With healthcare's rapid changes and growing complexity, every physician will need an affordable yet powerful Practice Management/Accounting software capable of handling such demands. When looking for any Accounting software you will want to make sure it provides the following features:
When looking for an accounting software for your practice you must choose a software that will allow you to print Insurance Claim forms. That is why it is very important to choose a software made for the medical industry, there are many accounting software's available on the market today but only a select few are geared towards the private practice healthcare industry.
Another core feature to look for when selecting the appropriate software for your practice is the ability to print patient statements. You must have the flexibility of printing Standard Statements and Remainder Statements when needed. The difference between a Standard and Remainder Statement is that a Remainder Statement is the remaining balance of the patient after the insurance has responded with either a payment or no-payment. Therefore, if the insurance has not responded to the claim no statement will be created for the patient when printing a remainder statement. On the other hand, the Standard Statement is the total patient balance regardless of whether the insurance has responded or not. A good patient accounting software will give you the ability to print both types of statements.
With electronic statements you eliminate the need of printing dozens to even hundreds of pages of patient statements. Clearing houses like GatewayEDI will take your e-statements, print and mail them to your patients. You no longer have to make trips to the Post office, pay for postage, and purchase expensive ink cartridges. You will find that electronic statements eliminate the routine headache of billing your patients.
To insure that your practice is collecting money from insurances and patients it is important to be able to print routine reports. Do not consider purchasing any accounting software if it will not allow you to print financial reports. The software should be able to produce a "Day Sheet" at the end of everyday that will give you an accurate report on all the payments collected, charges applied, and procedures done that day. It should have the capability of printing the Practice totals for Accounts Receivable and the affect on your Accounts Receivable from that day. Another important report would be Insurance and Patient Aging reports that will provide you with accurate information on pending claims that have yet to be paid. Those are just two examples of reports your software should offer. A good practice management software will come bundled with dozens of reports and also allow you to customize your own report.
If you take your business card out right now chances are you will find "Office Hours by Appointment Only" printed somewhere on there. So it makes sense that your practice management software should offer some sort of appointment scheduling. Your practice is based on patients coming in for appointments, so don't rely on a paper appointment book. With an appointment scheduling system you will be able to quickly create, change, and/or delete appointments for your patients. A good scheduling program will also allow you to make appointments for different resources in your practices such as Stress Test, EKG, and ECG machines. It will eliminate the dreaded "double-booking" of patients into one exam room or for one equipment.
List management is a very important part of your practice. Keeping track of all your patients, providers, insurances, and facilities can be tedious. With the right software, you will be able to store and retrieve all sorts of information in a quick and intuitive fashion.
The transaction entry of your software plays a huge role in the accounting process, but little things within the transaction entry also play a huge role. The ability of accurately entering information on procedures and payments is crucial, with every incorrect entry you face the headache of a rejection, correction, and resubmission. If you do not feel comfortable entering transactions with your software, no matter how many other bells and whistles it has, forget it. Take the time to experience the software before you purchase, ask to see a demo or come to our office for a personal demonstration. The more comfortable you feel with entering procedure charges the less likely you will make a mistake.
A great way of saving time is by having the ability of posting an entire insurance check instead of each payment patient by patient. With a batch payment or deposit system, you will be able to enter the check information and quickly post payments to each account with minimal key strokes and mouse clicks.
Software, in and of it self, cannot make you compliant; however, software can be a compliance enabler. The main purpose of HIPPA is to keep patient information out of hands it does not belong in. When looking for HIPPA compliancy, see if your software enables you to set security permissions and log in names for your employees. You do not want curious minds to have the ability to open your software without a proper user name and password. You may also want to restrict certain employees or business associates the ability to see patient records, but allow them access to other parts of your software. Another requirement of HIPPA is to maintain off-site backups of your patient data. Your software should allow you to easily make a backup of your data onto some sort of portable media device that can be taken off-site.