TechSpot

How difficult could it be?

By jjrglobal
Aug 1, 2007
Post New Reply
  1. This may be way to ambitious of me, but my wife is a physician and after looking at literally hundreds of different medical software and demoing at least twenty, it just seems to me that the market is wide open for some new innovation. EMR is completely screwed because the software configurations are so different. When we get an EMR from someone using a different software it has to be faxed and what should take 15-20 pages suddenly becomes 200. Also, there is not one single medical software that is complete, by complete I mean from start to finish all the way through to the accounting and printing out deposit slip. Would it be that difficult to incorporate a quickbooks type program into a medical software? Or have auto links to the different ins co's so that when a patients insurance info is entered the system goes to the site and checks the patients eligibility automatically. My problem is I know what I want and want is needed, but don't know nearly enough about programming, actually I know nothing about programming. I do know that if someone is interested we can make more money than we could spend, if it's even possible or feasible. I think the two major problems with the development of anything decent is either a Dr. who doesn't know enough about programming is developing or a developer who doesn't have enough imput from physicians and their day to day routine. Don't get me wrong there are programs out there for big hospital systems that cost, well I don't even know what they costs, but I know that smaller clinics and even mid size clinics with twenty physicians cannot afford to pay hundreds of thousands if not millions for software. With the insurance companies dropping reimbursements every time we get a new fee schedule, something is going to have to give. Either become a whole lot more effecient or become extinct. Anyone got any free time on their hands and tons of programming skills?
     
  2. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +9

    My wife, too, is a physician... and Interventional Radiologist and Surgeon with other sub specialties, and my Son is a Child Psychiatrist. I have been designing medical specialty software since 1977.
    We suspect that perhaps you are merely looking in the wrong places... There is an overwhelming amount of software available for all medical specialties. You can find it in the back of all specialty journals.
    However, there is always room for more, if you have a good idea.
    I suggest you attend a three medical conventions in the specialties in which you have an interest. Talk to physicians attending and determine the need as well as the price at which they will sell.
    Some medical software sells for $2,100 a copy, while others is closer to $195... it depends on the market.
    Don't forget that most software must meet standards of the profession, and must be subject to rigorous reviews by the journals to get itself sold in this very competitive market.
     
  3. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 5,734   +7

    What you describe is do-able using J2EE, a Java technology.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J2EE

    It has messaging technology built in that can deal with your fax problem, or instance.

    Probably written using JSP, EJBs, a good database design, then implemented using software products like WebSphere and Oracle.

    You could hire someone to design this, and then a J2EE developer to write it. Maybe a couple of developers. You can hire someone as a contractor to do it, not cheap, so you'd need an initial cash investment.
     
  4. jjrglobal

    jjrglobal TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Does your software include accounting, payroll, EMR, billing, auto eligibility & benefit when the patients ins info is entered, with a built in dialing system to verify appointments, that is specialty specific with all the CPT and ICD 9 codes for the specialty preloaded in code sets, with cash accounting based on real reimbursements on a per insurance basis that is automatically updated when a change in reimbursement occurs that would also change your charge amount automatically if a reimbursement from one of the insurance companies happened to actually be more than what you were charging (like that will ever happen) I know there are some half way decent programs out there, I'm using one, at least I think i am, but after all the shows and demos and searching I have done, there is no complete package. My idea is also sort of an association along with software. That of course would be the only way to auto populate your clients reimbursement rates. So you could have the sale price or install and a pretty sizable monthly rate as well for association dues. You may have a much different perspective on this than I because of the difference in specialties, my wifes a pediatrician, which means many patients and profit margin so small you need a cpa and microscope to see it, if it is even there. Clearinghouses, our one sure fire source for proof of timely filing, are now being consumed by all the insurance companies. Talk about a conflict of interest. We are really about ready to just throw in the towel after last months new feeschedule came out with another 10-12% reduction over all on our most common cpt's. The third such drop in the last three years, while premiums continue to go through the roof. It's pretty sickening when you see the CEO of UHC with a pension worth 1.7 billion dollars and know that he stole every penny of from his customer and hard working physicians. I'm really just trying to kind of find a way out of this god awful business and use the knowledge to come up with something useful so med school wouldn't be a complete waste. Oh and I wasn't trying to come off as a smart *** at the beginning of this reply, but is there anything on the market like what I mentioned?
     
