There’s a lot more to running a medical practice than just treating patients. Physicians and administrators balance human resources and ever-changing regulations. They make daily decisions that involve vendor relationships and revenue streams. Technology can make many aspects of healthcare easier with claims processing software and systems that coordinate aspects of patient care. However, many physicians find themselves juggling different systems for scheduling, reporting and billing, and it bogs down office processes. Find out how medical practice management software can help, how it relates to your clearinghouse and how to choose the best for your facility.
What Is Medical Practice Management Software?
Medical Practice Management (MPM) software streamlines office processes. Instead of using separate systems for entering health records, creating reports and processing insurance transactions, the systems are integrated into one platform. The software handles almost every back office function. It may include the following components:
- Medical scheduling software – This product allows office staff to view doctor and staff member availability and use it to schedule patient appointments. When staff makes a change in one area, it reflects throughout the system.
- Medical billing software – Practices enter patient billing information and prepare claims for submission to insurance.
Electronic medical records (EMR) software is typically separate from a facility’s MPM. Medical practice management software integrates information necessary for facility administration, while EMR stores medical information related to health and treatment history. The government requires healthcare facilities use an EMR to store patient care, so it’s important to choose a MPM that either integrates with your EMR or contains both in one package.
Medical practice management software may also come with an online patient portal, so patients can schedule appointments, review medical documentation and submit payments online.
How Your Practice Benefits
Healthcare providers get greater efficiency, easier records access and simplified billing. Even with small practices, there’s more going on in the office than any one staff member can keep up with. An MPM centralizes information so each person involved in patient care is working from the same data.
Software offers an overview of appointments, so each staff member can see the tasks they haven’t yet completed. Workflows are streamlined, and staff members don’t forget the details that cost practices money.
Records stay safe and easy to access. Where in the past practices kept patient and insurance records in file folders and cabinets, now they’re available with a few clicks. If doctors need information on a patient’s health history or current medications, they don’t have to send someone to find their file, they can pull it up from their laptop or mobile device while they’re in the exam room with the patient.
Patients benefit because they receive more immediate care. They have improved rapport with their physician because they feel their provider is knowledgeable about their needs.
When staff members need information for insurance, billing and scheduling, they find it all in one place. There’s no need for continually inputting patient data, so they make fewer mistakes.
When MPM and EMR systems are linked, providers combine patient records with medical histories for even better service. Send lab results automatically to patients at the same time as they’re automatically filed on the patient’s records and passed to the physician for follow-up.
One of the most measurable benefits involves simplified billing. MPM lets providers bill patients, send claims to insurers and receive payment from multiple sources. They also allow providers and patients to see payment history and current balances to reduce the time between billing and payment collection.
Additional MPM Software Capabilities
In addition to simplified billing and scheduling, MPM software comes with these capabilities:
- Registration portal – The first time patients visit a facility, they have an extensive amount of paperwork to complete. MPM software allows them to fill in their demographic information online, reducing the amount of time they spend in the office and the number of pages staff have to file. When the patient enters their own name, address, and insurance information, that data is more likely to be completed correctly. Their information transfers automatically to medical billing software and to the EMR system. Incorrect patient and insurance information is one of the leading causes of returned claims, and MPM dramatically reduces the risk of error. Practices can also send the information to their insurance company to verify coverage.
- Document organization – Instead of filing every prescription and medical bill in the office, staff can scan documentation and store it in the MPM.
- Inventory administration – Use your MPM to track orders, check in supplies from vendors, evaluate supply levels and update inventory as physicians dispense supplies to patients.
What About Your Medical Billing Clearinghouse?
A medical billing clearinghouse helps with medical claims processing by accepting claims from the provider, scrubbing them for errors and passing them onto insurance payers. They also make sure codes are valid and that procedure and diagnosis codes are appropriately assigned. Clearinghouses eliminate almost all of the processing errors that cause returned claims and delayed payments. Your MPM and medical billing clearinghouse can work together to gather patient data, make sure it’s correctly submitted and receive payment from each patient’s insurance provider.
Highest Rated MPM Software
The best medical practice management software depends on the size of your practice and the features you require. Here are a few of the most popular.
- CareCloud – This software is used by thousands of providers and is appropriate for practices of all sizes. It is available as a cloud-based platform and allows for up to 499 users. Some of its features include claims management, insurance verification and multi-physician capabilities.
- Kareo – Small practices with fewer than 100 employees use Kareo for in-house billing and practice management. The software can be cloud based or installed on Windows machines and offers a free trial for interested practices.
- MedicsPremier – This software includes features necessary for specialty providers like behavioral health providers and radiologists. It includes patient-accessible EHR and billing capabilities, but not insurance verification or multi-physician functions.
- PatientPop – Private practices and single physicians use this software in the cloud or install it on both Windows and Apple devices. It costs $600/month for a range of features and offers a free trial.
Doctors, dentists, optometrists, chiropractors and medical specialists choose their career because they want to make life better for patients. Medical billing software, practice management software and your medical billing clearinghouse can all work together to give you more time to spend on patient care and improve experiences for everyone who enters the doors of your facility.