Medical Practice Management Tips

MPM software falls into three categories: desktop-user software, client-user software, and Internet-based software. Desktop-user software is most useful for a solo practice that loads the program onto one computer. The number of people who are able to access this program should be very small. Client-user software requires the practice to rent or purchase a server. This allows multiple work- stations to access information. It is a bit more costly than desktop user software due to the expense of maintaining the server. Internet-based software does not require users to have rent or buy a server; instead, the software is either installed on the office computer or on the vendor's computers. Patient data resides on the vendor's computer. This method may save money but poses a slightly greater security risk as patient information is removed from the doctor's computer.

Medical practice management software allows staff to make and track appointments. It can generate a list of clients that need a courtesy reminder call about an upcoming appointment. Ideally, the application allows for double or triple patient booking, can handle more doctors or other health care professionals if the practice expands, and can access the patient's insurance company to determine if they are covered when the appointment is made. Offices dealing with Medicare patients find the last feature very useful because those patients have to renew their coverage more often than those who have private insurance.

Before purchasing new medical practice management software, the doctor and office manager should make sure it meets their billing needs. In addition to the features previously listed, they should determine how the software allows them to process claims. Some software vendors require the office to process claims through a clearinghouse. Others submit claims to Medicare or Medicaid directly and use a clearinghouse for any other type of claim. A third type allows medical professionals to submit claims to any insurer they choose. It streamlines scheduling, report generating, and billing for your office.

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