I am trying to gather as many resources as I can to open my own billing company. I am wondering do you need the same software as the client you are billing for? If not, how does this work?
Really if at all possible the same practice management software should be used by both the practice and the biller or billing service. Otherwise it’s just a lot of extra work and confusion. Many practices use the practice management software for scheduling appointments and the billing. There may be situations where the practice wants to use their software just for scheduling but if the billing service is using their own separate software the provider won’t be able to enter or view any account info.
We have had situations where the client wanted to use their medical claim software running on their server. The benefit for the billing service is that you don’t have to start from scratch – all the patient data is available – and you don’t have the cost of maintaining software and servers. You can just log in remotely and work from their server. Also when things don’t work you are not responsible for fixing the software or server. But it can be frustrating waiting on someone else to fix things while you have no access to the software – especially if you have any employees.
The downside to this is that you are completely dependent on the client for access to the system – the billing service has no control. We also occasionally had issues with access due to the limited number of licenses (number of people who could be logged on at once). The other downside for the billing service is if you have a disagreement with the client, they can cut you off at any time and you will have no access. If you maintain the software and/or server it’s more difficult for the client to terminate your services.
Many are now going to the online practice management providers – like Kareo and CollaborateMD. They allow access from any PC using a web browser and the pricing can be very reasonable. The benefits are that you don’t have to spend a lot on software and servers – which can be several thousand $. There’s also the reoccurring cost of upgrades and maintenance for both the hardware and software and stuff like data back-up. This kind of arrangement allows the client access from their office if they need it. The downside is you are completely dependent on your internet connection – but those are pretty reliable these days.
So really if you are starting from scratch I would recommend trying to use only one software application or service – preferably yours. This could be online or on your own PC or server.
Here’s more discussion on medical claim software topics.
Hope this answers your question.