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Kareo Review

By
Adam C. Uzialko
,
business.com writer
|
Sep 26, 2019
Image Credit: Pornpak Khunatorn / Getty Images
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> Technology
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Kareo's EMR and integrated practice management software offers an intuitive and well-organized user interface that is relatively easy to learn, even for first-time users. In addition, Kareo offers significant implementation support and training at no additional cost.

Kareo

Kareo

The Best Electronic Medical Record (EMR) Software for 2020

The Verdict

Kareo's EMR solution is very user-friendly. It offers multiple shortcuts for streamlining both the front office and clinical examination processes. Kareo also offers significant implementation support and training at no additional cost.

View all of our recommendations for electronic medical records systems on our best picks page.

Kareo is particularly focused on small practices; it's ideal for new practices or practices that can't afford interruptions due to a lengthy implementation period.

Ease of Use

Kareo is a user-friendly EMR software program. The clinical component of the software offers a lot of shortcuts that make it easy to take advantage of the software's tools without navigating away from a page. This shortcuts feature is especially helpful during patient encounters when providers want to add clinical notes to a patient's record, but they also need to jump between various screens and functions, such as reviewing the patient's history or ordering a prescription.

Kareo does a good job compactly organizing all of its tools. The interface never feels overly cluttered or difficult to navigate, and you can usually find the tool you need by simply clicking around if you're not familiar with the software.

Kareo provides training with the software at no extra cost. Most staff members and providers should be able to learn to use Kareo effectively in short order with little downtime to your practice.

Features

Kareo offers an integrated EMR and practice management platform. In addition to its user-friendly interface, here are some other features we were impressed with.

Dashboard

The Kareo dashboard provides a relatively simple overview of patients scheduled for particular providers for each day. To select a provider, check the relevant boxes next to each doctor's name on the left side of the screen. The middle of the screen then populates with the assigned patients. On the right side of the screen, you can view outstanding items, such as new messages or lab results. 

To view more information about a patient, click on their name. A popup appears that shows their appointment time, name, date of birth, reason for their visit, the patient's current insurance, their copay, authorizations and current eligibility. It also displays outstanding patient balances, which can be collected directly in the system. Kareo is integrated with payment processor Stripe, which charges 2.75% plus 30 cents per swipe. [To learn more about Kareo's medical billing service, read our review.]

One feature we especially liked was the "check eligibility for all" tool. This tool allows you to instantly check and verify that a patient is covered by insurance. Eligible patients receive a green check mark under their name and picture, while those with outstanding eligibility issues have an orange question mark that appears under their profile.

Appointment Scheduler

Kareo's scheduler primarily uses a calendar view, though it can be accessed through the dashboard as well. Calendars can be viewed by provider or location on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. Calendars are fully customizable, allowing you to color-code appointments and modify the duration of appointments. The calendar features drag-and-drop functionality, making it easy to rearrange your schedule based on cancellations and/or new appointments. 

Clinical

The clinical workflow in Kareo is similarly easy. The central dashboard displays three buckets, including "Scheduled," "In Office" and "Finished." Patients can be moved between buckets by selecting the appropriate bucket in a drop-down menu next to their name. Clicking on a patient's name brings up their record, which includes information about active medications, allergies, complaints, vitals, medical history and recent lab results. Kareo integrates with SureScripts to populate any medications filled in the last 12 months. Kareo also maintains bidirectional interfaces with LabCorp and Quest Diagnostics for lab results.

You can access clinical notes from the dashboard or the patient's record. Select the desired note for the appointment type from the dropdown menu. Notes are fully customizable, allowing you to add or remove sections at will. You can access previous notes in a popup box without navigating away from your current note. If a patient is coming in for a recurring condition or complaint, the provider can pull in data from previous visits and then edit that information manually. Kareo implementation specialists can build custom notes for practices. All notes can be modified with free typing, voice dictation using Dragon or using text shortcuts within templates. 

Kareo comes with 210 templates that can be used to expedite the note-taking process. Templates can be customized based on your practice's workflow and can be adapted to include whatever information you'd like. 

You can also utilize Kareo's e-prescribing tool directly in the patient record. When you click on "Medications," a popup appears that allows you to select active medications for renewal, or you can discontinue their use. You can also add new prescriptions to the medications list, which will be automatically sent to the patient's preferred pharmacy. Kareo will flag any potential medication interactions or conflicts with patient allergies acknowledged in the system. Lab orders work in much the same way; when you click on "Labs and Studies" in the note, a popup appears that allows you to order a new lab test on behalf of your patient.

Pricing

Kareo's EMR software comes integrated with its practice management and billing software. The company charges a flat per provider, per month rate. If you do not want to be locked into a contract, you can choose a month-to-month option with Kareo, which allows you to cancel at any time.

We were quoted a rate of $500 per provider, per month for a medical practice with three providers, or a total of $1,500 per month. Kareo offers a 10% discount if you select a 12-month contract (though this is not required,) and an additional 5% discount if you prepay for 12 months of service upfront.

Implementation

Kareo offers implementation support and training, which is included in the subscription price. Other EMR vendors charge additional fees for support and training.

Kareo also provides a dedicated account representative who will guide your team through the implementation process. This rep is assigned to you for up to four months after your practice transitions to Kareo to answer any questions your staff has or to troubleshoot any problems.

Kareo provides one-on-one training for every member of your staff based on their role in the practice. Courses include training for healthcare providers, clinical assistants, office managers and billers.

Beyond one-on-one training, Kareo has prerecorded webinars and helpful materials online that staff can access on their own time or as a refresher. Typically, scheduling and clinical EHR features can be used on the same day the account is activated and are restricted only by how long it takes the staff to learn the system.

The e-prescribing feature can take longer to activate because the system must be configured to interface with the proper pharmacies. As a result, e-prescribing can take up to a week before it's functional. Insurance billing for Medicare and Medicaid is perhaps the longest feature to launch, sometimes taking up to six weeks. Kareo will implement all other aspects of the EHR four to six weeks before the launch date to allow ample time for insurance billing to work.

Customer Service

Our experience with Kareo's customer service department was excellent. Kareo representatives were helpful in assisting us before, during and after the software demonstration. They were forthcoming and answered all our questions in detail. They also sent us any additional information we requested, including a breakdown of estimated pricing.

We were never pushed to make a buying decision during our lengthy correspondence with Kareo, especially after we expressed that we were only researching several EMR options for our hypothetical practice.

Kareo's customer support is available Monday through Friday, 8:00 am to 8:00 pm ET.

Editor's note: Looking for an electronic medical records system? Fill out the questionnaire below and our vendor partners will contact you with more information.

Kareo

Kareo

The Best Electronic Medical Record (EMR) Software for 2020

The Verdict

Kareo's EMR solution is very user-friendly. It offers multiple shortcuts for streamlining both the front office and clinical examination processes. Kareo also offers significant implementation support and training at no additional cost.

Adam C. Uzialko
Adam C. Uzialko
Adam C. Uzialko, a New Jersey native, graduated from Rutgers University in 2014 with a degree in political science and journalism and media studies. He reviews healthcare information technology, call centers, document management software and employee monitoring software. In addition to his full-time position at Business News Daily and business.com, Adam freelances for several outlets. An indispensable ally of the feline race, Adam is owned by four lovely cats.