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Kareo Review

Adam C. Uzialko
, writer
| Updated
Nov 14, 2018
> Human Resources

Our pick for the best electronic health record (EHR) system for small practices is Kareo, because it is an easy to use, cloud-based solution that takes little effort to deploy and remains effective despite its inexpensive pricing. It can be difficult to find all that in an EHR, which often makes implementation and deployment difficult and risky for small practices. Kareo does a good job of achieving a successful launch for small practices without dragging them through a difficult implementation, draining them of resources, or killing productivity during the training period.



The Best Electronic Medical Record (EMR) Software of 2019

The Verdict

Kareo is our best pick for electronic health record (EHR) systems for small practices because it is an inexpensive, easy to use, cloud-based EHR solution that is easy to deploy and effective at what it does.

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

Kareo is focused specifically on small practices, which affords the company the expertise of working within the limitations of a small practice's budget and time constraints. It also means Kareo understands the specific needs of small practices compared with those of larger practices, enterprise systems and hospitals.

Kareo also has no contractual requirements, meaning your practice can cancel at any time if you're dissatisfied with service. Many electronic medical records (EMR) system vendors make this difficult, and the level of sunk costs in implementation and training make it hard to walk away even when things don't pan out as expected. Since Kareo keeps these costs to a minimum, walking away is not as onerous a burden as it is with more expensive or sprawling solutions.

Features and ease of use

Kareo is a simple EHR that keeps its features focused on the essential tools small businesses need, like a central dashboard, charting tool, scheduler, billing module and marketing module. This keeps the user interface clean and easy to navigate, even when all the modules included in the practice management solution are integrated with the EHR.

When users sign in to the cloud-based application via web browser (Kareo recommends Firefox or Chrome), they will see a daily patient schedule and any appointments that have been scheduled on the system. In the top left corner of the screen, users can navigate through a series of icons that represent different Kareo modules. Modules a practice subscribes to will be available, and all others will be greyscale. Modules include platform, clinical EHR, billing, and marketing. Each tab supports several different functions:

  • The platform module contains tabs for general information, including the current agenda, patient profiles, and the practice calendar.
  • The clinical module includes tabs like "clinical tasks," which show any assignments that have been added to a user or provider on the EHR system, and "clinical reports," which allow users to generate specific reports based on system data. This is also where functions like prescribing, lab testing, and referrals are completed.
  • The billing module is home to practice management and revenue cycle management functions, like claims scrubbing and submission, as well as revenue analytics.
  • The marketing module allows users to gather data about provider performance and patient feedback, as well as a tool that can broadcast a message to all patients via the patient portal.

Kareo includes features like a patient portal, which allows patients to log in from their home computer or mobile device and communicate with providers, view their payment status, request appointments, and fill out intake forms before arriving for an appointment. Kareo also maintains a scheduling tool and calendar that is available to all users so that front office staff and healthcare providers are on the same page about who is scheduled for a visit, when, and which provider they are supposed to see. Kareo also offers a telemedicine feature, which allows patients to meet with doctors via video conference for minor complaints.

Implementation and training

Another huge bonus Kareo offers to small practices is implementation support and training that are fully included in the subscription price of the software. Many other EMR vendors require additional fees for support and training, but every Kareo account comes with a dedicated account representative from the company whom helps guide your team through the process and makes sure you hit certain benchmarks on time, like setting up e-prescribing and registering patients.

Kareo boasts one of the easier implementation processes out of the EMR vendors we reviewed. At the time of account creation, the company schedules a kickoff call with the practice, where every user will be set up on the system. In the next step, staff can go through one-on-one training specifically tailored to their role in the practice. Courses include training for healthcare providers, clinical assistant training, office manager training, and biller training.

Beyond one-on-one training, Kareo maintains pre-recorded 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 in the same day that the account is activated and are restricted only by how long it takes the staff to learn the system.

The e-prescribing feature can sometimes take a bit longer to get off the ground because the system must be configured to interface with the proper pharmacies. As a result, e-prescribing can take up to a week to launch. Insurance billing for Medicare and Medicaid is perhaps the longest feature to launch, sometimes taking up to six weeks. To hit the intended go-live date, Kareo will get all other aspects of the EHR implemented with four to six weeks before launch, giving ample time for insurance billing to go through.


Kareo offers a straightforward per provider, per month pricing module. Practices have the option of selecting either a standalone EHR or an EHR with an integrated practice management system. Neither plan includes startup fees nor a contractual obligation, meaning the practice is free to switch vendors if Kareo fails to meet expectations.

For a standalone EHR, Kareo charges $300 per provider, per month. For the integrated EHR/practice management option, Kareo charges $500 per provider, per month. Pricing in each plan includes all EHR features, as well as implementation support and training. Kareo is specifically focused on small practices, particularly those with one to six healthcare providers.

Kareo is significantly less expensive than many other EMR vendors we reviewed, especially given its lack of startup and implementation costs. Considering its effectiveness and attention to the specific needs of small practices, Kareo is a great option for the money that provides a great deal of value in terms of both service and features.

Customer service

Our experience with Kareo's customer service department was nothing short of excellent. We called posing as a hypothetical practice that would soon open in central New Jersey with five healthcare providers. We asked for a quote for both standalone EHR and an integrated EHR and practice management system. We also asked about the implementation and training process and what we could expect from the company in terms of support if we chose to partner with them. The sales representative was friendly and forthcoming, and laid out the process in detail. She was not pushy or disinterested when we expressed we would not be making a buying decision anytime soon.

In addition to answering all our questions and promptly providing a quote, the representative also followed up with a new practice checklist and EHR feature comparison checklist, which she said we could use as we launched our practice and investigated other EHR vendors. We received one follow up call from the representative later that week, but we were not pushed to buy at any point in our interactions. We first contacted Kareo via live chat and then spoke with representatives on the phone. Both interactions were informative, helpful, and pleasant.

Kareo's customer support, which comes included with the subscription price and is fully U.S.-based, is available Monday through Friday, 8:00 am to 8:00 pm ET. Kareo also maintains several online resources, including written material and videos, on its website under the help section.

Editor's note: Looking for an electronic medical records system? Click the Compare Quotes button below to have our sister site Buyer Zone connect you with vendors that can help.



The Best Electronic Medical Record (EMR) Software of 2019

The Verdict

Kareo is our best pick for electronic health record (EHR) systems for small practices because it is an inexpensive, easy to use, cloud-based EHR solution that is easy to deploy and effective at what it does.

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, Adam freelances for several outlets. An indispensable ally of the feline race, Adam is owned by four lovely cats.