Practice Mate is medical billing software.  Now you may think, ok a medical billing software , so what but the information is that it is free online billing software.  It’s integration with with Office Ally makes it more popular. Office Ally is the well known free clearinghouse. Mostly Office Ally is used in medical billing service for some smaller clients and people liked it.

In other words, it is a typical Practice Management System with registration, scheduling and billing management functionality. It is free to clearinghouse users. There is a phone reminders service that can be added for a volume based fee.

After having a look at brief explanation, given in this article, about its functions and how it works, you can work with it easily. Here you can find, how one can work with it to take best out of it, without investing too much time as its every stone is unturned.

In addition to Office Ally, Practice Mate also integrates with a low cost EHR system and a patient portal called Patient Ally. Patients can simply enter their demographics, insurance and health information, and communicate with their doctor. 

In this way, patients can save many visits. It is completely free for patients and integrates directly into the Practice Mate and the new EHR. It has the basic functionality found in most patient portals, such as secure patient communications, refill requests, appointment requests, viewing results, etc.

Office Ally Practice Mate- Review

Practice Mate offers many features, here is a brief review of some important ones:

Patient Scheduler
  • Patient scheduler includes multiple columns by provider as well as by resources, color coded appointments and add notes. 
  • In terms of appointment scheduling, it includes appointment types, repeating appointments and customizable appointment fields.
  • In addition, you can have record of  checking in and out, print a super bill and print a receipt as well. A list of patient appointments can be generated by date.
  • Due to the fact that the system is online, the data is shared, which is obviously a great thing. The repeat appointment feature works well for scheduling weekly appointments but not for multiple appointments per week.

Demographics/Support Files

  • Demographics are easily entered in the system. Another nice feature is that data can be imported automatically if the patient signs up with Patient Ally and enters their information. This can be a real time saver. 
  • Support files can be imported from other software using Excel or comma delimited files.

Claims Processing
  • A very well integrated feature in Practice Mate with Office Ally which uses intuitive displays in order to identify rejected claims and see reports.
  • Claims are very easy to update as well as rebill.
  • But a little problem is always being reported.
  • Practice Mate displays visits and claims in separate lists so to research anything requires lots of screen changes and mouse clicks. It slows the process down considerably.

Electronic Remittance Processing
  •  Remittances can be downloaded as well as printed.
  •  In addition, the deposit information can be automatically entered.

Deposit Entry
  • Daily deposits can be entered by the office staff which can easily applied later by the medical biller. 
  • The deposit report can be used as an attachment to the deposit slip and balanced to the cash.

  • Another feature that adds a lot of convenience in the whole process is statements. 
  • You can see a list of statements that have been sent and they can be easily reprinted. 
  • It can managed manually whether a patient receives a statement through the payment posting process. 
  • Office Ally does not provide electronic statement processing but the statements can be exported to a file for processing by another vendor.

  • In terms of security, Practice Mate can’t be ranked higher as it has user login and password feature but it offers nothing, to limit user access.
  • It can be concluded that although Practice Mate is a good choice but only for a very small practice. 
  • It's biggest strength is its integration with its EHR and Patient Ally modules. 
  • Due to this integration, it is easy to enter data including charges from the scheduler.

Besides its strong sides, like scheduling, there are many parts of the program that Office Ally need to improve. For instance, billing process is slowed down by the screen changes and mouse clicks required to navigate through the software making it less efficient for use in a full-time practice.

Office Ally Practice Mate- Pricing
If we talk about pricing, the new Office Ally EHR is web based but the EHR is not free. The subscription fee is $29.95 per provider/per month. You can cancel the contract with a 30 days’ notice and get your data exported for a flat fee of $39.95. The module runs at $30.99 per provider/per month for the full service as required for meaningful Use. This brings the total package monthly cost to $60.94 per provider.

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