What Does EMR Software Cost?

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Trying to learn the pricing of various EMR/EHR software products is like talking to a reluctant two-year-old.

“What would you like for dinner?”

“I dunno…”

“Would you like macaroni and cheese?”

“I dunno…”

Homemade Macaroni And Cheese

Only with electronic medical records systems the conversation sounds more like this:

“What will this EMR cost me?”

“It depends…”

“Do you charge per-provider or per bed?”

“It depends…”

In general, EMR software pricing exists in a bit of a black box. A lot of hay has been made about just how difficult it is to truly estimate costs for an EHR, especially a large-scale implementation at a hospital or big group practice. Luckily, there are some rules of thumb you can use to estimate what it might cost you, based on the main pricing models in the industry.

The below guide should give you a good idea of what you might pay for an EMR, but you should note there’s no one, single answer to the “what does it cost?” question with this type of software. Prices are affected not only by the different cost driver used in each model, but also by your specific size, requirements, and other factors.

1. Pay-Per-Provider and/or Percent of Collections

This is the most common model for pricing EHR software, and typically includes a monthly fee per provider in the practice.  Occasionally this will be batched into an annual or one-time fee, though that is rarer.  Some solutions using this model will charge a setup fee and/or training fee as well.  In some instances this model is paired with a “percent of collections” fee that yields free EMR access if you use the company’s billing software.

Price Range: $200-$700 per provider per month. One time fees can be from $2,000-$5,000 per provider and collection percentages are in the 2%-7% range.

Examples of EMR systems with this model:  

2. License Fee with Monthly Support

This is an older model and is typically used by the bigger and more venerable EMR players. This involves a lump sum paid up front for the software, implementation, and training, which is then followed by monthly or annual payments for maintenance and support.

Price Range: $1,000-$25,000, with enterprise-level systems like Cerner and Epic reaching into the hundreds of millions.

Examples of EMR systems with this model:

3. Free

This is a newly popular model for EHR solutions, and is aimed at the small to mid-size practices and facilities. This model ranges from ad-supported, to freemium (where the basic package is free but things like billing cost money), to open-source (where the software is free but the implementation and support can cost you—especially if you do it in-house).

Price Range: $0 (but ancillary costs in time, hiring IT staff, or upgrading to paid versions are likely).

Examples of EMR systems with this model:

Bonus: Other Pricing Models

Some other models you may encounter include pay-per-bed (typically for hospitals), and pay-per-encounter/patient.

Others?

Are there other pricing models I missed? Any other additional data you would add in? Let me know in the comments below.

Looking for Electronic Medical Records software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Electronic Medical Records software solutions.

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About the Author

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JP Medved

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J.P. was formerly content director at Capterra.

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Very helpful information. It would be very great if you provide cost related information in more detail.

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