answer format. I encourage you to ask your vendor these questions during your software demonstration:

Claims Management
HIPAA Compliant Software
Medical Clearinghouse
Insurance Verification
Medical Coding Software

Keep your software vendor on their toes. They are trying to get you to buy their software and will not point out its weaknesses. Remember, there is no such thing as perfect software.

Before Scheduling The Demo

There are just a few more things to do before scheduling a software demonstration.

Who are the decision makers?

Be sure the decision makers are qualified to evaluate the software. Some medical office managers are hands on with billing but others handle only the bookkeeping, personnel, and administrative functions. In that case, the medical biller will need to be involved.

A software demo should be a collaborative effort. It is important to know what the requirements are for each member of the staff.

User Requirements

Make a list of your software requirements. What is really important vs. what is nice to have? For example, if you are an OB/GYN or ophthalmologist, patient recall is very important to you. If you are psychiatrist, you won’t care much about a sophisticated coding tool.

Hardware

Computer hardware can be just as expensive as your software. It's important to know ALL your costs up front. Before scheduling a demonstration, ask your vendor to send you a list of hardware requirements. This list should enable you to answer the following questions.



What kind of computers do you currently have? Is your hardware sufficient to meet the hardware requirements of the systems you are reviewing?


What operating system will you need?: Windows 7, Windows Vista, XP Home or Pro, Windows 2000, 2003, Mac. Depending on the answer, you may need to upgrade your computers.


How fast do the computers have to be. How much RAM do we need? Be sure your budget allows for hardware costs which are oftentimes more than the cost of the medical billing software.


Do you need a Server? Consider how many users you need and how many users will be on the system at once. This is called concurrent users.


How about logging into the system from a remote location? Can the data be shared across the network or will you have to use terminal services?

If you have carefully prepared your list of requirements and you know the hardware you will need, you will be more successful in choosing the right software for your practice or billing service.

Please contact us if you need assistance with a software purchase.

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