  5. jjrglobal

    jjrglobal TS Rookie Topic Starter

    You mentioned competitive market, but the competition sucks, centricity owned by GE is so bad I actually got up and left in the middle of the demo the rep was doing in our own office. And Centricity is one of the top rated
     
  6. jjrglobal

    jjrglobal TS Rookie Topic Starter

    And your pricing is not even close, we must be talking about two different types of software. Bottom dollar install is around $5000.00 w/ monthly fees ranging from $250 to $2000. We are talking about more than justa scheduling software right?
     
  7. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +9

    Oh, my pricing is very close. We've been doing it successfully for 30 years... Yes there are $5,000 with monthly fees... but generally not nearly that high... more like renew fees of $300 to $1300 a year, or $3000 for a very desired upgrade.
    Most people just make a living... about $60,000 to $100,000 a year is a very high income.. A great deal of the $5,000 is is costed out to distribution, advertising, etc. Bottom dollar install DOES NOT go to the designer or programmer very often... but more to the marketing people.
    More medical software companies go out of business each year than succeed.
    I challenge you to name one go gets the fees you describe without going through a marketing team.
    It is because of the competition, and the need to "sell, sell, sell". Physicians, clinics, hospitals, are not likely to spend any more than they absolutely have to spend... and there is the rub.
    Marketing people make more than programmers.
     
  8. jjrglobal

    jjrglobal TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I am talking about putting together some developers and starting a company to market and sell the product. If I can get someone to write what I want with the features I'm talking about, the product will take off like windows. Like I said no one offers a complete package. I just figured if they can make games as realistic and complicated as they are today that a better software should be available for physicians. I looked at software packages that started off at 100k but the average was around 20k with update fees, and they still did not have accounting built in to their software, which means double entry into an accounting software. Most docs today just take the word of the insurance companies by going directly off the EOB for the reimbursement and they are making a huge mistake by not having the contracted amounts in there system to keep em honest. Most of the physicians that I know only have their A/R on the billing side of their software and just leave it out of the accounting all together. Now how can you run a realistic P&L or a Financial statement if you don't include your A/R?
     
  9. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 5,734   +7

    You might want to think about hiring a project manager. A project manager can plan everything out in a chart, give you projected "go live" time, set out all the milestones, etc. You need someone with experience of managing IT projects, such as someone who has delivered IT software projects for a large company.
     
  10. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,039   +9

    lol. Its not going to be as easy as you think it is. I suppose the writing part wouldn't be a problem, but there is a ton of things you'd have to think about when dealing with medical files. Security, dependability, layouts, stability.... And thats probably just the start.

    I wouldn't trust Bill gates writing this kind of software....
     
  11. jjrglobal

    jjrglobal TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Any Idea on how long it would take if you had a couple of strong developers

    After they were given the plans?
     
  12. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 5,734   +7

    These are valid concerns, but would be addressed during planning and testing phases. For example, the design phase would include making the application secure (such as implementing SOAP on https) and stability would be tested by doing some kind of load testing, monitoring what affect increasing number of users, how that affected infrastructure (i.e how much CPU load), etc.

    Believe it or not, if you can think about these things, experienced software architects and Project Managers can too!!
     
  13. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 5,734   +7

    Only an experienced IT Project Manager could tell you that.
     
  14. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 5,734   +7

    Dude, my best advice is that you put together a presentation on the nature of the problem, and what your idea is to solve the problem, and do it as a powerpoint presentation. Phrase it so that someone from outside your industry can understand it. We clearly need to know what the problems are, what the desired solution would look like, etc. A ranting ramble like you have above can't be communicated well to a software developer, who needs to grasp your problem in its entirety before he can work on it.
     
  15. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,039   +9

    I know they can, but is there a committee or something to check if its up to spec? If there is, then getting past it would probably be as easy as getting ethics approval to experiment on children (which is not impossible, but close).
     
  16. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 5,734   +7

    Most large companies or software houses would have a process whereby the design was checked out to ensure that it met certain acceptable criteria before it was coded. In fact, organisations can get certifications in much the same manner as individuals, which prove that they test to a certain level or that their software is being created to industry level standards. This all includes these kinds of checks. An application might also have to go through another examination before it goes "live."
     

Similar Topics

Add New Comment

You need to be a member to leave a comment. Join thousands of tech enthusiasts and participate.
TechSpot Account You may also...