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Best Medical Practice Management Software: Small Practices

Best Medical Practice Management Software: Small Practices
Credit: everything possible/Shutterstock

Small medical practices' needs differ from those of large hospitals, and as such, these small practices might not always find what they're looking for in a practice management system from the largest vendors on the market. But that doesn't mean there aren't plenty of reliable companies that cater to small, local practices, either.

Here are some of the most powerful, effective practice management systems we came across that are tailor-made for small and medium-size practices. With these systems, you can rest easy knowing you've got a quality product backing up your practice, with a vendor who will help you along the way. Any of these practice management systems will help your office run more smoothly and keep your business healthy and profitable for the long haul, so you can continue providing the quality of care your patients have come to expect.

Interested in practice management systems for new practices? See our recommendations for the best practice management systems for a new practiceIf you'd like to learn more about how to choose a medical practice management system, check out our guide here.

Looking for more information on medical practice management software? Fill out the questionnaire below and our vendor partners will contact you to help you make your decision.

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AdvancedMD Inc.: Referred to by one satisfied user as "the Cadillac of EHR [electronic health records] and practice management," AdvancedMD's system covers virtually every desirable function and offers responsive, knowledgeable support staff to ensure everything is running smoothly. With a 95 percent rate of submitted claims accepted by payers on the first attempt, AdvancedMD is a great bet for financial peace of mind and front-office efficiency. You get what you pay for, of course: The practice management system alone costs $429 each month per provider, while the integrated PM/EHR system starts at $729 monthly per provider after upfront costs, which can total thousands of dollars depending on your practice's specific needs. Still, the extra money spent all but guarantees you'll be able to avoid the many pitfalls of implementing a new practice management system.

CareCloud: User-friendly and smoothly integrated into your workflow, CareCloud's practice management system is a great tool to improve the logistics of running your medical practice. The Web-based software includes easily distinguished scheduling for multiple physicians and a user interface that includes tabs for quickly switching between different features. CareCloud also offers solid reporting features, highlighted by a one-stop "Command Center," which offers a full overview of your financial metrics. For an additional fee, you can access even more detailed analytics. The company's vendor support is helpful, but it's available only during business hours. CareCloud's pricing starts at $349 per month per provider for the practice management system alone, or $629 per month per provider for the complete integrated PM/EHR system.

ClinixPM: ClinixPM is a multispecialty practice management system that is built with a focus on small and medium-size practices. With a full slate of features — including a fully customizable workflow, an easy-to-use patient portal and detailed on-demand reporting — Clinix covers the most crucial aspects of a practice management system. The vendor also partners with Modernizing Medicine, the creator of the Electronic Medical Assistant, which was one of our recommendations for EHR systems for specialists. However, ClinixPM can easily integrate with most leading EHR systems as well. Pricing for ClinixPM starts at $475 per month per physician and $280 per month per physician's assistant or nurse practitioner. As the number of providers in your practice increases, the base fee decreases, so a practice with 11 or more physicians pays $350 monthly per provider. You can also schedule a demo of the software to find out more about how it operates.

For more practice management software vendors, see the vendors list below.

To determine our best picks for practice management systems, we consulted physicians, consultants and other best-picks lists to create a list of reputable companies to research. We ended up with a list of 34 companies to consider for our final recommendations.

Then, we interviewed physicians, consultants and systems analysts about what they look for in a practice management system and used their input to determine which factors to use to narrow down our pool. Those factors were ease of use, vendor support, billing features and financial reporting. Using this criteria, we narrowed down our list to a dozen to review even further. Those companies were AdvancedMD Inc., Allscripts, Athenahealth, CareCloud, Clinix, eClinicalWorks, e-MDs, iSalus Healthcare, Kareo, Medisoft, MicroMD and SOAPware.

We evaluated each of the 12 companies on the following:

  • Ease of use
  • Estimated cost
  • Staff training
  • Implementation
  • Interoperability
  • Billing features
  • Scheduling features
  • Customizability
  • Patient portal
  • Mobile device application
  • Financial reporting and analysis
  • Technical support
  • Customer service
  • Qualitative user responses

To gather information and assess the quality of each company's customer service, we called each company and said we were working for a small medical practice that would open soon.

Then, we conducted several interviews with practice management users who have firsthand experience with the EHR systems on our final list. We considered their qualitative responses in our final recommendations as well.

Following our research, we selected several systems to recommend for small practices and new practices. Because we were unable to use the systems in a clinical setting (and because every physician's wants and needs are unique) we refrained from picking the "best" system and instead recommended those systems that scored positively in each of our criteria and also received favorable physician reviews.

Here is a list of vendors — including those we've recommended above — along with a brief description of their product and a link for each vendor's website, to help you continue your research into practice management systems.

