What should Medical Practices/Doctors opt for when selecting a Practice Management Software, Bundled or Unbundled Approach (PMS & EHR)?

Practice Management Software has been an essential tool for Medical Practices (small and large) that helps optimize the Claim Billing process and Practice Management activities. With the implementation of Affordable care Act of 2020, US government incentivized EHR. This, along with the expectation of easy access to patient information (that technology advancement provided), opened ways for EHR vendors entering the marketplace by large.

Medical Practices/Doctors are now presented with two main options, they can either select a dedicated Practice Management Software with a separate Electronic Health Record or can opt for a bundled version of these two – depending on the vendors the functionalities may differ with the software being primarily PMS with EHR features or EHR with PMS functionality included.

What to opt for, should Medical Practices/Doctors proceed with bundled (EHR + PMS) approach or should they opt for a separate software?

This question is an important one, because providers, doctors and the practice staff use both the software on daily basis. Apparently, the bundled approach sound simple and seems to be an optimized solution to the problem yet as per our experience Medical Practices/Doctors should not just focus on ease but on the desired end result. If the bundled software is aiding their clinical and administrative work, adding productivity to the practice; then they should go ahead with the bundled software approach. If, however, the Practice Management software portion of the bundle does not provide features that help enhance efficiency and it does not optimize the practice’s productivity then doctors/medical practices should opt for separate software.

Choosing any software, whether bundled or separate, Medical Practices should be conscious that no matter how excellent the EHR is it cannot compensate for the missing functionality on the practice management software side. Doctors/ Medical Practices should look for the software that automates the operational and administrative tasks, reducing effort, saving time, instilling efficiency. The end result should be error free, optimized Medical Billing Processes with enhanced overall productivity.

Another reason for the practices to be forced into a bundled software is out of fear that the EHR vender may inhibit the availability of clinical data in a PMS. This fear will lose its steams soon as a result of the two new Mandated Interoperability rules of 2020. Under this Federal mandate the EHR venders will be required to share data with patients, other software venders, hospitals and other medical facilities whenever required.

In short, the decision to go ahead with a bundled approach (PMS + EHR or opting to use both the medical software separately, should be driven by which approach suits the business model best. The focus here should be on the end result i.e., enhanced practice performance and greater profitability.

AltuMED PracticeFit is a Medical Billing Software that optimizes the claim life cycle and also enables integrations with industry leading EHRs but unlike others, we do not push the bundled solution on our clients. We educate them about the difference and let them choose which approach best suits their business. If you are wondering about getting a separate PMS or getting an integrated solution you may contact us.

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