What to expect with Free Medical Billing Software. Where to find free medical claim software and what features to expect.
You’re just starting your practice or billing service and you’re expecting to pay thousands of dollars for a practice management and medical claims billing software
Wouldn’t it be nice if you didn’t have to spend any money on medical billing software – or as little as possible? Think of what else you could do with that money. There are some free or inexpensive options available if you can do without certain features.
So how can a software provider afford to offer free medical billing software? It’s usually as a complement to one of their other services. For example Office Ally offers free practice management software Practice Mate to complement their clearinghouse service – which is also free. They can do this because they are reimbursed by the insurance companies and choose not to charge their providers. Most clearinghouse providers also charge the provider or billing agent for their services.
Just about every provider of medical claims billing software provides a free trial of their product. About the only thing they ask is for your contact information. Just like any other product, if a vendor can get you engaged, it’s much easier to showcase the features of your product. After all there are probably hundreds of health insurance claim software providers on the market.
Some provide a fully functional application that you can download and use just like you own it. While others provide a more interactive or online demonstration.
What to expect
So what are the potential disadvantages of free medical billing software? You probably will not have the features of more expensive medical claim software. For example more keystrokes or mouse clicks may be required to access or enter information. The user interface and navigation may not be as intuitive. But I think these drawbacks will be minor – after all if it’s a pain to use – nobody will use it.
It’s a good idea to spend some significant time researching when considering free medical billing software. Do a Google search on it, check out their testimonials and maybe even ask those folks if they still like it. Another great source of info is forums. There’s a great medical billing and coding forum at Medical Billing Live that includes discussions on medical billing software. That’s where I first heard about Office Ally.
Who is a Good Candidate?
If you’re a small practice or billing service you may consider a free medical billing software option. With practice management software traditionally being such a large investment, it’s a very attractive alternative for cost savings. When getting started you probably won’t have as many claims so any inefficiencies will not be a big deal. The medical claim software is just a way of entering and viewing information in a data base as well as a means of creating claims. These are features just about all programs do well these days.
Online Medical Billing Software
Many of the free medical billing software options are offered online. The attraction of online medical billing software is the ability to access from any computer with a browser. This eliminates the time, labor, and expense involved with installing and maintaining software, performing backups, etc. Many of the online solutions are also referred to as “cloud” based or Software As A Service (SAAS). It’s really just an application running on a secure server.
Buying medical claim software can be a significant expense. A server based practice management system can cost thousands of dollars. And this doesn’t include the reoccurring cost of software maintenance, operating system, security (virus and malware protection), and hardware maintenance.
And there’s not just the cost of the software and hardware, there can also be costs associated with setting up a network, installing the software, and setting it up.
Determine what features you need when selecting a free medical billing software provider. Then check the features to make sure it’s included. As a minimum a competent free medical claim software should include:
- Create and maintain a patient database, store demographics, insurance, appointments and visits information
- Support multiple providers
- Enter and submit claims electronically
- Print claims on CMS-1500 form
- Print patient statements
- Post payments
- Create basic reports showing accounts receivable and charges by procedure.
Free – At Least Initially
If you do an online search for free medical billing software, you’ll find a lot of vendors who offer free use of their software for like 30 or 60 days. After that you have to sign up for their services. This may be billing service or clearinghouse service – or a electronic health records software provider. With the cost of some of the electronic medical records system software, providing free medical claim software can be a small complementary cost compared to the total cost.
When researching free medical billing software providers, I noticed some vendors were very elusive about what strings were attached. They may up front say their practice management software is free. But what they don’t say is you have to enroll in their clearinghouse service, or EHR, or subscribe in order to send claims electronically or use all the features. So if they are not up front about it, make sure you read their “free” terms and conditions.
Where can you find free medical billing software?
Here are some vendors who offer medical billing software for free. A word of caution – we haven’t checked these software providers out so use at your own risk. Some of these providers may have conditions for using their software so check them out thoroughly and ask a lot of questions before committing. Use them for a while on a trial basis see what you think.
For some other affordable options checkout our cheap medical billing software page.
I will say I have read good feedback on Office Ally. Their free medical claim software is called PracticeMate. It’s a web based application and requires no monthly fees or upfront costs. They also offer free claim submission and clearinghouse services along with real time claim status and eligibility.
PracticeSuite free edition is free to a Single User and comes with unlimited electronic commercial claims. The software is comprehensive and complete and used by thousands of medical billers since 2004. The free version of PracticeSuite is a good way for medical billers or a new practice to operate cost free indefinitely and as their needs increase can add higher value features need to take their practice or billing business to the next level.
It’s really free for 60 days. After 60 days there are maintenance fees starting at $12.50/month a provider and and additional $10/month for scheduling features. That’s still a very reasonable cost. And clearinghouse service is free.
Not really free but MTBC Billing offers PracticePro and EHR for 5% of monthly collections. MTBC is medical billing company but they also offer billing, practice management and electronic health records.
Medical claims billing software can be a significant expense for a provider or billing service. However there are some good free medical billing software options for those who can’t make a significant investment in medical billing software or may not need all the feature of a costly medical claim software. But be cautious of any strings attached and thoroughly check out the software or service before making a commitment.