AdvancedMD Inc. – The AdvancedMD practice management system is a little more expensive than the average software, but it also boasts a litany of features. AdvancedMD offers a complete system across all facets of practice management, including scheduling, billing and reporting. AdvancedMD's practice management software starts at $429 per month per provider. You can also purchase a full PM/EHR software suite for $729 monthly per provider. Find out more here.

Allscripts – Allscripts' practice management system offers a customizable workflow for your front office. A complete PM/EHR software suite is also available through the company. However, many users reported that navigation of the system could be difficult. The Allscripts software is Meaningful Use Stage 2 certified and ICD-10 ready. Find out more here.

AltaPoint – AltaPoint offers a practice management system with an intuitive scheduling component and solid reporting. The practice management software starts at an extremely low cost of $79 per month for the first user. Unfortunately, it is not Meaningful Use certified, which means incentive payments are out of the question. AltaPoint offers an EHR system as well, which is Meaningful Use certified. Find out more here.

AMS Software Inc. – AMS Software is focused on building practice management software for rural health clinics. The company offers what it calls "rural health clinic specific" reporting modules and also maintains its own electronic health record system with the same focus. It is Meaningful Use Stage 2 certified and ICD-10 ready. Find out more here.

Athenahealth Inc. – Athenahealth's practice management system, known as athenaCollector, boasts a 94 percent first-pass claims rate and purports to get practices paid 32 percent faster than the average software. The cloud-based software is Meaningful Use Stage II certified and ICD-10 ready. Find out more here.

C&S Inc. – Provision, C&S' practice management system, offers direct filing of claims to payers and also comes with HL7 interfaces for communicating with electronic health records systems. It also allows the user to customize scheduling based on appointment types. Full vendor support is available only during normal business hours. Find out more here.

CareCloud – CareCloud, one of our recommendations, offers completely customizable reports and analytics, all in one central dashboard that provides up-to-the-minute data on your practice's finances. Scheduling is streamlined with drag-and-drop features, and the system automatically sends your patients appointment reminders. CareCloud also offers a reliable billing component that is ICD-10-ready. The software starts at $349 per month per provider for the practice management system alone, or $629 per month per provider for the complete integrated PM/EHR system. Find out more here.

Clinix – Clinix, one of our recommendations, is an intuitive, user-friendly system that allows for full scheduling customization. ClinixPM also includes a patient portal to allow your patients to make payments and update their own demographic information when it changes. Reporting is also robust, with customizable dashboards and data analytics. For pricing, schedule a demo with a Clinix sales representative. Find out more here.

CollaborateMD – CollaborateMD focuses solely on practice management, choosing to partner with EHR vendors that best work for your practice. The company says it will build the interfaces necessary if they don't already exist, but it lists 19 vendors that it commonly works with. Pricing starts at $165 monthly per provider, with the most comprehensive plan reaching $235 monthly per provider. Find out more here.

CompuGroup Medical Inc. – CompuGroup Medical (CGM) offers two different practice management solutions for small practices. The first, DAQbilling, is based on a "pay as you go" model, which allows for unlimited workstations and users at no additional cost. The other, CGM Clinical, is a PM/EHR software suite. With both options, your practice has access to a Web-based practice management system that includes an integrated scheduler, a built-in clearinghouse for claims processing and comprehensive reporting. Find out more here.

DA Software – Doctors Access provides a practice management system, along with an integrated EHR system, that can be used across multiple specialties. DA Software emphasizes its automatic patient statement processing and appointment reminders, as well as its ability to build interfaces for third-party laboratories, as key features of its system. Find out more here.

eClinicalWorks – The eClinicalWorks practice management system makes it easy to schedule across multiple providers. It also streamlines the billing process with a built-in coding advice component. The reporting dashboard provides graphics and analysis to help you better understand your practice's finances. Users reported largely satisfactory experiences. The ICD-10 compliant practice management software is also available with a fully integrated EHR system from the company. Find out more here.

e-MDs – The e-MDs practice management system comes as an integrated PM/EHR system, which is made up of several individual modules. The Web-based system uses the company's "Fast Forms" to easily load patient information into the practice management software and share it with your EHR system. The system is certified for Meaningful Use Stage 2 and ICD-10 ready as well. Find out more here.

GE Centricity – Centricity Practice Solution is an integrated PM/EHR system, though each can be configured to operate as stand-alone software. Centricity is highly customizable and easily interoperable with most hospitals and billing services. Many users reported difficulty navigating the user interface, however. Find out more here.

iSalus Healthcare – The iSalus practice management system is easy to use and available for configuration for many specialties. It offers a comprehensive reporting dashboard and a free integrated EHR system. The practice management software starts at $99 monthly per provider for the most basic package and reaches $329 monthly per provider for the most comprehensive "premium" package. Find out more here.

Kareo – Kareo's software is comprehensive, and includes customizable dashboards, full patient scheduling and management components, and all of the vital billing features. It also offers 90 days of free one-on-one training and access to a free EHR system. Pricing begins at $149 monthly per provider; a complete system with unlimited claims submissions costs $300 monthly per provider. Find out more here.

