Why HIPAA-Compliance is More Than Just a Good Idea

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) has been with us for over two decades. The ramifications of this act are wide-ranging and ever evolving. HIPAA also impacts medical answering services and call centers that handle healthcare accounts. Here’s why this matters: A Requirement: Of specific interest with HIPAA is protected health information (PHI). One of HIPAA’s many requirements stipulates that identifiable, patient health information be kept private, that it be protected from those who shouldn’t have access to it. For the medical answering service, this means keeping PHI safe both within call center walls and as it’s being communicated with its medical clients. This is an especially important concern when sending patient information to the mobile devices of medical practitioners. Leading medical answering services maintain HIPAA-compliance by using secure messaging, which protects PHI. By employing a secure messaging platform, answering services can ensure HIPAA-compliance when sending information...
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Why a 100 Percent Medical Answering Service is the Right Solution

Some answering services only handle healthcare related accounts, and other answering services refuse to even consider medical clients, but most answering services are happy to take on any kind of account, rather it’s a good fit or not. While this distinction may not seem important to you as a medical practitioner or healthcare organization, it’s of critical significance. Your answering service, as a patient-facing company, directly interacts with your patients. Your answering service can greatly impact your present workload and future business opportunities. For this reason it’s essential to select an answering service that specializes in healthcare. You want a medical answering service. Here are the reasons why you should select an answering service that specializes in healthcare, instead of a generic provider that tries to be all things to all people. Focus Leads to Excellence: Medical answering services handle only accounts that relate to healthcare. This laser focus allows them...
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6 Ways You Might Suffer if You Pick a Cheap Answering Service

Hospitals, clinics, and doctors are always looking for a way to save money. A few cents here and a couple dollars there can add up over the course of a month and the year. Sometimes, however, saving a few dollars can have a negative consequence on your business and your patients. That’s why it’s never a good idea to go with the least-cost provider. This applies to your medical answering service, too. There will always be an answering service somewhere that charges less. But the cost of saving a few dollars may actually be high. Consider how you might lose if you hire a cheap answering service. Understaffed: An answering service is a labor-intensive business. A high percentage of their costs goes to staffing. If they charge less that means they’ve shaved their costs someplace. The most likely area is staffing. Why should using an understaffed answering service concern you? The...
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What Size Medical Answering Service is the Right Size?

When it comes to medical answering services, bigger isn’t always better. A larger size doesn’t imply better service or enhanced quality. In fact, it could be the opposite. Conversely, a smaller service might carry a different set of problems. Their scope is simply too small to operate efficiently. Too Big: A large telephone answering service could have up to one hundred operators, or more, working at peak times. Why is this a concern? Consider the commotion of having that many people talking on the telephone at the same time. While this may be an efficient configuration, it might not be an effective one. There’s simply too much going on for them to give your account the focused attention it deserves. With a larger size comes larger problems. This includes effectively managing staff, finding enough qualified employees, and challenges in providing quality. Too Small: The antidote to a large operation, however, isn’t...
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Can a Daytime Answering Service Help Your Clinic or Practice?

When you think of a medical answering service, you probably imagine a company that answers calls on the evenings and weekends. They take messages and dispatch urgent calls to on-call staff. This is a correct understanding and is a common function of healthcare answering services. However, a medical telephone answering service is for more than just after hours. They can also handle your daytime calls, too. Consider the following applications: A Solution for Staffing Shortages: Finding good help is challenging in most any industry, but especially so in the healthcare field. Sometimes staffing shortages happen. When this occurs, many things suffer, including critical communication with your patients. A daytime answering service that specializes in healthcare is an ideal resource to help you maintain a professional level of communication with your patients even if your office is short-staffed. Let your answering service take and screen all your calls. They can transfer time-sensitive...
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