Healthcare providers are stuck between rising costs and lower reimbursement rates. This can trigger a cost-cutting initiative. When considering this, remember that the cost of a medical answering service is a small fraction of what it would take to hire an office receptionist. It’s a veritable bargain with a high-value return that patients appreciate.
Yet sometimes healthcare providers must explore ways to reduce their answering service costs. If you’re in this situation, there are many things you can do to lower your medical answering service bill.
Consider Email for Non-Urgent Messages
There are multiple ways for you to receive routine messages from your answering service. These include email and fax delivery, along with voicemail and personally relaying messages over the phone.
Email and fax delivery are fast, easy, and cost-effective. Using these options can save time for you and your answering service, which will save you money. Receiving routine messages via voicemail requires more time for your answering service and therefore increases the cost. Relaying messages over the telephone is the most expensive option.
You can lower your medical answering service bill when you receive nonurgent messages by email.
Use a Smart Phone to Receive Urgent Messages
Next, look at urgent communication. A phone call is the most personable and reliable way, but it’s also more expensive. Instead use your cell phone, PCS phone, or even text message pager. Not only will this save you money and help you lower your medical answering service bill, it will also provide for fast and efficient communication, giving you the information you need as quickly as possible.
Add Call Screening
To provide the highest quality customer service, your medical answering service has their staff answer all your calls. This delights patients and helps ease any tension or concern they may have when they call your practice after office hours. However, this highly-desired service also carries a cost.
To lower your medical answering service bill, consider switching to a pre-screening recording. This message will provide important information to callers so that many of them won’t need to talk to your answering service staff, while still allowing urgent calls to come through for personal, professional call handling.
Streamline On-Call Protocols
The more complicated your on-call protocols, the more time it takes your medical answering service to determine who to call and how to reach them. The simpler you make your on-call process, the less it will cost your answering service to follow it. Strive to balance efficiency with effectiveness. Make it easy for your answering service while still meeting the needs of your on-call staff. By seeking ways to streamline your on-call procedure, you can lower your medical answering service bill.
These common recommendations apply to most every situation. However, other ideas to lower your medical answering service bill, may hinge on the unique configuration of your account and the specific requirements of your practice. That’s why it’s a good idea to review service options with your answering service to discover other areas where you can reduce costs.
For practices that need to reduce their answering service bill, there are many options available. The key is to not overreact and cut services that your patients expect or make your staff’s life easier, just to save a few dollars. Balance cost-effectiveness with the pursuit of quality service to obtain the best results.
Learn how medical answering service from MedConnectUSA can help your practice, clinic, or facility. Then get a free quote to discover how affordable their healthcare communication services are. Peter Lyle DeHaan is a freelance writer and call center authority