A doctor starting a new practice, a therapist who still prefers handwritten notes, a primary care physician looking to streamline the office, or a small practice owner or administrator simply trying to maximize reimbursements. If any of these is you, with the deadline for Federal Government's Meaningful Use attestation mandate around the corner, and getting squeezed by regulation, reporting and unproductive paper chase, then it's time to upgrade to a Web Based EMR and Medical Billing solution.

With so many vendors and products, and a constant noise of claims and counterclaims, how do you go about finding your sweet spot with the most affordable EMR and medical billing solution that is most suitable for your small or medium size practice? Here are some considerations:

1) Quality of Care.

Quality of patient care should always be the first and foremost concern of any practice. If you are a small practice, you want to enhance and improve on that experience by adopting an affordable web based EMR solution for ease of patient check-in / check-out, creating / updating electronic patient charts, review / order prescriptions and refills, including drug-drug / drug-allergy interactions, ordering labs and radiology, reading results and updating charts, and much, much more … all with the click of a few buttons, or by dictating for seamless voice-to-text conversion.

2) Integration.

There are clinical aspects of your medical practice, and then there are the financial aspects. They both need to work hand in hand along with their relevant underlining functions, such as, prescriptions, lab-orders, insurance eligibility, co-pay collection, seamless claims submission and remittance posting, etc., in order to run your business efficiently. A web based EMR, Practice Management and Medical Billing solution should integrate all aspects of the practice – clinical and financial, around a single platform and a single shared database so that any changes made in any one module are automatically available in the rest of the functions instantly without having to reenter the data. A truly fully integrated EMR and Medical Billing system that eliminates duplication and improves overall productivity.

3) Customer Service.

Are implementation and training costs spelled out in black & white and are as affordable as the EMR and Medical Billing solutions? Does the vendor conduct training at your schedule or his? Is face-to-face training an available option even at reasonable additional cost? Does the vendor have clinical staff on their implementation team or do you only deal with techies, who may not be as adept about the work and clinical aspects as they may be about bits and bytes. You want to go to a vendor who offers a total solution spanning from an affordable EMR to an integrated practice management and a comprehensive medical billing service, especially if you are a small or medium size medical practice with limited resources.

4) Cost.

If only you can get everything you need and want in a web based EMR and Medical Billing system and all that flexibility about implementation and training and unlimited support – all for one simple modest fee! Make a wish list of features and aspects that are must-have, followed by nice-to-have, and shop the vast pool of vendors and solutions. You want an affordable EMR and possibly a medical billing solution included, and you need to know what you are paying for each item on your list. Do you incur an additional cost for upgrades and training? Is there a maintenance fee that you are required to pay annually? If you add up all of the fees and charges, you may or may not find the EMR really affordable.