Some of the trends driving medical billing software buyers that were revealed by the survey include:
- Just as with electronic health record (EHR) software, the majority of practice management software (PMS) buyers are replacing existing medical software
- Concerns about ICD-10 preparedness are driving medical billing software replacements
- 40 percent of respondents prefer practice management software with an integrated EHR
- Practice management software buyers expressing a preference opt for web-based software over server-based, just as with EHRs
Prospective Buyers’ Current Methods
The survey found that 55 percent of buyers were replacing existing practice management software, with another 8 percent using an existing practice management system in addition to paper or other manual methods.
This replacement trend may be related to causes cited in a recent article in EHR Intelligence that says practices are finding they need more robust software to meet the patient collections demands imposed by the Affordable Care Act.
“Providers who have finally settled into using their EHRs are finding that significant gaps in their business processes are allowing revenue to leak away, and are starting to take action to plug the holes,” according to the article.
Top Reasons for Replacing Current Software
The survey also revealed that practices were concerned about whether their current medical billing software will be ready for ICD-10 implementation, and many, in the end, made the transition to the new coding system difficult. This is a very legitimate concern, as we pointed out in a recent blog post. Medical software companies that have had trouble meeting deadlines such as ICD-10 and Meaningful Use are demonstrating that they:
- Lack the technical expertise to keep pace in the fast-moving health IT marketplace
- Don’t have the financial resources to continue to invest in their technology
- Will not be ready or have sufficient features to ensure success under MACRA.
We advise that providers distance themselves from vendors that have had difficulties meeting these deadlines which have been met by other EHR vendors. Before you commit to any EHR vendor, make sure to do a fair comparison of all features.
Integrated medical billing software, coding and EHR preferred
The survey also found that 40 percent of respondents prefer practice management software with an integrated EHR . We certainly agree with this philosophy; while some practices have successfully used separate EHR software and practice management software, in general we have found that using separate software introduces complexities that the average practice is not equipped to handle. In addition, trying to get two or more different software systems to fluidly communicate invites problems that result in finger pointing between vendors and frustration for the practice.
Finally, the survey showed that among respondents who expressed a preference, 88 percent preferred web-based practice management software to server-based systems. In fact, the author of the survey noted that “I’ve conducted a number of analyses among medical software buyers; looking at practice management software buyers exclusively was the first time I’ve seen a recurring theme of practices calling out their current on-premise set-up as a pain point.”
Take these survey results into account as you consider your satisfaction level with your own medical billing software. Then seek out software that is:
- ICD-10 ready
- Fully integrated with EHR, medical billing software and patient portal
- And much more
As you can see, web-based medical billing and coding software has quickly replaced server-based software in popularity and sophisticated . It is because web-based software can provide a much faster experience since the heavy lifting needed to provide core function is done by the web server components. Any updates, upgrades or maintenance are also free and done by the web-based medical billing software provider so users don’t need to have technical expertise. Finally, not only is its usage and maintenance very easy but is much cheaper than trying to maintain clunky servers and hardware. Web-based software is the perfect solution to the needs of practices who don’t want to spend extra time, energy and resources on complicated servers.