Best Mental Health Software 2020

Is Therapy Practice Management Software Worth It?

Therapy practice management software starts at about $100 per month, but is it worth it? Below, we explore the benefits of features like scheduling, billing, client portals, therapy notes, telehealth and HIPAA compliant messaging.

There are several therapy practice management software companies on the market. Some of the leading options are below. In this analysis, we'll compare the costs and benefits of these systems to determine if they are worth the investment.

How Much Does Therapy Practice Management Software Cost?

Leading therapy practice management systems start at a cost of around $50 per month for the first therapist, and an extra $30 per month for additional therapists. Most systems charge additional fees for add-ons such as coverage reports, electronic claims, ERAs, and in some cases, appointment reminders. A solo therapy practice that sees about 25 clients per week can expect to pay between $100 and $150 per month in total for its practice management system.

What Are The Benefits of Therapy Practice Management Software?

Therapy practice management software has many benefits. There are valuable features that will help you save time, generate more revenue, get paid faster, and maintain HIPAA compliance. Here's a list of the main benefits of therapy practice management software:

  • Save time and get more clients with online scheduling
  • Reduce no-shows with automated appointment reminders
  • Save time using paperless client intake
  • Save time with digital therapy notes
  • Get paid faster and save time with billing technology
  • Increase revenue with telehealth
  • Increase security with HIPAA compliant messaging

Below, we'll breakdown these benefits and provide an estimate of the value each creates for an example therapy practice.

What is the Benefit of Scheduling with Practice Management Software?

The online scheduling feature offered by leading practice management systems is highly valuable. In our interview with TheraNest customer Farah VanGenderen, she shared that the online scheduling tool in TheraNest saves her 9 hours per week! She no longer wastes time picking up phone calls and playing phone tag with clients while scheduling appointments.

Additionally, according to LocalMed, 81% of consumers want to book health-related appointments online, and 38% book when offices are closed. Let's assume the ability to schedule online wins you one new client per month.

Estimated Value of Scheduling: 4 hours saved per week; 1 new client per month.

What is the Benefit of Automated Appointment Reminders with Practice Management Software?

The top therapy practice management systems come with automated appointment reminders that you can send via email, text, and voice messages. You can also use these systems to set up fees for clients who don't show up for appointments. A Mayo Clinic study found that email reminders could reduce no-shows by 35%. Let's assume that your practice management system prevents one no-show per week.

Estimated Value: 1 less no-show per week.

What is the Benefit of Paperless Client Intake with Practice Management Software?

The average therapist spends about 10% of their time on client intake, or about 5 hours per week. It is critical that new clients are welcomed to your practice, share their contact and payment information, and complete intake forms. Moving from paper-based to paperless intake forms is a big time-saver, as clients can share information and complete the forms remotely prior to their first visit in your office. This should save you at least one hour per week.

Estimated Value: 1 hour saved per week.

What is the Benefit of Digital Notes with Practice Management Software?

Another benefit of practice management systems are digital therapy notes that come with time-saving features such as pre-loaded service codes with corresponding fees, auto-fill for common diagnoses, prescriptions and terms, and the ability to duplicate old notes. The average therapist spends about 15% of their time on documentation, so let's assume having digital notes saves you another hour per week.

Estimated Value: 1 hours saved per week.

What is the Benefit of Telehealth with Practice Management Software?

The telehealth functionality offered by leading practice management systems has many benefits. It allows you to serve clients outside of your geographical area, clients who are bedridden or have busy schedules, and creates significant flexibility in terms of your ability to do sessions from any location. It also means you won't have to miss an appointment if your client unexpectedly can't make it into the office. Let's assume you take advantage of the flexibility to fit in two additional sessions per week.

Estimated Value: 2 more sessions per week.

What is the Benefit of Billing with Practice Management Software?

Therapy practice management software comes with a multitude of billing features that save you time and get you paid faster. Here's a few:

  • Accept all types of credit and debit cards
  • Run autopay to get paid each night without lifting a finger
  • Electronic claim filing with auto-populated fields and status tracking
  • Batch claims to create and submit claims for all your clients with one click
  • ERAs

Let's assume these features save you another hour per week.

Estimated Value: 1 hour saved per week.

Therapy Practice Management Software: Is it worth the price?

Therapy practice management software costs $100-150 per month for a solo practice. Leading systems provide many benefits, but do the benefits outweigh the cost? Based upon our analysis, it seems that therapy practice management software is almost certainly worth the investment. We estimate that a system from a top company will cost you roughly $150 each month and create $2,000 in value, for a return-on-investment of 13 times.

Across all features here's the value created by the therapy practice management software each month:

  • 28 hours saved
  • 13 additional sessions
  • 1 new client

As noted in the SoftwarePundit guide to starting a private practice, self-employed psychologists earn a median annual salary of $100,000. At 50 hours per week, each hour is worth roughly $40. We estimated the practice management software saved 28 hours, for a monthly value of $1,120.

If we assume an average session fee of $75, and the practice management software generated 13 new sessions (8 through teletherapy, 4 from reduced no-shows, 1 for the new client), that is worth $975 per month.

That means, that in this simple analysis, the practice management system creates over $2,000 of value per month between increased client sessions and saved time.

In sum, therapy practice management systems easily pay for themselves. All you have to do is gain two sessions per month to cover the investment. Additionally, these systems also offer many intangible benefits, such as improved client experience, better data monitoring and the ability to manage your practice on the go.

Overall, we highly recommend therapy practice management systems. If you're interested in learning more about the leading solutions, you can read SoftwarePundit's therapy practice management comparison guide.

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