Therapy Notes - Review
Therapy Notes - Review
Ratings: Features - 4 GUI/UX - 4.5 Work Flow – 4.5 Learning Curve - 4.5 Support - 5
Features: Groups - Y Scheduling - Y Notes - Y E-Filing - Y Billing - Y Client Portal - Y
Price: $59/mo ($30 for additional clinicians) (Some additional fees for claims filing, and appointment reminders via SMS or Phone)
Pros: Attractive User-Friendly Interface, Solid Support, Great Work Flow
Cons: Limited Client Portal, Fee for Electronic Claim Submission and limited ERA integration
It's a Good Choice For Practices That: Place great importance on a well-designed, friendly interface, solid support and don't mind waiting for a more fully developed client portal or fully integrated ERAs
Standout Features: Work Flow, Feature Integration, Support & Development
Most Recent Update: 03/26/2015
Therapy Notes is a solid contender for those willing to wait for a full-featured Client Portal and/or fully Integrated ERAs. TherapyNotes finally launched their initial client portal offering in March of 2015 with limited client self-scheduling options. They report they will be adding to these features this year. TherapyNotes relased their "beta" version of integrated ERAs earlier in 2014, with the ERAs being displayed within the program, leaving users to manually apply them to client accounts. It's still unknown when they will complete integration by having those insurance payments applied directly to client accounts. To be clear, TherapyNotes hasn't been sitting idle. Just about every month they release improvements and updates.
What TherapyNotes does, it does incredibly well and in style. It has one of the most polished, user-friendly GUI/UX of any of the platforms and provides incredible time savings through it's smart, intuitive, flexible work flow. Virtually all functions for a session (Notes, Billing, Changes, Claim Filing, etc.) can be accessed directly from the Appointment itself as well as from the Client area. It's integrated treatment plan and progress notes are a dream come true for those who want to be able to quickly complete their notes. Making copious use of time-saving drop downs and check boxes, notes are a breeze. This comes at the expense of not being able to customize the notes. However, if a modified SOAP style note works for a practice, TherapyNotes will likely fit the bill. Among the features added to TherapyNotes over the past year are integrated credit cards and the initial stages of ERA integration.
Unfortunately, there are some considerable drawbacks to TherapyNotes. As mentioned, there is no ability to customize progress note templates. While many templates are provided, users are unable to adjust them in any way. This serves well to create a very clean and efficient process. It's important, however, that you make sure the notes meet all of your needs since you won't be able to change their format. Additionally, your note data is somewhat locked into the system. There is currently no way to export your Notes in any format that would be usable by another system. Your sole option for backup/migration is to save them as PDFs. In some ways, this is not a major concern since the likelihood of being able to move notes data between any of these systems is slim; they all use a different proprietary format. If you do, for some reason, need your notes exported in some format besides PDF, however, you won't have that option with TherapyNotes. Oddly, despite their attention to detail, there are some minor features that continue to be ignored by TherapyNotes. For example, while it allows for tracking insurance authorizations, users must check usage manually. There are no alerts or reports associated with authorizations so that you can readily attend to clients who require more authorizations. Similarly, there are no alerts associated with claims being rejected by the clearinghouse. Seeing these rejections requires a regular visit to the claims page. This same issue exists with their initial implementation of the client portal, as clinicians are not alerted via email when a new appointment is added to the schedule. These are oversights that can be overcome with planning and habit, however, the program would shine so much more if it automatically alerted clinicians to situations like these. Finally, unlike many of their competitors, TherapyNotes charges a per transaction fee on electronic claims submission. It's a small fee (reduced from 19 cents to 14 cents in 2015), but that can add up quickly if your practice files a large number of claims each month.
Group practices that want their clinicians to enter some billing information (like co-pays) may have concerns with TherapyNotes' permission structure. Currently, when a person is given billing permissions, they have access to all of the billing/financial data. While it may be efficient to have clinicians entering payments made by clients, many practices will not want them to also be able to see the billing status of other clients or the practice as a whole.
Despite these significant concerns, TherapyNotes is a top contender for many practices based on their solid, user-friendly implementation, fast development cycle and responsive support. If they can manage to fully implement integrated ERAs and expand on the Client Portal in the near future, as well as clean up some of the finer details, they will be a tough option to beat for many users.
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Rob Reinhardt, LPCS
Rob is a Licensed Professional Counselor in private practice and
owner of Tame Your Practice, which provides comprehensive
consulting to mental health and wellness professionals.
©2015 Rob Reinhardt, LPC, PA www.tameyourpractice.com