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Terry McLeod of ehrSIO ProjectsehrSIO Projects
A blog about the technical and software sides of mental health and addictions

ClaimTrak

Terry McLeod Updated: Feb 20th 2012

As I threatened recently, here's another Electronic HealthRecord (EHR) review for software that's appropriate for small private practices…I guess.

working on a computerClaimTrack has been around since 1990, and I've known one of their vice presidents for many years. The longevity speaks for the company, and the staff I know has always seemed like straight-shooters.

ClaimTrak offers a bundle of requirements that I feel are necessary in an EHR. A key for the private practice market is not only the availability of a web-based platform (being able to access the software via a secure internet connection), but being able to install it and use it on a simple PC. It seems you can have ClaimTrak about any way you want it.

…and there's another important feature important to psychiatrists, it's certified to meet meaningful use requirements.

Clinical

I'm happy to discover that ClaimTrak has a Treatment Plan. Anybody who's followed my opinions on clinical functionality knows I'm a proponent of collaborative treatment with a consumer. It seems hard to do that without a treatment plan. The aspect of this to look into is the custom features of the treatment plan…there are as many plan preferences as there are professionals, so if you're looking into products, make sure it's modifiable and fine-tunable.

A number of billing programs for our sector of business seem to be developed-as-you-go. The descriptions I've read say that's not the case for ClaimTrak, with all the standard requirements like being able to handle Medicare, Medicaid and insurance billing with a co-pay for the same claim…sounds like a snoozer, but our professionals need to bill correctly or they won't be working for the consumers for long. I'm also a big fan of being able to save the progress note for a given session and create a billable record automatically…another vital snoozer.

A peer of mine, David Lloyd, who's well known for designing state systems for efficiency in our business says that central scheduling is a key to building a better mouse trap. In a small, busy practice with few people around to help with the work, and where consumers may be waiting for an appointment, a good scheduling module can help fill the blank spots when an appointment is canceled. ClaimTrak's scheduling module seems to be complete, enabling professionals to review their appointments a number of ways, and it's tied into the billing module, so if the schedule is marked as complete, the indicated service could be billed if that's the professional's preference. The rage these days is for a schedule to look like MS Outlook, and ClaimTrak doesn't seem to fill that bill. To me, that's of secondary importance, since patient confidentiality is met by isolating the appointment from the rest of the world out there, which isn't necessarily true with Outlook.

In order to qualify as an eligible professional and collect Meaningful Use incentives, being able to write and track the order in the EHR is required, as is the ability to electronically share that prescribing information. This keeps the professionals treating the patient aware of (hopefully) all medications prescribed, so the treating professionals know to avoid a drug interaction. ClaimTrak addresses this issue well enough to meet the requirement, and even has a Mediation Administration Module to record how the medication administration is going. My advice to the professional is to call up for a demonstration, then check it out again a couple weeks later after seeing a couple other products…Some products just don't fit some people's preferences, and it's frustrating both for the vendor and the customer when that happens.

Dashboards are becoming a standard of efficiency in an EHR. This functionality enables different sorts of users (counselors, receptionists, etc) to gather a series of reported figures and access points to functionality, like notes or billing, and for another user on the system to have a different dashboard that better suits his workflow…pretty slick. I didn't see that sort of thing going on in ClaimTrak, so a professional should be sure to ask about that feature if shopping.

If a professional has a partner, or a receptionist, or somebody else they work with, a valuable tool is communicating within the EHR. This is important in order to maintain consumer confidentiality, and it can be tough texting or Emailing patient information and to avoild breaking HIPAA requirements. I was unable to pull up any references to built-in, HIPAA compliant inter-office messaging system, but in a smaller practice that could be of little importance.

All in all, I was pleased in what I saw. Right about now, you're likely wondering how much all these wonderful capabilities cost…click on the link above and give them a call.

 

Terry McLeod

Electronic Health Records (EHRs) are a required part of our society, and improving business workflows with the EHR is imperative for the survival of your local mental health and addictions treatment clinics. Terry McLeod provides the bridge between the mental health and addictions professional and the technical world, as well as the glue to keep it working. Contact McLeod at terry.mcleod@ehrsio.com and get more information from his website and blog, ehrsio.com/.

Reader Comments
Discuss this issue below or in our forums.

TERRIBLE!!!! - - Aug 25th 2014

I am sorry but this system has to be the worst EHR I have ever had to use. I have worked extensively with Claimtrak to enhance and develop this which is why I am so disappointed at the resultant product.  I do not work for Claimtrak, I am a health care provider and have been giving suggestions at enhancements to the system. Long story short I would not recommend this system to anyone because of the inflexibility of the company behind it, lack of features and antiquated system. It has proven to be nothing more than a very costly mistake for my company that continues to pour funds into they system that only worsens as time goes on. In all honesty I have not found one regular user of the system in our company that even thinks that it is adequate. I have spoken with more than 50 providers who express nothing but absolute disdain and vitriol for this system and are forced to use it due to executive decisions that have questionable motives at best. I give this as my observation and option of this system from over 2 years of usage with it.

Lots of bugs!!! - - Oct 11th 2013

I have personally been working with the ClaimTrak system for about 5 years now, at two different practices, one small and now large...

Overall the program has a lot of potential, with some very intuitive features. There are several ways to get the system to do something it wasnt really designed to do.

