Cheap Medical Answering Services – Any Catch?

Hiring a good call center may sound like a relatively simple task, but it can be a bit more complicated than you think. There are many different factors that separate good and bad call centers, and unfortunately, a low-quality medical answering service could lead to significant losses for your medical practice. Call centers can be a great asset for healthcare professionals. A virtual answering service allows you to easily outsource for phone calls and other aspects of customer service, giving your on-site staff more time to focus on each and every patient that visits your practice. A remote call center also offers other advantages, such as allowing your practice to take phone calls 24/7, 365 days of the year. You can also set up an emergency preparedness plan to keep your communications protected in case of emergencies or natural disasters, and even send out automated reminders to your patients. Another great benefit of a high-quality virtual answering service is that it can be totally customized to fit your practice’s needs. You can use different services, such as working with bilingual operators, to make sure you’re covering the needs of your patients and community. A remote call center can become a key piece in your customer service strategy, giving your practice room to grow and thrive without breaking the bank. However, it’s very important to make sure you’re not just choosing the cheapest answering service without checking their qualifications first. Taking phone calls may not seem like a risky procedure, but in reality, hiring a bad answering service could have serious repercussions for your medical practice. Let’s go over three reasons why you using a cheap medical answering service is a bad idea.

#1. Higher risk of HIPAA violations

HIPAA compliance is one of the main concerns for any medical business, since it’s incredibly important to be able to manage patient data safely without any breaches. HIPAA violations can be incredibly costly, leading to hefty fines and legal repercussions. These repercussions can affect you directly, even if the mistake was made by a company you outsource. A good medical answering service will provide operators who have received in-depth training on HIPAA procedures, and they’ll know just what to do to keep your patients’ data safe under any circumstance. Read more on The Dire Consequences of HIPAA Violations

#2. Unmet patient expectations

When a patient calls your practice, they expect to have their questions answered by warm, professional, and knowledgeable staff. A good answering service can provide operators like this, but on the other hand, a cheap answering service will probably hire lower quality operators. If your patients receive poor service over the phone, they may not receive the information that they require, which can lead to frustration and unmet expectations. Over time, this could reduce your level of patient satisfaction and affect your customer base.

#3. Poor 24/7 availability

24/7 availability is one of the main reasons why medical professionals outsource their phone calls. The medical industry never sleeps, and physicians need to know that their patients will be taken care of around the clock. Otherwise, your patients may find themselves calling your number after office hours without any response. Cutting corners and hiring a cheap medical answering service can result in poor or non-existent 24/7 responsiveness, since these call centers don’t guarantee the same standard of care as higher quality companies. These are but a few of the pitfalls you will face when seeking to save a few dollars up front. There are long term implications that should weigh heavily in your decision for an answering service.
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