If you’re reading this article, you’re probably considering a new medical billing software for your private practice. Alternatively, you’re looking to change your software or processes from something that you’re already using for your practice management software. Hence, we have done an honest review of how we’ve seen medical billing software evolve over the last decade. This should help you understand the current choices that you have and help you make the best choice for your private practice management.
What Do You Need to Consider for Any Billing Software?
At a basic level, any medical billing software must be able to help a healthcare practitioner bill their patient for a session that they have completed. This seems obvious. But it’s the start of our journey in terms of understanding the general practice management options available to healthcare practitioners.
For the sake of brevity, let’s just list the core features for any billing software. In our opinion, at a minimum, these should be:
- Generating an Invoice or Claim for a Session. A further note on this item will be in terms of how easy it is to generate this invoice or claim, and whether this is easily linked to the relevant patient appointment.
- Making an Appointment and Sending Appointment Reminders to Clients. This means that you can see the appointment on your primary calendar that you use (which is normally linked to your email), and your clients can get this appointment request and then be reminded of this appointment.
- Allocating Payments for Invoices. This means being able to easily see what appointments are not paid, and then allocating a payment to the invoice when it is received.
- Submitting Invoices or Claims to Medical Aid or Health Insurance Companies. This means being to submit an invoice or claim so that you can get paid by the medical aid or health insurance companies. This can be as simple as an email to the company, or can be more complicated in terms of using specific channels to submit the claims. This often implies that the claims to these companies are paid for separately, and is normally on a per claim or per invoice basis.
- Tracking and Managing All Unpaid Accounts. Healthcare practitioners hate tracking and asking their patients for outstanding payments that are due. You need a software that makes this process easier to manage, and can be as simple as just defined rules that get triggered when the outstanding invoice is due.
- Dashboards and Reporting. You need to be aware of different aspects of your private practice, such as number of sessions per month, invoices generated and payments received. The software you choose must be able to provide this easily for you.
Medical Billing Software in South Africa :: A Short History Review
We have very familiar with the history of medical billing software in South Africa. This is our origin. Over the years, we evolved to look at many types of healthcare practitioners and other geographical areas. Nevertheless, we always kept to our core foundation and values of building simple and cost-effective software and solutions for healthcare practitioners in private practice.
Over 10 years ago, almost all medical billing software in South Africa, was desktop based. In our experience, the exception was NetPractice, who seemed to cater mainly for medical aid related claims. But the other larger software companies such as HealthBridge, Medemass, Made to Measure, GoodX, MedEdi and Panacea only seemed to have a desktop based version of their software. This was problematic since most healthcare practitioners (especially younger ones) were very familiar and comfortable with their smartphones and wanted a solution that worked on these devices. Another interesting trend was that Apple laptops were becoming more common. So, if you wanted a medical billing software, you either needed a Windows based laptop or you needed to install virtual machine solutions such as Parallels, VMWare or Virtualbox to run on your Apple Macbook so that you can process your daily invoices. In our experience, we have not seen any healthcare practitioner with this type of computer setup. It is very technical and too complicated for the task at hand.
Could Medical Billing Software be Reimagined?
The glaring issue with most of the practice management software options was that they were not very simple. They seemed to use an accounting software-based approach to their design, and it didn’t seem very intuitive. So created our simple, secure and online-based practice management software. We also used the approach of starting with the appointment and then building the invoice from that appointment or sequence of appointments. That made sense for us and seemed to resonate with almost all of our early clients.
What choices do you now have as a healthcare practitioner looking for medical billing or practice management software? You have many choices! Interestingly, most are online-based now as well. This includes the historical desktop-based software providers. They have developed online based software, and are often positioned under a different name. For us as a small company wanting to make a positive difference to healthcare practitioners, this is very gratifying. It means that we were and are currently on the right path to being able to support healthcare practitioners doing amazing things in their own lives and the lives of their patients.
It is easy to copy another idea. But we want to truly understand the job of a healthcare practitioner and not just provide the software at arm’s length. We want to truly understand their challenges and help them with their practice management functions. If this means having a team to make phone calls to medical aid companies and health insurance companies, then that’s the route we take.
Medical Billing Software or Medical Billing Solution?
This might sound like a trick question. It’s not. Unquestionably, most healthcare practitioners are truly looking for a medical billing software. Interestingly, our experience from many practitioners has taught us that healthcare practitioners need more than just the billing software.
We believe so strongly in this topic that we created an article dedicated solely to medical billing solutions which you can find here.
Furthermore, we also use our Moulding Private Practice Shows as a good benchmark to ask healthcare practitioners on their thoughts around the topic of practice management, practice management software, being a healthcare practitioner and just the general medical billing aspects of running a private practice. You can view the over 60 episodes of the Moulding Private Practice Show here.
In a recent interview with a dietician, Mbali Pearl Tlhapi, we discuss this topic and asked for her feedback on whether our view of how healthcare practitioners think about practice management and medical billing is correct. Listen to the short discussion below.
What Do Clients Say About Working with Us?
The following was a comment from Paula Hildebrand, a social worker who has a busy private practice…
“I have been using this system for a number of years and love its user interface and easy processes. It saves me so much admin time and is very accurate always. The team are fantastic in their support and patience with the questions I occasionally have. They assist me to have what feels like a customised good fit for my needs. Shaz and Oliver always make me feel like a valued customer .”
You can also view other KITRIN Google Reviews here.
Ready to Try Our IsoForge Medical Billing Solution? Here’s our Pricing….
Typically, we charge approximately R3,000 for a healthcare practitioner doing less than R60,000 per month,
Approximately R4,500 for a healthcare practitioner doing more than R60,000 and less than R100,000.
You get to have our managed software product for approximately R1,500 per month, and we fix that price for a year, and then review it annually to align with our typical pricing. At this stage, you should have seen the benefit of working with us, and also should have seen how your private practice has been managed.
Note that with medical aid submissions, there is a cost of R4.50 per claim. But it ensures that we get an answer on each claim within 10 seconds, and you get paid much faster.
Your Next Steps?
At this stage, you should have a clear idea of what medical billing software is, the high-level history of this type of software and the current landscape of how many service providers will be positioning their software.
We encourage you to take the time now to really look at your options for your private practice management, and consider all factors in terms of choosing the best option for you and your private practice. We don’t believe that you should be spending your time on intensive admin and practice management functions. Your time is too valuable for that. Consequently, we strongly recommend that you set up a free appointment with our team (which normally takes 30-45 minutes), so that we can show you the options to ensure that you spend as little time on your private practice management functions.