One of the things that might make your life even easier, or may convince you to use an iPad in your office is using a Bluetooth keyboard with your iPad. This may be one of the reasons that some of you haven’t switched to using an iPad. With a web based practice management system, and a Bluetooth keyboard for your iPad, you can take notes even easier. Obviously one of the issues with an iPad may be getting used to the virtual keyboard that pops up. It certainly works, but doesn’t have the feel that a normal keyboard has, and can often misread keys that you are typing if you are moving too fast or simply don’t press in the exact right spot.
Logitech has come out with a Bluetooth keyboard to keep you wireless, and to make typing that much easier. Not that we are trying to sell keyboard…we aren’t. However, if you are taking a lot of notes, this can add to the simplicity of managing your practice from an iPad and from the web. Simply connect the keyboard and the iPad together via Bluetooth, and type your notes into a web based practice management system directly from a keyboard. You know you will be hitting the right keys and it will probably save you even more time. You can even buy a case that will prop up your iPad so it looks more like a notebook computer. Check it out ….it’s pretty cool.]]>
A great alternative for the alternative practice is a web based delivery system. Let someone else be your IT manager. By subscribing to practice management software instead of purchasing it, you can push all of those tasks off to the company that is actually delivering the software. With a web based practice management system, you are simply able to turn on the system by logging in with a user name and password…similar to how you might get your e-mail.
An IT manager can be expensive. Think about what someone might charge to help even for a few hours. You might be paying upwards of $50/hour for someone to come in for a few hours to help you solve your IT issues. That is definitely not a monthly expense you want after you have shelled out a large sum to purchase a program. In a web based program, you are typically paying a monthly subscription fee, and some might be as low as $50/month (not to mention you have their support team to ask questions and help you complete your set up of a program). This is much more efficient and cost effective for an independent practice. Once your web based practice management system is set up, you have the resources of an IT team at your call, without having to hire someone individually on an ongoing basis. The company delivering your software has a vested interest in making sure that all is working properly so that you will ultimately recommend them to your colleagues.
To get started, if you are not familiar at all with an IT environment, it might make sense to hire someone to help get you started, however, once you have picked the right practice management system that is web based, you will be able to focus more on your practice, save more money over the long term, and ultimately grow your practice without the headaches that can happen when you are a solo practitioner.]]>
If you are still using paper and pen, and then transcribing notes into your practice management system, you might think about investing in a tablet, such as an iPad. The beauty of the iPad as it relates to seeing patients is the ability to have a small piece of equipment that is easy to carry around, and can connect to a web based practice management system so you can cut your paperwork time in half. By being able to input your notes, create a bill, or see your schedule at the touch of a button, while being in the same room as the patient, ultimately can give you the extra time you may need during the day to see an extra patient or two.
The other interesting thing you can do with an iPad is download an app from Dragon which will allow you to simply record your voice and then copy and paste the dictation into the notes section of your patient records. Many practitioners use some other dictation device, but many of them go back and listen and type in the notes after the fact. It can be very time consuming. If you have an iPad, check out the Dragon app. It’s free. Then dictate some notes and see how you can simply copy and paste them into AcuBase. You will be able to move from Dragon to the web based patient notes screen with ease. Not only will it save you time, but also potentially allow you to see more patients or spend more times with the ones you already have.]]>
Ebilling is way to create a huge efficiency in your practice if you are currently submitting claims to insurance companies. By utilizing the ebilling feature of your practice management software, you can cut down on the number of errors in your billing, can save on printing costs such as ink and the cost of purchasing the CMS 1500 forms, not to forget the money saved on postage. The reimbursement time is also a huge factor. If you are waiting to receive funds, you can wait for weeks or months to get reimbursed. Think about what you could do with that money if you were receiving it in less than 2 weeks using electronic billing.
The other key benefit is being able to track that billing with your clearinghouse. Once the electronic file is sent, you can see where things are in the process from your practice management system if your system has an integrated interface with a clearinghouse. This will allow you to manage your funds better and see exactly what is due to you or why something might be rejected. If you are using paper and you claim is rejected, you are most likely waiting a very long time to find out about the rejection and then have to spend time resubmitting the claim. In some cases, physicians simply don’t submit that claim again, and they write off the payment. If you are going to take the time to accept insurance, you should definitely take the time to make sure you get paid. Electronic billing will help you with that.
If you are looking to go green, cut down on wasteful time and effort of sending claims and also are interested in getting paid faster, use your practice management software to its fullest capacity and implement ebilling into your office. You will be very happy you did it.]]>
As an acupuncturist or chiropractor, you may have things you are looking to improve in your office. We feel the same way about our software, and many of these things come from internal sources of how we would like to see the software work better. However, most of our suggestions come from users …such as the suggestion to add an online scheduler for patients, or an automated e-mail reminder system.
Many of our users do think about how to make the program easier for themselves, but when we hear the same suggestion from several different users, it usually means creating that feature will benefit the majority of our users. We also look for feature that we can make available, but not mandatory. As with the online scheduler and e-mail appointment reminders, they are there if a user wants to use them, but we have not built them into a requirement of using our practice management software.
