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Summary: EMR Pricing
Electronic Medical Records (EMR) software typically costs between $300-$700 dollars per month with one-time, up front costs ranging from $2,000-$33,000 dollars. These costs will vary based on the pricing model used by the EMR software provider and whether you opt for an in-office solution or Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). Most EMR pricing models are based on a monthly “pay per provider” rate, however, you may find some platforms that only charge a one time licensing fee with monthly costs for maintenance and support. These licensing fees often range from $2,000-$25,000 dollars.
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What is EMR software?
In an attempt to modernize the healthcare industry, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 mandated that all public and private healthcare providers utilize an electronic medical records system in order to receive medicare and medicaid financial incentives.
EMR software is a more reliable and secure method of managing, maintaining, and storing patient medical information. These records are often sensitive and critical to providing proper care to the patient, which means that secure electronic storage is a significantly safer way of making sure the information is protected, yet available when needed.
What are the benefits of EMR?
Any records generated by a healthcare provider for a patient should be included into the electronic medical record. This includes everything from billing information to previous treatments, prescriptions, diagnoses, and operations. Ideally, the EMR is a one stop shop for healthcare providers to understand their history with the patient and can easily share it digitally with other necessary medical professionals who may also be working with the individual.
In addition to the ease of access, it is easier to protect electronic records from physical damage such as fire and flood. It is also easier to lock down access of electronic records to authorized personnel only in order to maintain the privacy a patient’s health information.
Difference Between EMR and EHR
While many people and organizations use EMR and EHR (Electronic Health Record) interchangeably, there is a difference. EMRs are more specific to a patient’s medical history while EHRs tend to be broader records designed to capture a patient’s overall health. This includes information that would be covered in an EMR. While an EMR may contain one provider’s record of medical care provided to a patient, EHRs often contain information from a range of providers. When searching for a platform to provide EMR or EHR services, it is important to clarify what your organization’s needs are and whether or not a platform manages EHRs, EMRs, or both.
Typical Price Models
Most EMR software platforms operate on a monthly pay per provider model. However, you may find some platforms that only charge a one time fee to purchase the required software. The pay per provider model is most common for SaaS EMR solutions while the one time purchases are primarily done for in-office solutions.
1. Pay Per Provider
Pay per provider price options usually include a monthly or annual fee charged to the healthcare provider. In addition to these fees, you may be charged one time costs for installation and training. If you are working with a software company that also provides medical billing software, they may offer “bundle deals” for using both of their platforms. The monthly cost for most SaaS solutions range from $300-$700 dollars, according to several studies conducted on healthcare providers as they underwent EMR implementation.
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Some typical SaaS platforms that use the pay per provider option include:
2. One Time License Fee
EMR companies that provide in-office solutions as opposed to SaaS platforms may only charge a one time license fee for use of their product and then charge a monthly fee for IT support and maintenance. This is more common for extremely large, enterprise level organizations with millions of healthcare records to manage.
One time license fee solutions tend to be more expensive as they may include installation of on-site data servers, extensive training, and a more robust system overall. While many of these companies do not publicly state the cost of their service (instead providing a custom quote to prospective clients based on their needs), one can expect to pay approximately $30,000 in up front costs and $300-$400 in monthly IT support fees. Some EMR companies in this category include (contact them for custom quotes):
3. Less Common Pricing Options
In addition to these two main pricing models, you may encounter platforms that charge on a per patient or per visit basis. There is also an increasing number of free EMR options that are ad supported or open source. However, the quality of these free services can be drastically lower than that of paid versions and may not meet HIPPA compliance for EMR management systems.
Points to Note before Selecting an EMR Software Vendor
- Define your goals: Basing your electronic charting system on your facility's functional needs ensures you choose a solution that truly meets your needs. Look carefully at whether the software integrates seamlessly with other systems currently in operation reduces risk of complications. Understanding your goals also helps you determine which features are must-have, which are nice-to-have, and which ones you're unlikely to use. As features add considerably to overall cost, understanding which ones you actually need offers significant savings.
- Shortlist possible vendors: Make a list of possible vendors you would like to research further. This allows you to eliminate vendors who do not deal with a particular specialty or size practice. Also, choose vendors that have actual certification that gives you surety of the authenticity of the software.
- Arrange for a demonstration: Once you have a shortlist of vendors, can arrange for a demonstration of the charting software to identify the right software for your healthcare facility. Include staff who will actually use the software in your demonstration, as they offer the best front-line opinion.
- Voice recognition services: These are becoming more common by the day. This factor should also be taken into consideration for the software. Some of the newest systems can be programmed to recognize different voices so as to be able to be used by various practitioners in the same clinic and this will bring the cost down.