Simple Practice for IBCLCs vs. ChARM and Jane
In the lactation community, Simple Practice doesn't get as much attention as some of the other platforms, so I thought I'd provide you with a brief face off of the key differences between Simple Practice and the two popular platforms it most resembles, ChARM and Jane. Unlike Mobile Lactation Consultant and Milk Notes, none of these charting platforms are lactation-specific, and all are designed to be fully customizable.
Simple Practice vs. ChARM
The price point may be a key consideration for lower volume practices. Simple Practice's basic plan is $39/month. You'll need to do 78 encounters in ChARM to reach that price point.
A big complaint about ChARM is that it takes forever for them to get back to you about setting up Bluefin payment integration. Simple Practice integrates with Stripe, which is super easy to set up.
Simple Practice's templates are more visual in layout than ChARM, which operates more like a quick-text repository. If your brain works better with a charting template that looks more like a paper form, Simple Practice may work better for you. Overall, Simple Practice is more intuitive than ChARM.
Simple Practice does have a library, but does not allow user-created templates, unlike ChARM, where you can access all kinds of templates (including the ones you can buy from me). So if you are looking to DIY your platform, ChARM will be easier. But if you are hiring me to customize your platform, I'll create all the templates for you and then they are super easy for you to refine yourself as your practice develops.
Insurance billing (US Specific)
Both Simple Practice and ChARM allow you to apply procedure codes to your visits; however, with ChARM it's a lot easier to apply more than one code to a visit. However, there's a very easy workaround for that--by make codes only 5 minutes in duration, you can add multiple codes onto a visit while preserving the integrity of the length of the visit.
Both platforms allow for embedded online schedulers, but ChARM's does not translate well on mobile devices. Simple Practice has a much more clean appearance.
Incorporating URLs into care plans
This is a big one for me--I want live clickable links in anything I'm sharing with a client. Both ChARM and Simple Practice will do that for you.
Simple Practice vs. Jane
Jane is $75/month vs. Simple Practice even at it's highest price point ($59/month with Telehealth).
Jane runs online payments through Payfirma, where Simple Practice uses Stripe. Both are equally easy to set up.
Jane is the most visual of all the customizable charting platforms, and once you have your templates set up it's extremely intuitive to use. Simple Practice is also visual and intuitive, but again Jane has the shared library (and you can buy codes from me to get access to the templates I've created), and Simple Practice doesn't.
Insurance billing (US specific)
Jane is a Canadian company and is not designed to handle the kind of workflow required to interface with US insurance companies. It's very easy to apply procedure codes in Jane, but Jane will not generate a superbill. You'll need an app like PDF Expert and a superbill template in order to provide your clients with superbills. Simple Practice can generate a superbill for you very easily.
Both Jane and Simple Practice have state of the art embeddable online schedulers.
Incorporating URLs into care plans
The PDF reports generated through Jane do not contain clickable links and because there's no secure messaging, you need a workaround to share links with clients. G-Suite Docs works well for this.
So which platform is right for you?
If you're visually oriented and have a moderately high client volume, the cost differential between ChARM and Simple Practice may not be enough to make a difference. You may find it worth $10-$20 more a month for Simple Practice's intuitive templates. For most practices, Jane is going to be too expensive without enough necessary features.
If you plan to DIY your practice, ChARM and Jane will be relatively easy to do, especially if you buy any of my products that include access codes to the templates I've created: the Toolkit, my ChARM training module, or my Jane training module. Simple Practice can certainly be fully customized by you with my module, but you won't get access codes for my templates because Simple Practice doesn't support template sharing by users.
If you are planning to hire me to customize your platform for you, it's worth signing up for a free trial with Simple Practice and look at it alongside ChARM (which is free until you start seeing more than 25 clients/month). As part of the customization process, I'm happy to help you choose which platform is right for your specific situation.
I am an authorized reseller for ChARM and if you give them my name when you sign up, I will receive a small fee. I'm an affiliate with Simple Practice, so if you sign up through my link and end up with a paid subscription, I will receive a small fee. You can bypass this affiliate fee at any point by navigating directly to Simple Practice without using my link.
About the Author
Annie Frisbie, MA, IBCLC is the creator of the IBCLC Private Practice Essential Toolkit, a collection of books, resources, legal forms, training manuals, and workbooks aimed at helping private practice lactation consultants build a private practice that’s ethical, profitable, sustainable, and enjoyable.