Therapy Notes - Review
Therapy Notes - Review
Ratings: Features - 4 GUI/UX - 4.5 Work Flow – 4.5 Learning Curve - 4.5
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 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
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 and no significant functionality has been added since then. TherapyNotes relased their "beta" version of integrated ERAs 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, however it does appear that their development cycle for major features has slowed significantly.
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 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. 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. This 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. TherapyNotes has improved this in other areas, however, not providing alerts when claims need to be filed, or have been rejected. Finally,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. They are no longer alone in charging this additional fee, though there are some systems where claims processing is free.
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. TherapyNotes has previously reported they plan to address this, but I'm currently not aware of new functionality.
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.
Subscribe to our mailing list to receive quarterly newsletters full of timely information!
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.
©2016 Rob Reinhardt, LPC, PA www.tameyourpractice.com