It may be worth it to stay with SP, but not for great reasons. This may explain some of the dynamics involved
-it is good to keep your practice in different places (fee processing, telehealth, file storage, etc), because when you have all your chicks in a basket, large companies have abilities to basically force consumers to pay more and give more information. (that's not where SP is now, as far as I know - but there's money in data.) Remember, SP is a big company (if they weren't before today, they are now) - they make a lot more money by paying certain people a whole bunch of money to help them plan and pivot to make more money. Facebook is primary as an example: people hate what FB does - I usually agree. It seems the federal government would agree, I hear. But we stay. Many leave - doesn't matter.
Be prepared to protect yourself by diversifying your assets, because experiments reveal that large companies can basically do whatever they please and enough people will stay and then get used to it. You must expect companies to charge more and make you an offer you can't refuse to 'choose' it. Disney+, YouTube - they start reasonable and great, then make you feel you need to upgrade to the new wonderful service they offer. We've already seen different generations of this where the new monthly payment has children and there are several on top of that.
-SP HAS studied the consumer base - not for preference silly people, but for whether they can survive the backlash. They are still compiling their assessments, but trust me, this is not about making the product fit as best as possible. That is a very different phase of the product. That is for establishing your company; now SP is developing profitability.
Remember when it felt like important things, like the ability to have couples and families as a single client file (I think most would consider that a highest priority item) were greatly delayed while SP finished things like Willey planner and other non-essentials that helped to raise the bottom line? Purchase 'opportunities' for existing (captive) customers. It seemed outrageous then, to me at least. Once they finished that, we had held on. There we were. It worked. I stayed you stayed. Now they could work on the things loudly demanded. And they did. It was great!
SP got to what I'd call great shape. Almost every feature I wanted came into place in like a year! Happy customers! What does a company do with happy customers? Proudly produce a favored product for an affordable price for generations? I'm sure you will agree it's not the 1900's and that this is both unlikely and even unreasonable to expect of a company. (In that it is normative and accepted as common practice - there's lots of money to be had and it's pretty easy to get it when fees are monthly, customer bases enormous, and all transactions are online.)
So it's time to move to the next phase. I received an email explaining nothing except that 'it's time to select a new plan.' It glowed whilst explaining, in the most nebulous terms, that I was able to choose a new plan (not a word about 'hey, we are restructuring, and we need to do this for these reasons. Because, the only real reason is 'our consultants helped us realize we are wildly under paid for what we COULD be charging') and I won't lose my data if I change platforms. It read very strangely to me - I was there innocently looking to understand a communication, but something in me felt suspicious - like things were worded not diplomatically, but in a way that treated me like a subject or number? Appealing to my psychology, not my mind. I'm used to that feeling now. "Here's something you hate that you actually love and you're welcome" but without actjally mentioning the subject material of what I hate, at all? Some companies do it better than others.
-TurboTax did this awhile ago. Totally broke the essential functions of their basic package, and made the 'professional' package SO good, that it was $20 more than before, and a much higher value than the middle package. The backlash was enormous, and H&R Block responded by offering their basic package at a hugely discounted price, to win customers! And it worked! But, Turbotax, without apology, changed back to the inexpensive package being useful and I, and the masses, returned to them. (perhaps you remember?)
-Remember what line of work SP does! Though we are therapists and helpers, I find our comment section to be substantially whiny, entitled, and threatening. I mean - do you see it? We know people, and manipulation is a skill we utilize. Altogether too freely, I think. It's my bet that there's a spirit of disgruntled martyrdom that's taken root and been allowed by leadership within SP. THEY have to DEAL with us. Can't really blame them - but I'm sad. I think this makes the choice to rob you a little bit much easier to go for. You'll adapt, you'll find the value is there. You might threaten to leave, but enough will stay. You might commit to the basic plan, but you'll upgrade. You might rail and even organize a boycott, but it won't go far, and we've prepared contingencies to easily survive and even look like heroes if it forces us to relent.
-my suggestion is to NOT complain (they expect it, how will it be received? Will they sit up straight and say 'yes ma'am!'? Will they confess with contrition? Will they declare that they were ignorant of this being detrimental and make immediate changes? No, they will say, "see??? These people... Just turn the comments off. It's an echo chamber of whining. I've seen enough." Instead, look up other EHR's, write to their CO-level leaders and suggest they win a tsunami of new customers. (promising a price lock, or a feature lock with only reasonable price changes occasionally, etc. They should also work hard to assure new customers that data will be safe and the transfer easy, and the product sound.) BUT - is Theranest ready for a tsunami? Can TherapyNotes actually promise protection and functionality that rivals SP? The sad fact is that I am not a business consultant, just an observant therapist. If I can anticipate this, a highly-paid professional knows much more. They have anticipated that SP is the must-have product, and that their rivals are not positioned to supplant them. This has only occurred because of exceptional forecasts of safe and sure profit.
I also think the contingency is that they have told us this bluntly now and will have WELL over a month to assess what backlash will be. If it is too great, they get to say 'we hear the people! We are for the people! We are your loyal EHR servants and shall change our big plans to make you our very happy and loyal customers!'
-which takes me to my first point - never forget what happened here. Your benefit was starkly deferred for this profit. Do not trust any company to be your one company. The reason you love a company is because some diligent genius made a fabulous product - but they will retire, or they will be corrupted (sorry - we know power corrupts...). Even if you've been with the company 20 years, that is only more reason to believe a new way is coming and you're going to be soon offered lots of free online storage (until you have all your photos there and they tack on a monthly charge), or excellent new features (that you will come to depend on), or features that allow you to get everything you want in one place (for NO ADDITIONAL COST!! ;)
I'm sorry to sound so jaded or pessimistic. But let's not be naive or ignorant. This is all likely close to the truth. It's absolutely certain that, whetever is false here, it's not about the company simply and only wishing to bless you with a fantastic product at the best possible price. That's how you generate loyalty, and big companies with your data don't need your loyalty - especially when they can sell it. As soon as you stay with a company you really don't want to stay with, your loyalty was cashed in - 'sold.'
So look up other companies and get others to migrate with you - it could work! But the new company is also run by humans - history repeats. and if the old company relents and you win and stay with them, you still can't trust them. Protect yourself by doing extra work to use other services where you can, they will compete for your business because single-task/feature products can be more easily swapped.
I happily do not need card-charging features - I use a company named after a shaoe. I don't need telehealth, I use a free hipaa compliant site. I don't need calendar synching because I stopped relying on Google calendar for clients - I only use SP. I don't need Willey, I do my own treatment plans. I don't have an intern or employees, so that's another major bonus for me right now, and I JUST MIGHT be able to stay with SP at the low price point. But I'm looking at other EHR's because I find this move of theirs to be money-grabbing, and I think the way they are going about it reveals that they have an adversarial relationship with me as a customer.
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