Medical practice management software can dramatically improve the efficiency and performance of your practice, but it comes at a price.
Like everyone else, you're watching your pennies – throwing money down the drain on worthless features or ineffective technology just isn't an option.
A thorough product search and implementation process can help maximize the impact of your investment. By working with your staff to carefully identify the features that are most important to your practice, you can conduct accurate cost comparisons and avoid overspending on a new application. Understanding how medical practice management software solutions (MPM) are priced can also ensure that you're not paying more than is necessary.
Pricing plans for MPM software packages depend on whether you are implementing a web-based or desktop solution. Licensing and installation fees for desktop applications range from $8000-$60,000+ for sophisticated packages with a large number of licensed users. Web-based solutions involve monthly fees ranging from $50-$500 as well as an initial setup fee that is usually no more than a few thousand dollars. Some online MPM providers allow for usage-based pricing on a per-claim or per-patient basis.
MPM vendors typically assess additional fees for services that aren't part of the standard package. Unfortunately, many of these services are necessary in order to achieve the highest possible ROI. The services vary by vendor, but generally include the following:
- Data Importing – One of the first steps of the implementation process is to import existing patient and practice data into the new system. Assuming you've done your homework and selected an application that is capable of importing your existing data, you can expect the vendor to assess an additional fee for import services.
- Data Exporting – At some point you'll probably want to export your data out of the new application. Vendors often charge a fee to facilitate the export and exit process.
- Staff Training – No matter how intuitive your system is, it's important to secure initial training for everyone in your practice. Although it may be possible to negotiate on price, MPM solutions and vendors will assess an upcharge for training.
- Support – Technical support is one of those expenses that is tempting to ignore, at least until your system crashes and you can't access your practice's data. Resist the urge to opt-out and enroll in a vendor-sponsored support program.
- System Upgrades – Desktop applications almost always incur a fee when the vendor upgrades the application. Web-based applications avoid upgrade fees in the short-term, but ultimately end up paying for upgrades when the vendor increases pricing in subsequent service contracts.