Feature rich is a good thing for practice management software, as long as it doesn’t take away from the basic functionality of the software. This is one other item we look at when making decisions about features. Are we getting too deep into something that isn’t really for practice management? Is the feature going to cause more questions and training than we can provide? If we can’t make it easier for a practice to manage their day to day routine, it is a feature that doesn’t make sense.
Keep the suggestions coming. We appreciate hearing the feedback and ultimately what you are looking to have in a web based practice management software.]]>
So the question is….does the hassle of setting up accounts with clearinghouses or insurance payors, filling out paperwork, waiting to get paid, being paid less than you may be charging and many of the other things that go along with insurance billing makes sense. If you aren’t using a practice management system that helps you create insurance forms or does it automatically, then it might not make sense. However, by implementing a practice management system that automates the insurance billing, you may be able to gain a great deal of new clients and revenue in a relatively short amount of time.
This aspect of your practice management is really about marketing and operations. By simply using a practice management software that will generate the billing for your (both Superbills and Insurance billing with e-billing capability), you can cut down on a huge amount of time filling out paperwork, creating bills for recurring appointments, and sending claims via “snail mail”. What this means for your practice is that insurance clients might make sense. You might even think about setting a cap on insurance clients until you figure out the economics. Either way, practice management software that automatically creates claim forms, can set up electronic billing, or even submit to a clearinghouse directly will ultimately save you a large amount of time…therefore allowing you to grow your patient base ultimately leading to new streams of revenue.]]>
When you work with a web based practice management software system like AcuBase Live, you can put this type of worry behind you and focus on what you were meant to do, which is treat patients. With a web based practice management software, the backups are done daily, and many times, several times a day. The back ups should also be done in a HIPAA compliant environment and be encrypted to ensure you have the highest level of security. In addition don’t have to worry about extra hardware like external hard drives that can get expensive (hopefully that is where you are backing up your data).
As a small acupuncture or chiropractic office, you don’t have an IT department to help sort through these complications. We know because we help people work through these issues. You have to think what you would do if you lost your data. Would you be able to know what you did in the last session of treatment? Why take that risk if you don’t have to. It is costly, time consuming, and at the end of the day, you are trained to practice acupuncture or chiropractics, not solve IT problems.
If you are using practice management software, but it isn’t web based, then you are potentially setting yourself up for a long hassle of recovering data. Look for web based software to manage your practice that will do backups automatically, securely, and without worry.]]>
1. What type of customer do I want to attract?
2. How many more customers can my practice handle without causing any customer service issues?
3. How much am I willing to pay for those customers?
There are obviously many more questions to ask from a marketing perspective, but as an acupuncturist, most likely with a small practice, these are pretty good ones to start with. For instance, do you want cash customers or insurance customers? Do you want customers who are coming from a referral source or customers who are coming because they want to be there and will hopefully use your service over a long time instead of just a one off treatment?
The reason to ask these questions to start is so that you know where to start looking for your customers. By keeping track of referral sources in your practice management software system, you can reach out to those in your referral network with some quick e-mails and marketing letters to remind them you have availability in your practice. You can also create a referral marketing campaign by sending a mass e-mail to your customers and provide them an incentive for making a new customer referral. A practice management software that allows you to mass e-mail or create specific e-mail forms and send them is key to your marketing efforts.
As you start to think about referrals, (which is always a great place to start since someone else is really doing the marketing for you), the key question you need to ask yourself is how much that referral is worth to you. If you are getting a referral that over time comes in for 10 acupuncture treatments and spends $750 – $1000 let’s say, that might mean you are willing to pay $50-$100 for that new customer. This could be in the form of a cash incentive, gift card, or even free treatment for the referrer.
Just make sure you calculate your costs. Don’t give too much away, but remember to make it worth someone’s time to send you a new client. Once you have that number locked in, you can hopefully set your referral marketing on auto pilot giving you more time to see more clients vs. marketing. We will continue to help you with marketing via AcuBase Live, and provide you with more marketing tools to help you Strengthen Your Practice.]]>
Fortunately, AcuBase Live, a practice management software for acupuncturists, chiropractors, massage therapists and other alternative therapists has an easy and intuitive way to manage your inventory via our practice management software system. If you are creating invoices and selling inventory, you can simply add your inventory into the system and each time you create an invoice and add items from your inventory, your inventory totals on hand will adjust. This way you will be able to know what you have on hand and what you need to order. Remember, your inventory data is only as good as what you enter.
Don’t let your inventory be a reason that your company health suffers.]]>
We know you don’t have much time in between seeing patients, billing and all of the other clerical work you need to do on a daily basis. It’s also more than likely don’t have an IT department, so having a practice management software that is online solves many of the IT set up issues you may be worried about. For you to succeed in moving to electronic records and a paperless acupuncture office, start by simply keeping your patients and notes online. You can see them easily without having to go through files, and you can get rid of the file cabinets keeping all the paper. You can also bring them up any time, so if you are at home, you don’t have to worry if you brought home the patient file.
As you start to get more familiar with a practice management software, you can start to expand what you do online, like tracking your schedule, inventory, billing and sending appointment reminders via e-mail. You might consider taking a little time each month to learn a new section of the software. Even if it takes you 6 months to learn a software program little by little, you will be able to manage your practice much more efficiently, avoid being overwhelmed and frustrated, and wonder how you ever ran your office without practice management software. Software is there to make your life easier and help you work more efficiently.]]>