DrChrono is a web-based electronic medical record (EMR) system and practice management software suite that is relatively intuitive and accessible to medical practices on any budget. It lacks some of the advanced tools that more comprehensive systems in our review offer, but it has all of the most important features while keeping costs down. A neatly organized and user-friendly interface makes navigating DrChrono straightforward, even for first-time users.
DrChrono is a unified healthcare IT platform, meaning the practice management software is integrated with EMR and does not come as a stand-alone solution. It has four different pricing tiers to accommodate practices of any size, level of need and budget. The most cost-effective package, Prometheus, includes access to basic clinical and billing tools as well as patient registration, appointment reminders, credit card processing, and task management functions. The higher pricing tiers build on these features and add more useful tools, such as real-time insurance eligibility checks and claims management features. The company also offers revenue cycle management services for practices that want to outsource their medical billing.
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Ease of Use
DrChrono's ease of use is emphasized by its simplicity. Its lack of bells and whistles makes the learning curve minimal, and it still includes the most important features of practice management software at all pricing levels. Certain tools are only available at higher pricing levels, though, including electronic prescriptions and claims management features.
DrChrono's user interface is simple and well organized, displaying the major applications in tabs across the top of the window. These tabs include the scheduling tool, patient information, a clinical module and a billing module. The tabs are organized to naturally flow through a typical patient visit, starting with setting the appointment and registering the patient, moving to the clinical encounter itself, and ending with the billing and claims process. When you use DrChrono's medical billing services, the company will take captured charges and scrub them prior to submission to payers. It makes sure the coding is accurate and flags any potential errors that could result in rejection. Then, the DrChrono billing team will submit your claims to the appropriate payers through a clearinghouse. Any rejected or denied claims will be revised and resubmitted.
DrChrono is unique amongst practice management software in that it offers a 30-day free trial that you can use in an active clinical environment to test out the program. The limited free trial includes access to a custom patient form builder, a patient check-in tool, scheduling functions, clinical charts, a task manager and a secure messaging inbox.
Pricing and Fees
DrChrono offers four pricing packages, each of which starts at a highly competitive monthly rate. All pricing tiers include a dedicated account manager, a training team and data migration support. Unlimited staff accounts are also included in all pricing packages.
- Prometheus: The Prometheus package starts at $200 per provider per month. It includes a basic patient portal and mobile application, as well as patient check-in at an office kiosk or via app. Prometheus also includes credit card processing, task management tools, unlimited email reminders, and 100 phone and text reminders. You can receive 150 electronic faxes per month.
- Hippocrates: The Hippocrates package starts at $260 per provider per month, which is still highly competitive with the other systems in our review. Hippocrates builds on Prometheus by adding electronic prescribing of controlled substances, lab integrations and real-time insurance eligibility checks. It also offers a monthly allotment of 150 phone and text appointment reminders and 400 electronic faxes.
- Apollo: The Apollo package starts at $300 per provider per month, but it can go up to $500 per provider per month. In addition to increasing phone and text reminders to 300 per month and electronic faxes to 1,000 per month, Apollo enables the use of an integrated claims management tool in the billing module. It also includes posting of Electronic Remittance Advice (ERA).
- Apollo Plus: The Apollo Plus package is DrChrono's outsourced revenue cycle management plan, which costs a percentage of your practice's monthly collections dependent upon your claims volume, the value of your claims and the complexity of your billing operations. Apollo Plus also gives you access to DrChrono's advanced business intelligence tools, which greatly increase the available data in the reporting module.
DrChrono offers all the key features we looked for in practice management software. The software keeps things simple, and while it lacks the advanced features of some more expensive software, it still offers the tools necessary to manage a medical practice effectively. These are its key features:
DrChrono's appointment scheduler is in a typical calendar format, which you can view by day, week or month. In columns across the calendar, the scheduler can show multiple providers or locations if your practice has more than one office. You can also configure the columns to display specific exam rooms. All aspects of the calendar have drag-and-drop functionality, making it easy to reschedule or reassign appointments. All appointments can be color-coded to provide information about a visit at a glance. For example, different types of appointments can have their own colors.
