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Is the Cloud Safe for Medical Billing Data?

Aiden Spencer is a health IT researcher and writer at CureMD who focuses on various engaging and informative topics related to the health IT industry. He loves to research and write about topics such as Affordable Care Act, electronic health records, revenue cycle management, privacy, and security of patient health data. You can get in touch with him on Twitter @AidenSpencer15
In theory, the cloud is supposed to do little other than make our lives simpler; but in reality it can absolutely drive us nuts (not-so-scary) and leave us open to cyber threats from malicious thugs (very scary).
So, just how safe is the cloud and can we trust online software to keep our sensitive medical billing data secure from a breach?
The short answer is: yes, we can.
Cloud computing has made tremendous advances in the last 5 years and great efforts have been and continue to be made to keep sensitive information (like patient information) safe from prying digital eyes.
Having said that, not all practice management software is equal, and before you sign on the dotted line with a vendor, best to do your due diligence and ask a few questions first. In order to determine whether a cloud-based solution will fit your particular business needs, you will want to ask:
1. Can you try out their system with your processes in what’s called a “sandbox” environment to see if it will ‘play nicely’?
2. Does the software vendor understand and work with other physicians that share your specialty?
3. Does the vendor have a good track record of trustworthiness?
4. Will they provide references that you may contact?
Even though cloud computing has been around for some time now, it’s important to trust your concerns and ask the right questions before getting into a contract with anyone. Should a potential partner not want to answer all of these question or share references, this should be a red flag.
The important thing is to be 100% completely comfortable with the provider you choose, but to also understand that full trust will be gained over time.
Benefits of Cloud-Based Practice Management Software
Now that you know you can trust many cloud-based providers, let’s take a look at some of the specific benefits you’ll receive by using online medical billing software.
Easy Implementation
Since cloud-based solutions run on the web instead of on desktop software, there is no hardware or software for you to install. The real benefit of this is that practice owners won’t experience any interruption to their cash flow as well as experience a faster return on their investment.
Bigger Savings 
Many small practices face a significant financial hurdle when they install medical billing software. Between the initial hefty out of pocket expense and the costs of maintaining and updating the system, practices can spend tens of thousands of dollars.
Now consider the fact that cloud-based medical billing software requires no installation or software licenses, and implementation is generally a fraction of the cost, and you can see how much more affordable these solutions are for small- to medium-sized practices. For just a small monthly fee, practice owners can have access to advanced technology and vendor support, making medical billing easy and efficient.

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