Pricing of care management software can vary widely depending on the number of programs and patients you’ll be managing, as well as the features included in the software.
You’ll find software priced as low as $.99 to as high as $8 per patient per month. Full-service solutions can cost as much as $20-$30 per patient per month.
Ultimately, the old adage of “you get what you pay for” rings true. You may find low-cost software solutions that require more manual use and little-to-no automation, requiring more staff time to use. Low-cost software may also lack extensive reporting and auditing functions, and come with poor technical support.
Premium care management software will have most, if not all of the features and functionality we covered earlier in this guide. Though premium products will cost your practice slightly more, the returns on investment for those software solutions are usually substantially higher than lower-cost options.
Look for software vendors that have transparent pricing, including tools such as ROI or pricing calculators that show you potential costs and/or return on investment.
Look for extensive reporting features like the ability to generate comprehensive and exportable reports of the following items:
You should easily be able to see all of your clinical data, summaries, and activities in PDF or CSV formats.
Reporting allows providers to measure the effectiveness of the programs they’re managing and leverage the data to learn, adapt, and improve their programs.
Reporting can also be beneficial in case of an audit by CMS. By knowing the proper billing requirements for each program, developing a coherent workflow, and utilizing software that makes it easy to generate the reports and documentation needed, you’ll save yourself a lot of the hassle that usually comes with an audit.
Extensive reporting can also improve quality scores for MIPS and MACRA through the measurable quality improvement of patient care. These are quality measures that CMS uses to reward practices in the form of higher reimbursements based on the quality of care they provide.
Compliance & Security
Your care management software should be HIPAA compliant. There are certain legal and regulatory requirements defined by HIPAA that you’ll want to ensure the software meets. Ask about the HIPAA certification.
Is there a contingency plan? Data backup plan or data recovery plan? For example, some software solutions will work with 3rd party vendors to backup their data.
If this is a platform that you’re going to access and export patient information in, you need to make sure the security that the software solution you’re providing isn’t leaked or ever at-risk. If information is compromised you open yourself up to legal repercussions.
Additionally, look for security policies within the vendor or through third parties to manage information, monitor activity, and authentication processes to keep your protected health information safe and secure.
Ease of Use
Most care management software vendors claim that their solution is easy to use. So how do you know if it’s actually true? Try a live demo of the software.
During the demo, you’ll want to have the staff that will be using the software present so they can see the software in action. Specifically, pay attention to the general layout of the user interface, the look and feel of navigation, and the features that cater to all users from administrative staff to physicians.
Some software solutions also offer extensive customization options. While customization is normally thought of as a positive attribute, be careful about the software becoming too complex. The purpose of intuitive care management software is to improve efficiencies and make managing these programs easier, not harder.
Intuitive software will usually meet the needs of even the largest providers without the need for customization.
CMS requires care plans for most care management programs.
A comprehensive care plan for all health issues typically includes, but is not limited to, the following elements:
Expected outcome and prognosis
Measurable treatment goals
Planned interventions and identification of the individuals responsible for each intervention
Community/social services ordered
Schedule for periodic review and, when applicable, revision of the care plan
As mentioned earlier, lower-cost solutions may still require you to manually input most patient information. With care plans, quality software solutions offer simple templates that care managers easily populate themselves.
The best care management software will use a guided-interview approach to care plans. This approach walks the care manager through the entire care plan step-by-step. The software will have clinical content and questions built-in, doing most of the leg work for the care manager.
The best care management software solution is meant to be used with any certified EHR.
That can either be through direct integration with your EHR or as a supplemental solution to your EHR that allows for seamless sharing of data across platforms for items such as care management reports and summaries.
This is useful because many clinicians won’t access a patient’s information on the software itself. Instead, they’ll rely on reports and summaries to see patient data and care info.
Some EHRs do allow care management solutions to directly integrate with them. This is because EHRs generally don’t support care management very well. Direct integration with EHRs allows for seamless instantaneous sharing of data without the need to download or upload, limiting the time spent in the EHR.
Some EHRs do offer their care management software solution, but they’re limited in functionality and features, resulting in more staff time, fewer audit features (opening yourself up to audits), and worse coordination of care (less patient-centered care).
This feature improves efficiency and ensures accuracy in data between your EHR and care management software.
Support & Training
When purchasing a care management software solution, you should consider it as entering into a relationship with the vendor.
A relationship thrives when your partner supports you and you should look for a strong support system when shopping for care management software.
You will want to know if the vendor will work with you to onboard your team. Some questions to ask include:
Will they supply training?
Is that an extra cost or included?
Does the software have ongoing technical support after onboarding?
Do they have a library of educational content and helpful articles?
The best care management software will include onboarding and training for your staff, live technical support via phone, email, and instant messaging, and a large library of educational content and resources.