How much you should plan on spending for your needs? Find out here with our guide to medical billing software prices...
Unlike home office or word processing software, which can run you a few hundred dollars, medical billing software can cost thousands to tens of thousands of dollars.
As you can see, medical billing software prices vary widely, beginning with free online-based services. These only charge you for certain features, such as sending electronic claims.
More expensive, expansive, and all-inclusive practice management packages, complete with electronic health records and full claims processing capability, can cost as much as $50,000 or more.
With such a variation in pricing it's important that you buy the right software the first time. You have to be absolutely sure that it meets all of your requirements, including additional services which you may have to pay for separately.
One of the best, most reliable, and easy-to-learn programs is Medisoft.
Medisoft is also one of the most affordable software packages, with as many add-on and pricing options as you could ever want.
Because of its affordability, ease-of-use, and market penetration, it's also used in many education programs.
Exploring the pricing schedule of Medisoft can help us all understand exactly how medical billing software prices are calculated. It can also help you determine how many services you need and how much you're prepared to pay for them.
Bear in mind you can't take the prices quoted here at face value, as none of them are based on an actual pricing quote from Medisoft. Consider the quotes here as soft prices, since they're only representative of actual Medisoft prices.
First of all, the basic Medisoft software program costs around $1300. This is the basic package, with no add-ons, and it's only functional for a single-user interface. This means that you can only install and use it on 1 computer.
If you think about it, this is a pretty good price for what you get. With this one program you can send claims, manage patient accounts, and run an entire medical office.
On the other hand, it may not have all the functions that your practice needs - not to mention the fact that you can only use it on one computer!
All medical billing software prices, even basic Medisoft ones, go up drastically the more users and extra services you add. If you use Medisoft on more than 1 computer you'll need to buy Medisoft Network Pro.
This costs significantly more than the single-user Medisoft, at about $3900.
And this program is only for two users. If you decide to buy the software for three users, the price hikes to $4000; for five users it goes to $4300; and for 10 users it goes to $5000. The program pricing stops at $11,900 for an unlimited amount of users.
Add-On services, such as separate scheduling software, also cost more.
Medisoft doesn't automatically come with scheduling software. If your office needs this you'll have to buy it separately.
Medisoft's scheduling software is called Office Hours, and it's base price for one user is $500. But this price goes up to $1100 for a two-user interface when you buy the network-based Office Hours program. These prices max out at $9100 for an unlimited amount of Office Hours users.
This is a good example of how adding special programs and users to your network can really make your medical billing software prices add up fast.
Like any good business model, there are hidden fees everywhere you look in medical billing software prices.
Now that medical billing and coding is in the digital age and almost all claims are sent electronically, the medical billing clearinghouses and claims processing houses that we use for sending, scrubbing, and processing claims all charge us money.
Example: a simple claims processing interface, through McKesson's Relay Health Clearinghouse, costs $200 for preliminary set up. This includes an optional fee service chart for which you pay for eligibility, claims processing, and remittance.
This is all in addition to a monthly service fee.
This means that even after you've paid for your software and the price to connect with a clearinghouse, you still have additional fees that you have to pay to stay with that clearinghouse and actually send claims.
Furthermore, the $200 charge is a base price - it can go as high as $600 for the premium package.
Another additional charge for which you have to pay, of course, is for support and training. If you want to buy the complete Medisoft training CD's, you have to pay at least $500.
If you want any technical support from Medisoft, you have to pay a yearly contract fee as high as $1450. You can also buy technical support by the hour for as little as $125 for one hour.
Ah, once you're stuck in the wonderful world of medical practice management software, you'll have to upgrade your software periodically.
These upgrades include necessary new elements, such as those federally required by the HITECH Act and HIPAA, with the implantation of the ANSI 5010 requirements in 2011 and 2012.
Other upgrades, however, are simple changes in your program. These update elements in your system, which may or may not be necessary for your practice.
The most important thing to remember, though, is that nothing is free, including upgrades. This means that you'll have to pay for each and every one of them as often as they're implemented.
Is there an upside to all these charges?
Don't be worried about all the various charges, though.
It may seem like a lot now, but most software programs are well worth the money. Without a comprehensive, easy-to-use practice management program, your office would be stuck in the Dark Ages, with nothing but pens and papers to complete patient charts and send claims.
Paying for good medical billing software, any add-ons, and other services are a necessary and important part of having a well-run medical practice. It may increase your bottom line in the beginning, but it will be well worth it.
Probably the best way to make sense of software price comparisons is to think of them as cars.
When you buy your first car it's usually a low-price budget car which has (mostly) everything you need. Sometimes, to afford the car, you have to make some compromises, such as manual door locks, but your first car pretty much meets all your requirements.
Fast-forward through the college years, middle age, and into the height of your career, and chances are that you will probably have a much nicer car.
This car has all the most sophisticated gadgets, more functions than you could ever dream of... and an accordingly high price tag.
This is very similar to medical billing software. Some have all the most sophisticated gadgets and more functions that you could ever need or want. They also have accordingly high price tags.
Other medical practice management software packages have limited scope and function, but contain pretty much all that you need for a simple small doctor's office.
So, another thing to consider when buying software is to think of what kind of car you need, as well as what you can afford. Do you need the big fancy expensive car, or can you get by with the low-cost version? Think it over for a good while!
You can see pricing details for many different software packages in our software reviews section.
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