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DrChrono

Best Medical Billing Service for Small Practices

A Business News Daily Review

Product and service reviews are conducted independently by our editorial team, but we sometimes make money when you click on links. Learn more.

After conducting our research and analysis of medical billing services, we recommend DrChrono as the best medical billing service for small practices.

We chose DrChrono from a pool of dozens of medical billing services. To learn more about our full methodology and for a more comprehensive list of medical billing companies, see Business News Daily's best picks.

DrChrono's medical billing service is geared toward small and midsize practices, primarily in the range of one to 15 providers or 16 to 25 providers. The company works with practices across all specialties, charging a percentage of their clients' net collections. DrChrono boasts a competitive first-pass claims rate of 97%, meaning only 3% of the claims its billers submit are denied by payers and require additional work and resubmission. In addition, DrChrono's percentage of collections includes access to its electronic medical records (EMR) software and practice management software. The only drawback is that clients are required to use both the EMR and practice management software, whereas most medical billing services only require clients to use their practice management system.

Editor's note: Looking for a medical billing service for your practice? If you're looking for information to help you choose the one that's right for you, use the questionnaire below to receive more information from our vendor partners.

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DrChrono's billing team starts the revenue cycle management process from the very beginning, generating claims by entering charges and coding them properly based on clinical documentation from the practice. Once the claims are generated, DrChrono scrubs each one for common errors that would lead to rejection by the payers. If any errors are flagged, the company's medical billers and coders revise the claim accordingly prior to submission.

Once a claim is generated and scrubbed, it is submitted to the appropriate payer or through DrChrono's clearinghouse partner. The company works closely with TriZetto clearinghouse. Any fees that are incurred through the clearinghouse process are built into DrChrono's percentage of collections and won't be charged to the practice on top of that rate. DrChrono's billers monitor each submitted claim until it is paid, conducting follow-ups if a claim languishes too long.

In the event a payer denies a claim, the company's denial management teams collect any information regarding the denial and then set to work revising the claim. Using clinical documentation from the EMR, billers prepare an appeal or revise the claim as needed. The company's target is to resubmit denied claims within 25 days of receiving a rejection notice from the payer.

DrChrono works with all specialties, primarily in the small and midsize practice space. Most of its clients range in size from one to 25 providers and have greatly varying claim volumes. For example, a company representative told Business News Daily that some clients submit as few as 25 claims per month, while other clients submit up to 1,000 claims per month. No matter your size or claim volume, DrChrono is willing to work with your practice; once signed up, any practice on the system is able to submit unlimited claims.

DrChrono's pricing structure, like all medical billing services in our review, is based on a predetermined percentage of net collections a practice receives. The typical DrChrono client can expect to pay between 4% and 8% of collections, which is about average for the companies we reviewed. Included in that price is access to both DrChrono's EMR software and practice management software. There are no additional setup, implementation or clearinghouse fees associated with the revenue cycle management service, though if you require a transition to DrChrono's EMR software, you might encounter some implementation and training fees related to that process.

DrChrono's minimum contract requirement is one year for most clients, though the ultimate terms depend on practice specifics. For example, a new practice with a small volume of claims might be required to sign a longer contract, although a company representative told Business News Daily that this is a relatively uncommon occurrence. Most medical billing services in our review also maintain one-year contract minimums for revenue cycle management clients.

Both DrChrono's electronic health record (EHR) software and practice management software are included in the percentage of collections it charges clients. The EHR software has a user-friendly interface that is easy to learn and navigate. There's also a clinical encounter module that offers a full list of practice patients and their insurance providers.

Through the practice management software, you will have access to a patient portal and real-time patient insurance eligibility verification, which can save time filling out paperwork when a patient comes in for a visit. The practice management platform also allows you to review practice financials and generate reports, which adds an element of transparency to your outsourced billing operations. Practices can monitor DrChrono's billing activity directly within the system as if the billing staff were any other in-house user operating on the system.

Reporting is a crucial part of the software suite. DrChrono provides all the data stored across the system to practices in a custom reporting tool that lets practices generate their own reports on demand, using real-time data and formatted to suit their own unique workflows. For example, if a practice wants to pull a report that displays collections by payer through the past six months, the custom tool allows them to set those parameters. Additional reports include data on the number of claims submitted, the dollar value of individual claims, the dollar value of claims paid, the number of claims that were denied, and the number of claims adjudicated after revision and follow-up from DrChrono's billing team.

Unlike the other medical billing services we reviewed, DrChrono requires that its revenue cycle management clients operate on both the EMR and practice management software. While DrChrono's healthcare IT products are useful, this could prove difficult to small practices already comfortable with a third-party EMR or unwilling to transition through another implementation, period. Still, DrChrono offers strong healthcare IT products, with its EMR earning our best pick for small practices as well.

Upon signing up for DrChrono's medical billing service, your practice will be assigned a dedicated account manager to act as a one-to-one contact between the company and your practice. This account manager is responsible for answering any questions, resolving problems and providing status reports upon request. In addition to the dedicated account manager, DrChrono maintains a ticket system to resolve any technical issues.

In addition to the points of contact, DrChrono's website features a full page of self-guided learning materials that can help you navigate its software. These include how-to guides that cover basic navigation, template building, the mobile application and common troubleshooting tips. There is also a library of training videos available through the website.

DrChrono's biggest drawback is the requirement that practices operate on its proprietary EMR. While it is common in the medical billing industry to mandate use of a company's practice management software because the billing is conducted through that platform, mandatory use of the EMR is something we only encountered with DrChrono. This makes it easier for the denial management team to access clinical documentation in support of appeals of payer denials. However, for small practices that already have an EMR in place, the requirement means they must go through another implementation and training period, which can be a lengthy process that disrupts workflow and harms productivity until the new EMR software is in place. DrChrono's EMR is our best pick for small practices as well, so in many cases the requirement might not be a problem. However, practices should be aware before signing up that they will have to transition to the company’s EMR and practice management system prior to outsourcing their medical billing operations.

Ready to choose a medical billing service? Here's a breakdown of our complete coverage:

Editor's note: Looking for a medical billing service for your practice? If you're looking for information to help you choose the one that's right for you, use the questionnaire below to receive more information from our vendor partners.

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Adam C. Uzialko

Adam C. Uzialko, a New Jersey native, graduated from Rutgers University in 2014 with a degree in political science and journalism and media studies. He reviews healthcare information technology, call centers, document management software and employee monitoring software. In addition to his full-time position at Business News Daily and Business.com, Adam freelances for several outlets. An indispensable ally of the feline race, Adam is owned by four lovely cats.