However, there are technical issues in abundance when it comes to the program, to say the least of the technical assistance/help desk. Staff barely know/understand the system ( i have schooled helpdesk, more than 4 different CL's now, on how to actually use the system) often times they will tell you something is supposed to work one way, when it is supposed to work another... point in fact: in AZ we have to submit a demographic file to the local RBHA, as part of this there is a "scrubber" process that  checks the demo form for errors... my agency has been encountering issues with one of the "edits" and my CL told me to turn it off to fix the issue... the problem is if I turn this edit off then it will not catch the errors it ws designed to catch... I pointed this out to the CL and he told me that it was how the system was designed!!! A true moron in fact!!!

I really like to ClaimTrak system, and have made my career in assisting other agencies using the product attain the elusive paperless environment promised. but in order to actually achieve this providers must be willing to significantly invest in this product as much of the items listed as 'standard" are not! Case in point: my system does not have a discharge plan in it.... when I asked about this I was told that it would need to be sent in for a "bid." the truly irksome bit about this was they actually had advertised on their website (at the time... shortly after my pointing out this fact it was removed) that discharge plans came as a "standard." I was told that first that the website did not say this ( I sent them a screen shot :) of the site) and then told: sorry the site is wrong!!!

following this and the 200hr @$250/hr quote to have my documentation developed (in english and spanish) I recommended that my organization transition away from ClaimTrak (again a company I built my career on) to NextGen...

Many people argue that NextGen is expensive (wow is it...) but working with our re-seller, Topaz Information Solutions has truly shown us what an EHR should be....

AWESOME! - - Nov 9th 2012

Come on!  Not the case.  We have had this system 8 years and never had the challenges expressed here.  The system isnt the issue rather how leadership approached the system set-up and whether a company has sufficient hardware and as well as sufficient bandwidth to accommodate the users.  Yes we had some minor glitches but they were fixed and not a catastrophe as painted here.  I've seen many systems and all have experienced errors on occasion.  Even in the old paper days people misfiled progress notes and they were filed correctly. We had this happen once but it was easily remedied.  Heck even birth wards despite matching RFID bands on mothers and infant still have mixups.  Why not find out why your system takes too long too sync before assuming its's an EHR flaw?dont know what the person is doing to get to a progress note since you can go there directly from a click on the scheduler.  Fifteen clicks?  What a novice user!  If your still taking 15 clicks then shame on you for not asking your supervisor if you are doing it right because the system isn't supposed to make your life more difficult.  It certainly made our life easier and improved all areas.  We Love It!  State auditors who have seen and used it love it and we are envied by others at the state level and by other providers for having a great system.  Let's set the record straight here!

Roll Out - - Aug 29th 2012

Perhaps your employer prepared their roll out and implementation of claimtrak better then the reviews from the previous two commenters.  I can confirm that claimtrak is not functional and many "work arounds" are being done to document clinical information as well as generate billing.  CT support has been terrible.  The system is becoming worse and worse each passing day.  CT bite off more then it can chew when collaborating with 5 agencies to build the "same" system at the same time!!  The result is a disaster!  I suspect that the previous two commenters are working for the same agency I am.

ClaimTrak is an AMAZING Product - - Jun 21st 2012

I just saw the previous comments and as a very satisfied customer of ClaimTrak was shocked to read these negative comments.  Here is an accurate picture of what ClaimTrak can do for your agency.

My agency has been using ClaimTrak for over 2yrs and our cash flow has increased considerably.  Currently our aging has less then 1% outstanding over 45 days.  ClaimTrak providers users with all the necessary tools to send out clean accurate claims the first time around.  The system creates the 837's automatically without user intervention, it will email you with any errors and sent out clean files only.

On the clinical side, one of the previous comments stated you need 15 mouse clicks to open a progress note.  This is TOTALLY INACURRATE, after reading this I question their overall knowledge of the system.

I have many non computer savvy staff using the clinical module and they love the way it links from the assessment to the treatment plan and then to the progress note.

I do NOT recommend this product! - - Mar 1st 2012

The mental health agency I work for rolled out this product for all our offices about four months ago.  We are experiencing severe cash flow problems due to problems with this product.  One of the issues is that staff were not properly trained as the product was referred to as user friendly.  I have not experienced it as being user friendly at all. It has doubled the the time it takes me to complete my paperwork (progress notes, etc).  On top of this is all the errors that get sent back that have to be corrected.  The scheduler is a bar graph looking thing that is of no use for people like me who like to see an actual calendar or appointment grid.  This makes scheduling future clients very time consuming.

It takes about 15 clicks to just to get into a note, and that is just the start.  As the person noted above, progress notes have disappeared and others have ended up in another client's electronic chart.  Very strange indeed.

There have been too many problems for what product advertises. I would not recommend this product to any agency that is planning to move forward with an electronic record.  Keep it simple folks.  This one is way too complicated and has many bugs that need to be worked out. 

ClaimTrak nothing but problems - Unhappy Client - Feb 27th 2012

I can see how ClaimTrak appears to be a fantastic solution, especially for multi-faceted agencies that offer a wide range of services.  Unfortunately, the agency I work for has implemented the program and the problems are piling up exponentially.  At the start of implementation, the bugs were routine and to be expected.

Unfortunately, things have taken a stark turn for the worse.  We have client progress notes that are reandomly appearing in other client's charts.  We have progress notes that have been completed, signed and printed and then disappear from the electronic record.

The program has no help menu so even the simplest issues require outside assistance which seems to foster dependency on the company.  The synchronization feature is unstable and as the database gets larger, the sync feature takes excessive amounts of time to complete.

This has been a labor intensive program requiring much backtracking and rewriting of notes to cover program problems.  We are four months in.  It should be getting better not worse.

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