Running a private practice is not easy, on top of seeing patients there is also the practice administration that needs to be taken into account. Your diary can be full but if you are not billing your clients you are running at a loss. Over the years several companies have created software solutions to help with this. In this article, we will be looking at the practice management solutions offered by two of the top developers in South Africa.
Datamax’s Panacea 7 and Kitrin’s IsoEvolve software have both been designed with the practitioner in mind. While Datamax has been around for longer, Kitrin was one of the first to offer a fully cloud-based practice management solution. Both companies chose to power their solutions using MySQL due to its stability, scalability and cost-effectiveness. While the frontend user interfaces may differ the engine that powers both solutions are world-class.
Although Panacea is cutting edge, it’s .net-based application does require up-to-date hardware and software to operate at its full potential. While IsoEvolve is completely cloud-based therefore there are no hardware requirements to install.
Practice Management Solutions :: Features
The single most important factor in getting medical aid claims paid quickly is the accuracy of data. I know that sounds obvious, but the reality is that many claims are rejected due to inaccurate details being supplied. Claims are assessed by computers and they require 100% accuracy. Inaccurate claims are delayed or rejected because they need human intervention. The most common cause for delay is an incorrect date of birth or dependent code.
Both Panacea and IsoEvolve will automatically verify the membership details of medical aid patients that you capture. This will allow you to identify incorrect information before you submit the claims. Saving time and hassle with unnecessary calls to the medical aid to correct the claim.
Electronic Claims Submission
One of the most important things in your practice is billing timeously to ensure that your claims reach the medical aid in time for the next payment run. The easiest way to do that would be through eClaims which is simply an invoice that is sent to the medical aid electronically. Electronic claims are processed faster than paper claims as they go straight into the claims processing pool. And do not still need to be manually entered into the scheme’s processing pool.
These claims, therefore, hit the scheme immediately and are processed faster, resulting in a better cash flow for the practice. EG: A claim sent via EDI on a Saturday afternoon will be processed for payment on the following week’s payment run. But a claim sent via email on the same day will only be processed for payment the week thereafter.
Both IsoEvolve and Panacea offer eClaims. These claims are submitted through a switching house and therefore there is a fee per claim. This fee is normally a percentage of the value of the claim however both IsoEvolve and Panacea offer a flat rate per claim.
Medical aids assess claims on a daily basis, but they only make payments to providers on a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly basis. During the payment cycle, the medical aid compiles a remittance advice to reconcile the payment against the claim. This remittance advice is then sent to you via email or post.
When you receive the remittance you then need to capture the information onto your practice management software. It is very important when capturing this information that each payment is correctly allocated against the original claim transaction. As you can imagine, capturing a remittance is time-consuming, it can be laborious and is open to inaccuracies.
IsoEvolve solves this by allowing you to upload the remittance advice to the system and it will generate and allocate the payments to the original claim transaction. Panacea offers an electronic Remittance Advise service. The advantage of ERA is that the system will allocate the payments without you having to upload the remittance. The benefit of the ERA is that you know when a remittance has been received. And are notified in the event of a problem or short payment.
Practice Management Solutions :: Appointment Scheduling
As a healthcare practitioner, you need to ensure that your appointments are booked and that your clients are reminded of their appointments. Traditionally a client would call in and you or your practice manager would book the appointment.
Panacea offers a comprehensive diary that is designed to be a portal to your daily functions. It is a great starting point and it represents a checklist of tasks that must be completed. At a glance, you can see whether a patient has received a reminder if the account has been set up and most importantly if an invoice has been sent.
IsoEvolve takes the appointment scheduling to a new level. With Isoevolve, your client has the ability to book an appointment online based on your availability. This option also allows for an intake form to be sent to the client if it is their first appointment. Saving yourself and your practice manager the step of sending the form via email. The intake details are automatically entered into your system and a file is opened for the client.
With IsoEvolve, you can at a glance see the status of any appointment and book personal appointments meaning that you only have one diary to manage.
Multiple Communication Channels.
Being able to communicate with your clients is vital. Multiple communication channels allow you to ensure that a client can’t say they missed your notification. You need to have a system that allows you to use various communication methods. Email or SMS notifications, the possibility of WhatsApp notifications, and even E-statement functionalities. Each of these increases the probability that you can get communication to your client. Many businesses perform these actions outside of any billing or practice management software. And this often results in disastrous consequences for the simple reason that you have no control over the communication that is being sent.
IsoEvolve and Panacea have both built communication channels into their software. This ensures that you can send appointment reminders etc to your clients. You have the ability to customize the messages that are sent for certain functions as well as the ability to send free-format email or SMS notifications.
The ability to check if a client has funds available on their medical aid before the appointment. Allows you to ensure that the patient is aware that their scheme will not make payment before the appointment. This ensures that a payment plan can be agreed on before you see the client and removes the need to wait for a remittance.
Panacea allows for a quick and simple check on whether the patient has funds available for day to day expenses. In general, it queries whether the client still has medical savings available for the appointment.
IsoEvolve also has a benefits checker where you can select the therapy type that you will be billing for and check with the scheme if there are funds available to cover the invoice amount.
Practice Management Solutions :: Software Updates
No matter what solution you are using for your practice management solution you need to ensure that you are up to date with the latest version. When software ages it slows down which can have a negative effect on your business.
Panacea checks your software daily to see if a newer version is available and will offer to install it for you. While IsoEvolve is cloud-based meaning that all updates are automatically applied to your software without the need for installation resulting in no downtime.
While having the ability to invoice and allocate payments is vital it is even more important to know what happens to an invoice once it is sent. Companies around the world are always focused on brining in more revenue through sales or appointments. However making sure that debts are collected is more challenging and time-consuming. A company needs to ensure that it can maximize the debts it actually collects by automating the collections process.
Panacea, at this stage, does not have an integrated collections function which means that your practice manager has to manually follow up on overdue accounts. Whereas Isoevolve has an integrated debt collection function that will send notices to overdue accounts based on your payment terms. This solution ensures that a full follow up process is done on each account that is overdue.
One of the major reasons companies have to write debt off is that they simply lingered too long. And regular follow-ups were not done on the account. Businesses sometimes have a hard time keeping up with payment due dates and collection activities. Because their practice management software does not allow for this.
Clinical Notes and Reports
As a healthcare practitioners, you need to be able to store your clinical notes safely. There are many software options out there that offer clinical notes. But having an integrated solution saves you time and money.
IsoEvolve has a fully integrated notes section, that allows you to add a note directly to the client’s file. Notes or reports can be shared with your client or kept private for just the practitioner to see. This functionality allows you to make notes right after the appointment or to go back and see the history of the client’s progress without having to log into a different system.
The ability to share notes with your client means that you do not have to send a separate email to the client with your finding or report. You draft it once, publish it to the client’s file and share it.
While both Panacea and IsoEvolve are top in their industry there are some clear distinctions that bring Isoevolve out on top. If you are looking for a complete practice management solution that takes care of not just the practice admin but also the practice growth then IsoEvolve is the option for you. If you are looking for a practice management software that will allow you to bill your clients and manage your diary then Panacea is definitely an option for you.
At the end of the day, we firmly believe that practice management software is vital for any private practice. Do your homework and pick the option that would best suit your practice needs. Remember that a great practice management solution should help you to keep everything where it should be. And give you the business owner time to actually focus on what you do best, which is running your business. Having software means that you can also manage your workflow, you can see what your staff has been doing, have notices gone out, have follow-ups been done, and you are no longer reliant on word of mouth or corrupted data.
For more information on Panacea click here
To book a demo of the IsoEvolve software, please click here