The Price of EHR Software: What You Need to Know
Last Updated: January 05, 2023
Fact Checked By: Ashley Smith
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Summary: EHR Software Pricing #
EHR Software pricing ranges from $300-$700 dollars per provider per month for Software as a Service (SaaS) platforms, while enterprise-level, on-site platforms will run over $30,000 for one-time licensing, installation, and training fees with monthly charges for IT support and maintenance.
Electronic Health Records (EHR) are very similar to Electronic Medical Records (EMR) and many platforms offer software for both. For this reason, the costs of EHR software is very similar to that of EMR software solutions.
What is EHR software? #
EHR software systems are, in their simplest form, computerized or digital versions of patient paper charts. However, in practice they are more than just patient paper charts. EHR software systems offer real-time patient-centered records for easy access and use wherever needed, bringing together everything about patient health in one place.
In order to comply with emerging healthcare standards and modernization, more and more healthcare providers are utilizing digital, electronic solutions to store patient information. Individual providers may utilize an Electronic Medical Record that consolidates any reports generated between that one provider and the patient. EHRs are a broader version of an EMR and may include data from multiple hospitals, providers, and specialists to provide a more comprehensive picture of a patient’s history.
Because of the similarities between managing EHRs and EMRs, many software providers use the term interchangeably and provide solutions for both. So, it is important to clarify with a prospective supplier what your organization’s needs are.
EHR software provides a way for providers to easily manage and store EHRs. EHR software solutions come in two primary forms, a SaaS subscription, or an on-site solution. The majority of SaaS style solutions follow a monthly subscription pay model while on-site platforms are often a one-time purchase with monthly payments for special support features and IT maintenance.
The Pay Per Provider EHR Software Model #
The Pay per provider price options is a monthly or annual subscription that allows the provider access to the EHR management software. The recurring fee is typically a flat rate per provider, however, there can also be several extra fees for special features and extra services in addition to one-time costs for installation and training.
Many SaaS providers for EHR also have platforms for medical billing, practice management, and other medical business solutions. These companies often provide lower rates if a provider uses more that one of their platforms. When a provider bundles these services, a company may even provide the EHR software for free and instead collect a percentage of collections through their billing software. If your organization is looking for multiple software solutions to provide a comprehensive management system, bundling multiple services through one company may prove to be a cost effective option.
Studies on the financial impact of transitioning from a hardcopy system to an EHR process show that the monthly cost for SaaS solutions typically range from $300-$700 dollars per month, or $4,000-$8,000 per year. When other fees are taken into account, the 5 year total cost is approximately $58,000 dollars.
Many popular EMR software companies also provide the same solutions for EHR management. Some popular EMR/EHR SaaS platforms that use the pay per provider option include:
The One Time License Fee EHR Software Model #
SaaS solutions tend to be very effective for small to medium size healthcare organizations. However, at an enterprise level with millions of potential patients and records, SaaS solutions may be limited in their ability to scale to that size. For this reason, large scale EHR solutions can be implemented on-site for a one time licensing fee plus some additional one time costs for training and installation. After the initial set up is complete, there are typically monthly rates for IT support and maintenance.
These types of large scale solutions can involve installing servers and data processing/storage systems at the site of the healthcare facility and give the healthcare provider more freedom to manage the system according to their needs. If your organization has a significant footprint and has its own IT department to manage an on-site system, this model may be more suitable to your needs.
Most companies that provide on-site services do not publicly have a set cost, but instead provide quotes to clients based on their needs. However, one can expect to pay approximately $30,000 in up front costs and $300-$400 in monthly IT support fees for these enterprise level solutions. Because the monthly fees tend to be lower than SaaS models, the are sometimes long term savings for paying the hefty one-time fee up front—the 5 year total cost for on-site platforms runs approximately $48,000 dollars, which is $10,000 less than that of SaaS solutions.
Other EHR Pricing Models #
Beyond these two main pricing models, some companies may charge on a “per patient” or “per visit” basis instead of per provider. Depending on the needs of your organization, this pricing option might be more cost effective, though it is less common than a per provider rate. There are also free EHR options that are based on open source software or supported by advertising, though they may not be as effective as their paid counterparts and often come with limited support. When looking at any EHR software options, especially free models, it is important to consider the needs of your organization to make sure the solution your are considering will meet your goals.
Benefits of EHR Software Systems #
Electronic health records contain patients' full medical histories, including diagnoses, immunization dates, medications, radiology images, allergies, lab and test results, and general patient medical history. EHR software systems offer easy access to evidence-based equipment that practitioners can use to make decisions about patient care. Another benefit is that these systems streamline and automate the medical provider’s workflow while increasing accuracy and organizing patient information.
EHR software also supports key changes in the market, especially in terms of consumer expectations and payer requirements. The key benefit of EHRs is that they can easily be designed, managed, and consulted by any authorized staff, as well as providers across multiple healthcare organizations. Moreover, one EHR software system can bring together important information from the past to current physicians, workplace and school clinics, emergency facilities, medical imaging facilities, laboratories, and pharmacies.
Points to Consider before Choosing EHR Software #
- Security: When it comes to patient information, security is of paramount importance. This ensures that the confidential patient medical information is not compromised in any way and also guarantees trust between patients and practices, as well as practices and EHR software providers.
- Backup: A system with frequent backup capability helps ensure both the security (see point one) and integrity of patient data. This ensures that things such as natural disasters, theft, and fires do not prevent access to patient information. Also, one can’t ask a patient to bring his data to the healthcare facility. This defeats the purpose of EHR software.
- Easy to use: You want a system that's easy to use and with an intuitive interface. This ensures immediate implementation with minimum training required. It also cuts down on the cost of implementing the software.
- Differences Between EHR and EMR
- Introduction to Electronic Health Records (EHRs)
- Top 15 EHR Systems for 2023