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Stephen O'Connor

By: Stephen O'Connor on March 27th, 2013

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The Top Five Features of Practice Management Software

Practice Management

Are you satisfied with how well your medical practice is running? The hallmark of any good executive in healthcare is an unwillingness to settle for the status quo, especially when new tools are available to streamline and otherwise improve the way you do business.

More stakeholders at medical practices are coming to see the benefits of installing practice management software at their offices. You may have heard from colleagues about how they use PM software but you still need to learn more about this kind of application before you feel ready to pull the trigger and deploy it yourself.

Practice management software gives you the tools you need to organize and run the practice as efficiently as possible. You use it to complete such time-consuming tasks as checking on patients’ insurance status and managing problems such as denied claims. You can rely on a PM application to set up appointments faster, which moves more patients through your system while using fewer staff resources and less time. This makes both patients and staffers happier.

Remember too that practice management software will integrate very well with Electronic Health Record software that you might already have installed at your facility or are considering putting in place as well.

With that in mind, here are the top five features of practice management software that you should be aware of:

1. Claim Denial Manager

A sore spot for many medical practices is the amount of time it takes for them to get paid for the services provided to each patient. Practice management software is set up to alleviate this problem. It allows you to see extremely detailed reports on denied claims, sortable by multiple options. 

No matter how well trained your employees are, mistakes are bound to happen at least occasionally. PM software’s claims denial management mitigates the risk of errors.

This works in real-time, so if there is an issue with a claim, you will see exactly what is wrong with it immediately so you can fix it straight away. Then it is a trivial matter to resubmit the corrected claim for timelier payment. 

If the flow of revenue has been slower than your business plans call for, the claims denial manager feature of PM software may be all you need to make the decision to integrate it into your organization now. But there are other benefits to keep in mind as you discuss this with your fellow stakeholders, such as improved ability to process electronic claims.

2. Electronic Claim Submission

If your staff has been putting up with bottlenecks when it comes to submitting claims to insurance carriers, practice management software helps clear the way. Perhaps the most useful aspect is the ability to submit claims electronically to multiple insurance carriers, each of which who can have unique requirements to contend with. Keeping track of their particular needs is easier when you use PM software for submitting claims.

Imagine being able to see a detailed list on one screen that shows the status of various claims from different health insurance providers, in their various payer’s queues.

The result is that electronic claims lead to faster processing, faster turnaround time and faster payment of claims. Your staff will also now have better data when it comes to producing financial forecasts and when preparing budgets.

3. Scheduler

There’s no time to waste when it comes to scheduling patients. Surely, you are no longer resorting to a paper-based system for tracking appointments for your patients. But you might be making your team put up with some kind of generic medical scheduling application that doesn’t really meet your needs.

The scheduling feature in your practice management application will let you customize the screen based on your particular needs. Some practices have higher rates of regular follow-up appointments than others, or need to schedule related appointments, such as pain management or physical therapy.

You can use the scheduling component according to your immediate data needs in an instant. For example, any member of the team can sort information by any field or column on the screen, customizing his or her interface without affecting anyone else’s screen. This means your staff will have more control over their workspace and can set up the most efficient way to set up appointments, according to whatever the situation calls for.

4. ICD-10 Coding Converter

Administered by WHO, the World Health Organization, the International Classification of Diseases code base is updated every 10 years. The U.S. government required medical organizations to switch from ICD-9 to version 10 by 2015, and since then, most practices have given their employees sufficient training in using the new codes. But there are thousands of new codes and it is hard to keep them all straight in your head, no matter how obsessed you are with the fine details of medical billing and reporting.

There are more codes now in ICD-10 so that medical professionals can be more precise in describing diagnosis and the treatment being provided. This is significant both for reimbursement from insurance carriers as well as for being able to report aggregated medical data for use by public health researchers and other scientists.

So, even if members of your team have begun to develop significant skills in ICD-10, mistakes are still going to occur at least occasionally. But errors in ICD-10 coding naturally lead to delays in getting claims processed and paid. 

Your practice management software should include a built-in tool to help your team process ICD-10 codes. For example, if you type in a code from ICD-9, the system will respond with the equivalent in ICD-10, speeding up the claims process quite dramatically.

5. Insurance Eligibility Verification

It’s awful to see employees hanging on the telephone with insurance carriers for who knows how long, just to verify a patient’s insurance eligibility. This is particularly the case during open enrollment cycles. Everyone who has been without insurance or is changing to a new provider wants to get desperately needed medical appointments as soon as possible. Then, more callers from doctors’ offices are jamming the lines and the carriers don’t always devote enough staff to accommodate the increased volume.

With practice management software in place, you can ease this burden of insurance eligibility verification, freeing up your staff to focus on more pressing tasks that require actual intelligence and not just the ability to wait on hold, listening to recorded music designed to soothe your impatience.

PM software enables you to automatically check insurance benefits on a multitude of patients electronically, with the ability to get a real-time, immediate response. The entire process takes place over secure, encrypted networks so you don’t need to be concerned about violating patients’ HIPAA privacy protections.

For even greater efficiency, you might want to use the batch feature in the PM software. This lets you check benefits for many patients at once in bulk by using the appointment scheduling system.




You and your management team are already aware that some changes need to be made in order for you to function to the best of your team’s abilities. Deploying practice management software gives you a new set of tools designed to run things more efficiently. From easier scheduling to faster insurance status checks, you’ll be wondering why you didn’t integrate PM software with the rest of your organization’s computer systems earlier.

For more insight into using PM application, go ahead and click here to access our detailed and informative Practice Management Software demo.


Key Takeaway:

- The complexity of a modern medical practice calls out for using state-of-the-art computer and software systems.

- You will make better use of your staff’s time when you deploy Practice Management or PM software.

- With a PM application installed, you can accomplish time-consuming tasks such as checking a patient’s insurance eligibility much more quickly.

- A built-in claims denial manager in the PM software lets your staff take care of billing problems so you can shorten the revenue cycle.

- Electronic claims submission with the PM application allows you to communicate with multiple insurance providers, for faster processing and payment.

- The PM application’s ICD-10 code conversion tool lets you assign the correct code even if you haven’t undergone comprehensive training in the latest version of the International Classification of Diseases code base.

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About Stephen O'Connor

Stephen O'Connor is the Director of Brand and Digital Marketing, responsible for many aspects of Advanced Data Systems Corporation’s (ADS) marketing, including product marketing, customer acquisition, demand generation, brand, brand design, and content marketing.

Stephen has more than 20 years of healthcare industry experience. Prior to ADS, Stephen spent 11 years at Medical Resources Inc. (MRI), most recently as the Manager of Marketing & Internet Services, where he and his teams were responsible for all marketing efforts and the market positioning of MRI’s services.

Stephen spends his day's planning, writing, & designing resources for the modern healthcare professional.