Articles by MDoffice
Basics of EMR Costs
Written by MDoffice

You’re looking at an EMR system. You know that licenses and support aren’t free. What will you have to buy? Vendors usually base their EMR licenses on the number of providers and the number of work stations in an office or clinic. Here are the basics:

You’ll usually have to pay someone to plan your system and train your staff on how to use it.

Hardware Costs for EMR
Written by MDoffice

You propose to have your EMR stored in computers in your practice. What will you have to buy? For starters, you’ll need personal computers for all your offices and exam rooms. Add to that network hardware, central database servers, and, if you have remote office, possibly communication servers.

You'll need desktop PCs for each doctor, nurse, and your front desk. You’ll want desktop or notebook PCs for each exam room. You’ll have to hardwire these computers into an office server or set up a wireless network. You may also need tablet or handheld PCs.

Highest EMR Codes for Big Savings
Written by MDoffice

One of the main ways physicians lose money is because they don’t know the proper code. They’re afraid of being audited so they list the lower code, not the higher one that they might be entitled if they had the time to document it. A good EMR will quickly document the highest permissible code. Medical Economics magazine estimated that physicians who routinely down coded one E&M level lost from $40,000 to $50,000 a year.

Even more stunning is the savings to be made by maintaining an electronic chart. Medical Economics reported in 1997 that it cost about eight dollars to create, track, store, and maintain a paper record. The cost for an electronic chart? Two bucks a year. How much you save depends on the number of charts you process. And since EMR takes up less space, you don’t have to lease or buy a larger office or clinic.

Calculating Savings with EMR
Written by MDoffice

So okay, all these vendors are telling you how much money you’re supposed to save with EMR. It all sounds wonderful but how, exactly, do you calculate your savings?

Vendors who calculates savings usually do it in such a way as to make their software look good. They also use different methods of calculation. Hard to pin specific numbers.

Hidden EMR Costs
Written by MDoffice

The question that physicians almost always ask, and it is a fair one, is what extra fees will I have to pay that are not immediately obvious? In short, for what else will Dr. Long-pockets be obliged to pony up?

The networking costs are usually included in the vendor’s monthly fee for the software, but you can sometimes lease them on a monthly fee. Fees for technical and costumer consultation are ordinarily extra.

You need to consider two kinds of costs. A hard cost is what you pay for the computer and networking hardware plus EMR software. Then there are those sneaky, soft, hidden costs that jump out at you.

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