Medical Billing Software Buyers Guide
Last updated: June 07, 2023
Medical Billing Software—How to Optimize Your Practice
Isn’t it better to focus on what’s important—your patients—rather than the tedious work involved in administration and billing? That’s part of the attraction of medical billing software and why there are so many products to select from these days: Automation makes life easier for everyone.
Your challenge is this: How do you discern which the best of the bunch is? We made it easy by compiling a compact, informative guide. Compare the billing programs (also called practice management software) with the facts below and you’ll quickly identify which one is your best investment.
If you’re still not sure if this is worth the expense though, scan the list of advantages first.
The Benefits of Medical Billing Software
You live in a convenient time in history where so much can be automated by technology. It’s no different in the medical industry and medical billing software will add these advantages to your day to day functioning:
- You’ll collect more payments
- Gain access to reports about your practice with the click of a button
- Monitor and use patient’s insurance information easier than before
- Ensure code claims are done correctly the first time
This will see your revenue improve and minimize staff members’ workload, but only if you pick the appropriate package. So, let’s help you decide.
How to Pick Your Practice Management Software
You’ll meet many vendors and sales people who view their products as the best on the market. This list will tell you which features are really valuable, so you don’t pay for superfluous add ons.
Also remember: Your practice management software must be relevant to you. What works for another practice, may not be best for you. Here’s how you determine what you need.
What Type of Customer Are You?
All practices aren’t the same. The risk of not picking the right software program includes:
- Paying for features your small practice won’t use
- Not having enough capacity to effectively handle a large organisation’s (e.g. hospital) bills
- Having billing functions not appropriate to your practice type; specialists who often require very lightweight packages
- Having form templates unrelated to your functioning such as CMS-1500 (more appropriate for outpatient care facilities) vs UB-04
Discuss these concerns with potential service providers and opt for the one that can guarantee relevancy to your niche.
Does it Suit Your Budget?
Here’s the good news: You can pick a product that aligns with your budget. There are even some free versions available which are funded through advertisements. Of course, a paid for product will be more dynamic.
A differentiating factor is whether you pick a program that’s deployed on site or not. You’ll have initial capital investments for licences, servers and hardware, as well as ongoing maintenance & support fees. A cheaper option may be SaaS, but you’ll still pay monthly fees for which you can compare medical billing software prices on Software Finder.
You may also pay more for a mobile feature and this is extremely valuable: You’ll save time when you can access it from anywhere and you can engage with patients online. This could lead to more payments coming in.
Remember that medical billing service should enable you to increase your revenue. Therefore, if managed correctly, you’ll eventually cover the costs of your software, simply by improving your bottom line. Therefore any expense should be seen as a long term investment.
Is It User Friendly?
If your staff members waste a lot of time using the software because it’s too complicated, it won’t give you the ROI you’re hoping for. A smart move is to discuss needs and preferences with staff first. Find a program that matches their expectations—and the programs they’re used to working on already—and your transition period will be smooth and short.
Training & Support: Will the Service Provider Help?
This links closely with user friendliness, but it’s all about the quality of the vendor: What do other users say about them? You want in depth training to make implementation effortless. You also want 24/7 support so your downtime is kept to a minimum if anything ever goes wrong. If you don’t have a resident IT team this is a vital feature.
Does it Work For Your Niche/Specialty?
The medical industry has many specialties and any software you use must cater for your niche. General systems won’t work for specialists. Gauge a product’s value in terms of how a similar practice than yours rated its functionality.
Interfacing & Integration: Is it Possible?
It’s ideal if your billing system will integrate with other software in your office. It will be much easier to copy patient details and other data.
One example is interfacing with your EHR (Electronic Health Records). While this system contains details about health records and appointments it makes sense that it should communicate with your billing software: As soon as a procedure is done, the relevant information can be sent through for bills and claims.
Consider the Value of Reports and Analysis
You won’t know how your practice performs financially or otherwise if you can’t analyze data. But doing this manually is time consuming and paying an expert is unnecessary these days: Your billing software should be able to do it for you:
- Find out who refers the most patients to your specialist practice and use the data to plan networking
- Know more about geographical data of patients to understand where to open a new branch or which other professionals to partner with in the region
- Manage cash flow better
Can You Engage With Patients?
In the modern age consumers appreciate personal engagement. You may see accounts settled faster if you can easily send payment reminders. Having an online, mobile medical billing software may also attract more patients who value practitioners who move with the times.
It’s time to do business the modern way. In the 21st century you’re spoiled for choice in terms of medical equipment and medicine to help patients. Help yourself—and them—by now upgrading your billing system too.