What is Practice Management Software?
Medical practice management systems help physicians and their staff record patient demographics, manage charge capture, perform billing procedures, generate reports, and schedule appointments through patient scheduling applications. Sometimes referred to as Physician's Office management and Medical Information Systems (POMIS), practice management solutions can dramatically improve a doctor's clinical workflow efficiency and often boost reimbursements from health care insurance companies and other providers. We've written this guide to help buyers understand trends in the medical management software market and provide medical practice management software reviews to help them find the right system to meet their needs.
Healthcare practice management software is typically deployed on-premise (i.e. in-office) or hosted as web based practice management software. Key differences between the two delivery models include how managers access the program (via an internal server or over the web) and how the system is priced. Web-based EMR solutions and online practice management software are typically paid for on an ongoing basis and have lower upfront costs, while on-premise physician practice management software systems usually involve more upfront payment but lower ongoing costs. These systems can be combined with electronic medical records for a fully integrated medical suite.
Market Trends You Should Understand
Consider the following market trends as you choose a provider:
Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). Cloud practice management software and web-based electronic medical records are giving providers, and patients, the ability to access patient data, including billing and scheduling information, from any computer with an Internet connection. Online medical management systems also help health care providers avoid large upfront costs required for client-server systems as these vendors typically require monthly payments for hosted systems.
Mobile Device Support. We’re beginning to see more and more solutions for mobile devices, specifically for the Apple iPhone and iPad and Android phones and tablets. This trend is largely driven by demand from providers and physicians who want the functionality to access patient information remotely. Industry leaders are quickly trying to keep up with demand for mobile medical office management software, starting with applications that extend the functionality of most online practice management systems. Currently, there are several apps for ICD-9 that give practices managers easy access to billing codes.
Federal Mandates ICD-10 and 5010. The ICD-9 code set is scheduled to be replaced by ICD-10 on October 1, 2014. This transition will require vendors to update their codes, which makes it that much more important to ensure you’re selecting a practice management program that will accommodate this significant change in billing. Another change in HIPAA compliance that affects medical billing solutions is the new 5010 health care transaction standard, which went into effect January 1, 2012. The new 5010 format accommodates the increased length of diagnosis codes for ICD-10.