La Jolla Digital – The MDConnection practice management system is an online software that can run on any device connected to the Internet. Updates are automatic, and the flexibility of the system allows it to grow along with your practice. MDConnection also includes a fully integrated patient portal. Find out more here.

LeonardoMD – LeonardoMD's Web-based medical practice management software allows you to access billing, scheduling and patient charts from any Internet-connected computer. The company provides training to your practice, as well as customizable modules suited to your workflow. An integrated EHR system is also available through LeonardoMD. Find out more here.

Medical Practice Software Inc. – The DuxWare practice management system is notable for its ease of use and proficient interfacing with a variety of EHR systems. The vendor's support staff is also highly knowledgable and responsive, helping to ease the implementation process and work out any bugs that might arise. The system is also suitable for many specialties. Find out more here.

Medisoft – Medisoft, McKesson's practice management software, is a highly customizable system for practices of different sizes. It covers the essential reporting, scheduling and billing features, as well as offers optional add-ons. Medisoft's practice management system runs on a mobile application, is ICD-10 ready and is available as a complete integrated PM/EHR system. Find out more here.

MicroMD – MicroMD serves all specialties and practices, from solo practitioners to large enterprise systems. The practice management system is easy to navigate and includes a powerful scheduler and patient registration system. The billing system, which submits claims through Preferred Clearinghouse Partners, is ICD-10 ready, and MicroMD offers a detailed reporting and analysis component. Find out more here.

NextGen Healthcare – Although primarily intended for large hospitals and enterprise systems, NextGen offers products for small practice groups as well. It covers 25 subspecialties and all of the critical billing, scheduling and reporting functions. NextGen's system is ICD-10 and Meaningful Use Stage II ready. Find out more here.

Nuesoft Technologies Inc. – The NueMD practice management system is designed for small and medium-size offices. The cloud-based software aims for inexpensive access to an advanced practice management solution. The company uses its own clearinghouse for claims submissions, offers an easy-to-navigate user interface and provides customizable templates. The system is ICD-10 and Meaningful Use Stage II ready. Find out more here.

Open Practice Solutions – The Web-based practice management software offered by Open Practice Solutions features a customizable scheduling application, full insurance eligibility verification and a patient data-entry system that interfaces fluidly with most EHR systems and hospitals. Reporting features allow you to select which data you want to analyze, making it easier to see your practice's performance from several angles. Find out more here.

PracticeAdmin – A practice management system made up of several individual modules, PracticeAdmin offers a complete integrated PM/EHR "Provider Suite" or separated components. The schedule manager is simple and customizable, and provides automatic patient appointment reminders. The billing system is also straightforward and easy to navigate, and it quickly notifies your practice of any claims rejections. Find out more here.

Praxis – The Praxis practice management system utilizes an "artificial intelligence" engine that adapts to the way you use it. The software is Web-based and can be accessed from any Internet-enabled device. It can be integrated with a highly customizable EHR system, and is Meaningful Use Stage II certified and ICD-10 ready. Find out more here.

Pro Health Billing – As the name suggests, Pro Health Billing's practice management software prides itself on the billing module. It includes the scheduling and reporting components as well, but the focus is decidedly on revenue management. The software is Meaningful Use Stage II certified and ICD-10 ready, and starts at $498 monthly per provider after a free trial. Find out more here.

RxNT  – RxNT is a healthcare software solutions provider offering a full compliment of ambulatory care  cloud-based platforms. RxNT’s solutions include Practice Management, Electronic Health Records and e-Prescribing. These solutions can be fully-integrated or used as a stand-alone service. Find out more here.

SOAPware Inc. – SOAPware's Web-based practice management system is designed for practices of all sizes. The billing module is ICD-10 ready and includes thorough reporting and analysis. Users report that the software is relatively easy to navigate. The practice management system can also be purchased with a fully integrated EHR system. Find out more here.

SuccessEHS – Now part of Greenway Software, SuccessEHS offers an integrated PM/EHR system that is Meaningful Use Stage II certified and ICD-10 ready. Central to the software is a dashboard that coordinates data entry across the whole system. It can also be accessed on mobile devices and maintains HL7 interfaces to boost the interoperability of your data. Find out more here.

Are you a practice management vendor who would like to be added to this list and possibly considered for our next round of reviews? Please feel free to contact Adam C. Uzialko at auzialko@purch.com.

Looking for more information on medical practice management software? Fill out the questionnaire below and our vendor partners will contact you to help you make your decision.

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Adam C. Uzialko

Adam received his Bachelor's degree in Political Science and Journalism & Media Studies at Rutgers University. He worked for a local newspaper and freelanced for several publications after graduating college. He can be reached by email, or follow him on Twitter.