EHR cost considerations

Cost is always a consideration for independent physicians who are considering adding technology to their practice. Electronic health record (EHR) solutions are no different. Even though the addition of an efficient EHR can help your practice become more productive and more financially successful, the initial costs may be of concern.

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) emphasizes that EHRs create more efficient practices. In fact, EHR-enabled medical practices report:

  • Improved medical practice management through integrated scheduling systems that link appointments directly to progress notes, automate coding, and managed claims
  • Time savings with easier centralized chart management, condition-specific queries, and other shortcuts
  • Enhanced communication with other clinicians, labs, and health plans through:
    • Easy access to patient information from anywhere
    • Tracking electronic messages to staff, other clinicians, hospitals, labs, etc.
    • Automated formulary checks by health plans
    • Order and receipt of lab tests and diagnostic images
    • Links to public health systems such as registries and communicable disease databases

EHR cost considerations can include:

  • Training fees. Many EHR providers charge an additional fee for training you and your team on how to use the system. Elation Health offers training, which takes less than an hour on our intuitive system, at no additional cost.
  • Implementation fees. Elation also includes implementation for no additional cost, while other providers may charge an implementation fee.
  • Data migration fees. You have a lot of patient data for your independent practice that you don’t want to have to re-enter and you definitely don’t want to have to pay extra for migrating into your new EHR. The Elation team will handle migrating your patient data — whether from paper or another EHR. Elation offers a basic data import from PDF and C-CDA sources to pre-populate your records in Elation with:
    • Complete demographics for your patient panel
    • PDFs or similar documents within the correct patient chart
    • Allergies, medications, problems, and immunizations
  • Monthly or annual cost. A transparent pricing structure is key for your independent practice. You want to be sure there are no hidden fees so you can properly budget for your new technology.
  • Support services. When you do need help with an EHR issue, some companies may charge an extra fee for such technical support. With Elation, support is included. If you submit your issue outside of our regular business hours, we will follow up with you on the next business day. However, if your issue is urgent, we will respond within 30 minutes regardless of the time or day.

When you are deciding on an EHR solution for your independent practice, these cost considerations are important for budgeting and for ensuring that you are able to afford it. Use caution when comparing costs, as some EHR providers lock you in with restrictions so you cannot change your mind if you find that it is not the right fit for your practice.

With Elation’s monthly billing plan, if you decide that Elation Health isn’t the best EHR platform for you, you can cancel your account with no penalty. With the annual plan, once your 12-month commitment period is over, you can choose not to renew. In either case, we’ll even return all of your patient data back to you, free of charge, to help ease your transition to another EHR. At Elation, we are focused on helping you become more productive and more effective, with a technology platform that doctors and patients use because they want to use it.