TherapyNotes (opens in new tab) was born from the need of a psychology practice run by Dr. Debra Pliner with multiple psychologists. She had her spouse, Brad who ran an IT consulting firm work on software that could capture and store therapy notes from the patient sessions. The EMR software (opens in new tab) got refined by use, and launched in late 2010 with a version that was commercially available for practices to be able to use. Based in Pennsylvania, it is currently used by thousands of practices throughout the US.
TherapyNotes offers plenty of features that clinicians have come to expect on an EMR platform. It starts with being able to import data from another EMR- at no cost.
We are also fans that the patient portal is included (see below), with the option to fully customize it for an outstanding and unified patient experience in all the plans, as some competitors charge extra for this important feature.
There is also no limit to the number of notes, and patients, and also unlimited file storage. Telehealth is also part of the package, with unlimited one-to-one sessions. There is also support for screen sharing, but did not find any support for online group sessions.
As it is cloud based, the backups (opens in new tab) are done seamlessly, and the hosting is done off site. The other advantage is that the software upgrades get done by the company, without the users having to do anything.
TherapyNotes offers the TherapyPortal, which can be custom branded to the practice via logos and color schemes, and provide patients with a number of options to interact with the practice.
This starts with allowing clients to view appointment availability, and then both existing, as well as new clients can then make appointment requests- an important feature to minimize front office time on the phone. From there, the clients can then view appointments already made, and change them as needed.
Documents can also be shared between the practice and the client. This includes intake forms that can be electronically signed, as well as shared treatment plans.
Payments can be accepted via both debit and credit cards. Finally, the portal can be used to conduct increasingly popular telehealth sessions.
A major shortcoming of the TherapyNotes app is the lack of smartphone apps. We did not find any indication of it on their website. We further confirmed this on both the iOS, and Google Play stores as neither had an app. This omission is likely to be of concern for clinicians that expect to be able to have convenient mobile access to patient records from anywhere. Furthermore, patients like a dedicated app to access the patient portal.
Free and unlimited support is included. TherapyNotes can be contacted directly via phone, mail, fax, email or through an account login to upload a file. This is all the expected options except for chat.
There is also a ‘Help Center,’ available to find information and apply some self help to the problem. There is a searchable knowledge base, with articles grouped around common topic areas such as scheduling, insurance claims and payment processing. While there are plenty of articles, we did not find any videos, webinars, ebooks, whitepapers or other content.
We can give kudos to TherapyNotes, as it has transparent, and upfront pricing with a choice of tiers to choose from, that are easy to understand. More than that, we also like the available 30-day free trial- with no credit card required.
The bottom plan is Solo, which is for a single clinician, with a cost of $49 per month. Moving up takes us to the Group plan, which costs $59 per month for the first clinician, and then $30 per month for each additional clinician, with an unlimited amount of clerical staff for no additional charge. At the top is the Enterprise plan, which has the same cost as Group, but it is designed for practices of 30 clinicians and more, and it includes a dedicated account manager for these larger practices.
All of the tiers have the same exact list of features, which is refreshing to see. After all, a solo practitioner should not have to upgrade to a higher tier of plan, that is really designed to accommodate more practitioners, just to get an essential feature or two back into the feature set.
We think the tiered pricing overall is plenty fair, and offers significant value to the mix. However, the “Optional Integrated Features,” can quickly eat into any practice’s bottom line. For example, to add e-prescribe, is an additional $65/month per prescriber, MIPS reporting is $359/clinician annually, and payment processing is $0.30 per transaction with an additional 2.9%. While there are included free email reminders, we suspect some practices would leave it at that with a text reminder costing $0.14 for each text, and electronic billing costs an additional $0.14 per electronic claim, and also $0.14 for an eligibility request. There is also an option for full service medical billing, with a TherapyNotes billing partner, for an undisclosed “Pricing varies” cost.
TherapyNotes: Final verdict
There is plenty going for TherapyNotes, with lots of useful features. These encompass the included patient portal with custom logos and colors, the telehealth aspect with screen sharing at no additional cost, and the upfront pricing with a decent feature set across the tiers.
What is holding this platform back is the lack of smartphone apps for both the Android and iOS platforms, the additional costs such as for e-prescribing, the limited self help content, and the focus that is limited only to behavioral health that limits broader appeal, such as to multi-specialty practices.
For those that can get past these issues, we think the 30 day trial is a nice option to decide how TherapyNotes can meet your practice’s needs.