How to Compare Medical Billing Software

Medical billing is the process of submitting numerical and alphanumerical codes assigned to medical diagnoses and procedures to insurance companies and payers for reimbursement of medical services. Medical billing today is performed via computer programs and claims submissions are done mainly electronically over the Internet. When choosing a medical billing software system, it is important to understand the needs of the health care organization and then weigh the pros and cons of several medical billing systems.

Determine use. Decide if the billing software will be used only for billing and claim submission, or if the health care organization needs a system that will manage the entire practice and handle additional information like patient scheduling, laboratory results and the patient’s electronic medical record.

Research companies. Research medical billing software companies online (see References) and then contact a minimum of three of them for free demonstrations. Be sure to ask for references and current customers that you can contact and speak to about the company’s software and services. Conduct additional online research on the companies. Software systems are often discussed on various online forums and allow you the opportunity to get unbiased feedback.

Compare features. Be sure to understand if the software is accessed from the health care organization’s site or from the medical billing company’s site through the Internet, how the electronic claims submission works, how claims are tracked, if insurance is automatically confirmed, what training and support is provided, what reports and analysis can be run, and how the information in the software is secured. If needed, ask how the software can be integrated with your current software. For example, a physician’s office may already have software for scheduling and patient records. It is important to understand how the medical billing software will be integrated with the current system.

Understand costs. Medical billing software is a significant purchase for a health care organization. It is important to ensure that the organization gets the needed features at an affordable price. Along with the price for the software, also inquire about the price of integration (if needed), how training and support costs are assessed, what services and features are additional, and what annual fees can be expected from the company. In addition, be sure to ask if there are additional costs for software updates.

Create a pros and cons chart. Create a chart of all reviewed software systems by different companies. Create columns with required features, bonus features and costs. Analyze and compare the features and costs between the companies. If necessary, call companies back for additional demonstrations or question-and-answer periods.