Web-Based Medical Billing Software - Pros, Cons, and Options

Should you consider web based medical billing software? Here are the facts, plus our top 3 online software picks...

Medical billing software comes in two forms: standard software programs based on your PC, or web-based ones.

Each and every medical billing office must run on an effective and efficient medical billing software program, or PMP (Practice Management Program). These programs take care of almost all of the needs in a medical practice, from registering patients and scheduling appointments, to entering charges, posting payments, and sending out monthly patient statements.

Nowadays, medical billing software is either paper-based, which uses real paper medical records to keep track of patient visits, or electronic, in which all patient registration and visit data are input into an electronic system.

Paper-based medical billing software relies on a biller's entry of data from the paper record into the computer. Electronic medical records do not, as patient data is directly entered into the system when the patient visit happens, and no paper chart is kept for the patient.

PC-Based v. Web-based software

Both paper-based and electronic medical billing systems can be either PC-based or web-based. PC-based means that the provider's office actually pays for the software and installs it on each computer in the office so that the employees in the office can use it.

This is different from web-based software, which is not PC-based. Although it is accessed through PC's, or Personal Computers, it is not actually installed on each individual computer. Rather, it is accessed through and online portal, which the provider's office pays to access.

A standard PC-based software program works like any other software that you have on your computer. You buy a license, and you get one user on one computer. Your doctor's office has to pay for each user on each computer, in order to access and use the software.

Web based medical billing software works a little differently. Typically, you'll create a user account and your data and the program will be housed online through a web-page like interface. This means that in order to get to your program, you have to have access to the internet, because that is where your data is stored.

There are different types of web-based medical billing software, but the basics remain the same. Other web-based programs may be referred to as Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), on-demand, cloud-based (cloud computing), internet-based, or Application Service Provider (ASP)

Advantages of Web-Based Medical Billing Software

Web-based programs can be helpful if you're starting out with a low-capacity computer and don't have the space to store all of your information. Because your practice data is stored on the internet, your office doesn't need to pay for and maintain a server in order to store all of your practice data.

Using web based software also helps you keep overhead costs low by allowing for multiple users without having to purchase a license for each one. Instead of paying for ten users on ten different computers, all you have to do is have one contract for your office, and as many users as necessary can access the web-based software.

This is especially handy if you add on employees temporarily to handle increased volume.

Many web-based programs also allow for collaborative workspaces. This means that more than one employee can work on a patient file and each employee will see those changes in real time. This is especially important if you have more than one office, or if your office does its billing off-site, as it allows for easier communication between your office locations.

This also cuts down on the review process and increases productivity, especially as part of a billing team.

Using medical billing software online also allows you to work anywhere you have an internet connection. This means you can work on the move, or can log in from anywhere with an internet connection to check up on patient accounts and work from a remote location.

Disadvantages of Web-Based Medical Billing Software

One of the biggest disadvantages of web-based medical billing software is its, reliance on the internet.

No matter if you work from your office or if you work from home, if your internet goes down, you won't be able to get any work done, as everything relies on an internet connection. You would be forced to travel somewhere for a connection or wait for your internet provider to send a technician to restore the service.

Needless to say this, costs valuable time and money.

You must also have a good and fast internet connection, which may be expensive, especially if your office is located in a remote location.

Top 3 Picks

Here are some of the best and most popular web based medical billing software programs.

  • AdvancedMD offers a full-service, fully integrated web-based medical billing software, with complete functionality. This means that all your office has to do is log on to the advanced MD site in order to complete all practice-management related functions.

    Advanced MD also offers billing services as well, which means that they will pursue reimbursement dollars for your office by sending and following up on claims.

  • AllegianceMD offers a simple and easy to use web-based software, which is does not require any downloading of any software on to individual computers. It also allows the user to continue using whichever type of operating system they have, whether it be Windows, Mac, or Linux.

  • Allscripts is a robust and flexible solution to practice management. With Allscripts' reliance on customer feedback and flexibility, it maintains a software that maximizes productivity and profitability, allowing the user to customize their use.

There are many options for web-bed medical billing software, so be sure to do your research on each program in order to make sure that you get the one that fits your needs. Either way, web-based software is a great choice for your office, and is the way of the future.

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