Top 8 questions to ask when purchasing cloud-based medical billing software

Top 8 questions to ask when purchasing cloud-based medical billing software

Choosing the right cloud-based medical billing software doesn’t only help you keep the Rands & cents accounted for, it also enhances processes & supports the flow of information & communication between your practice & patients. With so much riding on your choice of software systems, it’s in your best interest to choose one that isn’t just good – but one that’s right for your unique practice needs. 

So, how do you choose an off-the-shelf cloud-based medical billing software in a sea of products all claiming to support your practice’s business & financial needs? We’ve put together a list of questions to ask a potential (or your current) provider to make sure you’re getting the best value out of the right fit. 

1. How easy is your cloud-based medical billing software to use?

Software is only as good as the user. Bear in mind that while sophisticated functionality is a ‘nice-to-have’, it’s of no benefit to you if it can’t be used by your practice staff. Very often, medical practice software is designed without direct input from the end-users, & what a developer might consider easy-to-use, is sometimes not user-friendly at all for you nor your practice staff.  

Specific questions to ask your provider:

  • What type of training do you offer to ensure my practice gets up and running quickly? 
  • Will my practice have easy access to support should myself or one of my staff members need it? 

 

2. Does your cloud-based medical billing software automate time-consuming admin tasks?

One of the immediate benefits of good medical billing software is that it automates routine tasks & basic practice management processes that traditionally take up a lot of time & resources. Your provider should understand what these tasks typically are in a medical practice & include the functionality into their software. Think about what admin tasks take up the most time for your staff & ask your provider how the software can reduce or eliminate these tasks.  

Specific questions to ask your provider: 

 

3. Does your cloud-based medical billing software provide reports that are easy to understand & I can actually use to improve my practice’s performance? 

Most medical billing software offers some level of reporting capabilities, but very few offer a complete view of your business. Or if they do give you a detailed view of your practice, the reports are unnecessarily complicated & unusable. Reports that can’t offer you key insights into 3 critical areas of your practice – operational, financial, & clinical – negatively impact your profitability & the success of your practice. 

 Specific questions to ask your provider:

 

4. Does your cloud-based medical billing software integrate with your electronic Clinical Notes / Electronic Medical Records (EMR) system?

It’s crucial that your medical billing software can securely share data with your electronic clinical notes / EMR. Nothing derails your efforts to streamline & optimise your practice more than two systems that don’t ‘talk’ to each other. Avoid standalone software at all costs. 

Specific questions to ask your provider: 

 

5. Does your cloud-based medical billing software allow patients to schedule their own appointments?

Making it simple & easy for patients to book their own appointments is important for two reasons: Firstly, it helps to reduce admin costs & resources. Secondly, it improves the patient experience. Medical billing software that offers an online patient booking platform is a valuable way to acquire new patients & retain your current ones. 

Specific questions to ask your provider: 

 

6. Is your cloud-based medical billing software pricing straight-forward?

As with most things, if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Be sure to know the real cost of a medical billing software solution. A lot of providers charge a very low fee per claim sent, but charge for separate licensing fees, or charge every time you want to check patient benefits or automatically reconcile an eRA, etc. These additional charges add up & you will end up spending far more than you bargained for. It’s essential to get a full understanding of software costs including what functionality is charged separately before you sign up.

Specific questions to ask your provider: 

 

7. Will you be charged extra for system upgrades?

When it comes to medical billing software you always want to be using the latest version of the technology. Software updates are to be expected & ideally, your software package should include system updates at no additional charge. That said, some companies charge for updates to software so be sure to ask the question.

Specific questions to ask your provider: 

  • Do you charge for software updates? 

 

8. Does the system enable you to communicate with patients?

Medical billing software stores your patients’ contact details & one of the benefits of the right software is that it’s easier to communicate important messages with your patients. With the click of a button, your software should be able to send communication about holiday operating hours, new services available, vaccine reminders & more.

Specific questions to ask your provider: 

  • Can I send bulk &/or customised SMSes to patients using your software?

 

What is most important to remember when you’re shopping around for cloud-based medical billing software, you’re not just choosing technology – you are also choosing a technology partner who can help you run your business for maximum profitability & efficiency. If you would like to speak to a Healthbridge Business Consultant to find out how we can help your business, click here.

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