Choosing the right medical billing software for your practice or medical billing service is challenging. A Google search for “medical billing software” generates 458,000 results, with several hundred companies offering different options. And of course, you must research your options and make a decision while continuing to run your business and dealing with multiple other issues. And yet, this is a key decision; the right software can improve your profitability by double-digit percentages, and the wrong choice can affect your productivity and/or your profitability for years to come. So how do you choose the right medical billing software for your practice or business? Here are some key factors that you should consider: □ Ease of Use—You want a system that won’t take weeks to implement and won’t frustrate your staff. Make sure that the system is intuitive and easy to learn so that your staff won’t resist the change, or you could end up spending thousands on a system that is not used. Include some of the end-users in the evaluation process, both to get their input on ease of use and to build buy-in. Many physicians have told us horror stories about software that costs them thousands and then their staff is either slow to adopt it or won’t adopt it at all. □ Transparency—Busy physicians and office managers don’t need complicated systems that make it difficult for them to track the practice’s financial health. Look for a system that highlights important details like overdue claims, insurance underpayments, and monthly performance statistics on an easy to access dashboard that makes it very easy for physicians and administrators to access. Ask your providers for their wish list of reports for the new system, and determine whether the systems you’re considering can produce these reports. □ Affordability—Be sure to consider the full cost of the system. Are there set-up costs and a long-term contract? One of the benefits of web-based software is that often there are no set-up costs, since in some cases you can simply sign on. Also, if you’re considering a long-term contract, ask what happens if the system doesn’t work for you–what recourse do you have? □ Technical Requirements—Will you need to install, update and maintain software on your office computers? If you have the resources to dedicate to IT, this could make sense for you. However, if you don’t have an IT staff or consultant, you may prefer to avoid this problem. Using a web-based application means you have no software to maintain and update, and it’s available 24/7 wherever you can access the Web. □ Security—How will you insure your data is secure and backed up on a regular basis? If you don’t have a dedicated IT professional, this can be a problem, and even with professional help, it can be expensive. With HIPAA requirements, you need to make sure that the system is secure and faithfully backed up. Again, one of the benefits of a web-based system is that your data is secure off-site and automatically backed up daily, without you or your staff needing to do a thing. □ Training and Support—Be sure that the system you select provides the training and support your staff will need to be productive quickly. What happens when you’ve ended the initial training period and you hire new staff? You’ll want a system that offers a full selection of online training as well as multiple e-mail and phone support options. Naturally, these are all areas we have focused on for Kareo. If you review our Benefits and Features sections, you will see how Kareo addresses these needs. You can also hear from your colleagues about how Kareo works for them. But whether or not you decide that Kareo is the right medical billing software for you, we hope you will consider these important factors when doing your research and that this checklist will be helpful to you. It’s too important a decision to not follow a rigorous decision-making process. And if we can answer any questions for you, we are always more than happy to do so.