The best medical practice management software offers an all-inclusive package where you can handle billing, schedule appointments, check insurance eligibility, track claims and create customizable templates that suit your practice's workflows. Most importantly, it should be easy for the entire office to use. To reduce your office staff's workload, the software should include a portal where patients can schedule appointments online.
It's also important to have solid integrations, including those for credit card processing, ordering labs and e-prescribing. The billing software should easily integrate with EMR software so you don't have to seek outside help to use the two applications in tandem.
The implementation and integration phase can be time-consuming and costly, especially if something goes wrong, so make sure that your practice management and EMR systems are compatible.
When considering specific software to integrate with your practice, look for applications that can fully handle all office responsibilities – scheduling, billing, task management – and also provide great security and support resources.
Here's more about the specific features you'll want to look for.
There are four major administrative features to look for in a practice management application.
Automated appointment reminders: Does the software let you automate patient appointment reminders so your staff doesn't spend hours contacting patients to remind them about upcoming appointments? Also see if the application gives you several options – email, text message and phone call – for sending reminders.
A patient portal: The software should have an online portal that lets patients access their account to edit their own information, see their balances and make payments online. This reduces your workload, because a patient can preregister or modify their address or credit card information without calling the office or taking up valuable staff time by doing it in person.
Check-in and insurance verification: Your staff should be able to quickly check patients in, verify their insurance, determine the copay and collect payment at the time of service.
Document scanning: Does the application let you scan and store documents within the system, freeing your staff from unnecessary paperwork? Is it easy to locate documents in the system?
A good practice management system helps with both your practice's administrative and financial requirements. It should make collecting payments and filing insurance claims as easy as possible for your staff while using the fewest resources.
Further, the software should be able to scrub claims for errors so you don't waste resources appealing denied claims and incur further delays in payment.
Coding and Medical Record Integration
Most practice management software has an EMR counterpart that integrates directly with the software. Some companies only sell both software options as a complete suite, while others let you choose what you need.
If you already have an EMR system and don't want to switch, look for companies that partner with common EMRs and can integrate their software with your current EMR system. You may want to consider partnering with the same vendor that provides your EMR system if you're satisfied with your current software.
While not all practice management and EMR systems are compatible, all solutions should follow basic safety and privacy standards. At a minimum, they should comply with Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) regulations.
Support and Hosting
Because medical practice management software is vital to your daily operations, the manufacturer should offer support that conforms to your practice's schedule and needs. You should have access to live support or a ticketing system to quickly resolve any issues you experience with the software.
As powerful as many medical office software applications are, you may still want separate software for medical billing. Medical transcription services are still in demand for many practices. If your medical practice management software lets you choose EHR/EMR software from another company, you can start your search for the best EHR software here.