To create a new appointment, you click in an open time slot on the calendar under the appropriate provider or location. A pop-up box will appear, allowing you to search for an existing patient or register a new patient in the system. Existing patients' information will automatically populate and allow you to quickly set the appointment. For new patients, you have to fill out some additional fields. Setting a new appointment does not require you to navigate away from the main calendar window.
Any required consent or intake forms associated with the appointment type will be automatically sent to the patient via the patient portal. You can set custom reminders for patients to fill out these forms prior to their visit, or they can complete them at a kiosk when they arrive. Once a patient's information is set in the scheduler, you can run a real-time insurance eligibility check against DrChrono's integrated clearinghouse to ensure your patient is still covered.
Once a provider has signed off on a patient's chart in the EMR, the data will go through to DrChrono's billing module. Providers have the option to add CPT and ICD-10 codes from the software's built-in libraries during the patient encounter, so some charges will already be captured for the medical coder's review. With the Apollo Plus package, DrChrono's billing staff takes over at this point, although you can monitor their progress directly in the software.
DrChrono's billing module includes a live claims feed, which shows the claim ID, associated patient, provider, payer and amount billed. The feed also includes the status of the claim and the amount paid once the insurance company has accepted and paid it. If a claim has been generated but not yet submitted, a red exclamation mark will appear in the status column. Once it's paid, any payer adjustments to the claim will also appear. The totals of your billed amounts, allowed amounts and payer adjustments appear on the top line of the live claims feed. The feed is searchable by patient, payer, provider and claim number.
The billing module also includes a patient payment tab, which allows you to manage outstanding patient balances and copays. You can monitor your accounts receivable through the billing module to ensure you are getting paid quickly for your services.
DrChrono offers a wide range of reports that pull data from the billing and financial performance modules of the medical practice management software, as well as clinical data from the EMR system. Reports are highly customizable and can be exported to Microsoft Excel for additional flexibility. For example, you could run a report that shows all patients who have not been to the practice for an appointment within the past year. You could also run a report that shows the days in accounts receivable of claims associated with a particular payer through the last six months.
If you outsource your billing to DrChrono's revenue cycle management team, you can monitor the progress of the billing team in real time through the billing module. DrChrono's billers appear on the software just like any other user at your medical practice would, granting you full visibility into the daily operations and financial performance of your billing partners.
Implementation and Training
Implementation and training are included in the subscription price of DrChrono, which saves you money compared to the many systems that require additional payments for these services. The company boasts one of the quicker implementation periods we found in our research, completing system configuration in as little as 60 days.
When you sign up with DrChrono at any pricing tier, you are assigned a dedicated account manager who oversees implementation and provides one-on-one training sessions for your staff members. The company will also migrate the data from your old EMR and practice management software if you need it. Implementation also includes assistance with provider enrollment and credentialing with payers and third parties, such as labs and pharmacies. DrChrono's implementation and training period is a guided process that it tailors to your medical practice's needs.
Our customer service experience with DrChrono was excellent. We quickly connected with a representative who was friendly and knowledgeable. He gave us access to a free trial after our call, allowing us to take DrChrono for a test spin, which was especially useful. Many other vendors did not provide this level of access to the product prior to a demo.
When you need customer support, you can contact your dedicated account manager directly. They will help you resolve any problems, including directing your requests for technical support. DrChrono also maintains a ticket system with a one-hour turnaround for 90% of issues. This system is designed to handle small complaints, saving your account manager for major problems and guidance.
DrChrono's most cost-effective pricing tier, Prometheus, is significantly limited. It excludes key features that medical practices might want, so you might need to pay more to meet your needs. For example, it does not include electronic prescriptions, nor does it integrate with Quest Diagnostics or LabCorp.
Prometheus also lacks real-time insurance eligibility checks, claims management tools and automated ERA posting. It restricts text and phone reminders for patient appointments to 100 each per month as well. If these are features you consider essential to your medical practice, consider upgrading to a higher pricing tier, each of which remains competitively priced for systems in our review.
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