Researching your medical office billing software options will be a time consuming process but not doing your homework now may result in your choosing the wrong medical claims billing software for your practice and causing numerous claim problems for you in the future. Spending the time to really research your medical billing software choices and selecting the best software package for your office is well worth the effort.
Most of the leading medical office billing software should at least enable you to do insurance claims filing (both electronic and by paper), patient billing, scheduling, as well as provide detailed reporting and accounts receivables. Many medical billing software packages will have billing options available for specific specialties such as dentists, physical therapists, chiropractors, DME or mental health providers. A growing number of medical practice billing software package s offer an electronic medical records (EMR) management option which is becoming a very popular service.
As if you didn’t have enough decisions to make, you will also need to wade into the debate of whether PC based software or Web based software is best for your health care practice or medical billing service. Here are some of the pros and cons of each:
PC BASED SOFTWARE
This is the traditional PC or client based medical office billing software which has been around for years and is still the most widely used.
- Control–The medical office billing software is actually on your computer so if the software company goes out of business you still able to continue billing your claims in most cases. (Although you would not have any technical support should you have a problem with your software).
- No monthly fees–Typically you would only have a reasonable yearly and/or support fee and potentially an additional charge if your medical office billing software vendor releases a newer version.
- Not dependent on the internet- Especially beneficial if you live in an area that does not have reliable high speed internet access to.
- Larger upfront costs–While the cost of medical practice billing software varies significantly, for more detail you can make an appointment.
WEB BASED SOFTWARE:
With the evolution of the web based (online) software, you can now easily find a wide variety of medical office billing software that you can use to file and manage your medical claims online.
- Limited upfront software fees
- Easy access to your web based data–You and your doctors can access your records safely and securely anywhere you have a computer and high speed internet access.
- Unlimited users–many offer this feature at little or no additional charge.
- Check eligibility and access EOB’s online through the web based software
- No upgrade costs–The majority do not have additional yearly or upgrade costs, (but you know the drill, always check the fine print).
- No server needed
- Automated data backup online
- Opportunity to go Paperless
- Monthly fees–The monthly fees (typically determined by the number of users) vary significantly between web based medical office billing software providers which can be cost prohibitive if you are a medical billing service and have a lot of small doctors. This may not be much of an issue if you’re a sole practitioner or part of a health care practice that has a limited number of users.
- Dependent on the internet–if your internet service goes down you no longer have access to your claims data base.
- What do you do if your web based software company goes out of business?–In our opinion, this is the negative you really need to look at closely. Make sure you are confident that you would still be able to access you data somehow should the web based software provider suddenly go out of business.