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Best Medical Practice Management Software: New Practices

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

Are you part of a new practice trying to get off the ground? There are a lot of factors that go into setting up a new practice, and among the most stressful and complicated is choosing a practice-management system and an electronic health record system to go along with it. Luckily, there are some great options out there that are simple and affordable, and provide you access to everything you need to get going quickly.

Here are some options that cost a bit less than some of the other systems we discovered but don't sacrifice the features your practice needs to operate profitably. You can always upgrade once things are in place and running smoothly, but you might even find that these systems do everything you need for the long haul. Both vendors offer access to their free EHR systems as well, which is a great help in getting your practice up and running at full speed without the added headache and costly proposition of finding an EHR system that interfaces with the practice management software properly.

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

iSalus Healthcare: A self-proclaimed "all-in-one" solution, iSalus Healthcare's practice management system is easy to use and adaptable to most specialties. With a reporting dashboard that gives you an overview of your practice's finances at a moment's notice and a simple color-coded scheduler, iSalus offers a clean user interface that's comfortable to navigate. The billing features are also thorough, from verifying insurance eligibility and determining co-pays, to submitting claims and responding to denials. If your practice also needs something on the records side of the equation, iSalus Healthcare offers a free integrated EHR system. Pricing packages for the practice management system begin at $99 per month per provider, with the most comprehensive "premium package" totaling $329 per month per provider. The vendor also offers a "platinum package," which includes additional training, after-hours support and a meaningful-use coach. The price for the platinum package is negotiated on an individual basis with the company.

Kareo: Kareo also offers a powerful and easy-to-use medical practice management system. The software is comprehensive, including customizable dashboards, full patient scheduling and management components, and all of the vital billing features. Kareo also includes a secure messenger component, so you can quickly get in touch with your patients, billers and employees. You'll also get 90 days of free one-on-one implementation coaching when partnering with Kareo. The company, which also offers access to its free EHR system, has three pricing plans for its practice management software: $149 per month per provider for a practice with a "low volume" or claims submissions, $300 per month per provider for unlimited claims submissions, and 50 percent off for unlimited claims for any nonphysician providers.

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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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 33 candidates to consider for our final recommendations.

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

We evaluated each of the 12 candidates 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 one and identified ourselves as working for a small medical practice that would soon open.

To further research, 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 that also received favorable physician reviews.

Here is a list of vendors, including those we've recommended above, along with a brief description of each one's product and a link for the company'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. Across all facets of practice management — scheduling, billing and reporting — AdvancedMD offers a complete system. This company's practice management software starts at $429 each 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. Many users reported that navigating the system could be difficult, however. The Allscripts software is Meaningful Use Stage II-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 II-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 Incorporated – 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 for 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, which is 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 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. – 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.

Doctors' Access 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 key features of its system, as well as its ability to build interfaces for third-party laboratories. Find out more here.

eClinicalWorks – The eClinicalWorks practice management system makes scheduling across multiple providers easy. 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 II and is 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, including 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 a Web-based 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 and 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 are also highly knowledgable and responsive, helping 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, and offers optional add-ons. Medisoft's practice management system runs on a mobile application, is ICD-10-ready and is also 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 – Primarily intended for large hospitals and enterprise systems, NextGen still 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-ready and Meaningful Use Stage II-certified. Find out more here.

Nuesoft Technologies, Inc. – The NueMD practice management system is designed for small and medium-size offices. The first cloud-based practice management software, NueMD aims for inexpensive access to an advanced practice management solution. The company operates using its own clearinghouse for claims submissions, offers an easily navigated user interface and provides customizable templates. The system is ICD-10-ready and Meaningful Use Stage II-certified. 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 as 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 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.