How A Live Phone Answering Service For Physicians Can Save Your Practice Time, Money, & Lower Overhead/Payroll

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It’s no secret that running a lean operation in a doctor’s office or specialty medical office leads to more billables. Sure, offering a great service at your practice that improves patient lives is always the goal, but we both know that a practice that’s bleeding money from high overheads, is a practice that’ll become sinking ship if things don’t get turned around…. which won’t be helping anyone. Most doctors I am personally friends with (both a pulmonologist and urologist) are so busy running their practice, that the operational foundation simplicities can easily fall by the wayside. For instance, when they’re on cal, an after hours live answering service could easily get them a few extra hours of sleep on the nights when nuisance calls from the hospital staff ask the same repeated questions week after week… for which they can’t do anything about anyway. But a lot of practices are managed by old school administrators, who don’t keep up with the technology advances, and they don’t get to take advantage of these simple services that can really save their own health over time…

I recommend PatLive for a live answering service for small businesses, and they’re also a great fit for physicians as well. The setup process is simple, and the cost at less than $200/mo is a no brainer instead of hiring and training secretarial staff. Simply avoiding another set of payroll on the books and being able to just right off the whole thing without worry, is worth it in itself to me… not to mention all staff is extremely professional even with difficult patients, and customer service and patience always comes first.

Update >>  I’ve secured a 14 day free trial of Pat Live for our readers, with a lifetime discount here.

Why Answering Service Companies Started Catering To Medical Offices & Doctors

The medical sector is defined by its ability to deal with frequent emergencies and ensuring the sound health of a person. It is this competency that decides the trust factor that we put into physicians, hospitals and nursing homes. Medical help does not pertain only to the treatment and the healing process. It also covers the basic administrative and counseling services that a patient requires throughout the duration of their treatment.

Physicians can help more people on a given day if they are freed from having to manage the basics that are non-value adding to their core expertise. This includes having to attend to patient calls for minor queries, providing them with general information and deciding when their next appointment is due. While most doctors and hospitals employ a dedicated staff today, the cost of bearing them is huge. This can be solved by a simple live phone answering service that doctors can benefit from.

The Need for a Live Phone Answering Service

Let us consider some factors that may help a physician invest less time in managing the paperwork and more time treating their patients via a live phone answering service.

Query Resolution

A patient may get apprehensive about the medicines prescribed to them or they may simply get confused about which medicine to consume at what time. At such times their first reaction is to call up their physician. In your ability as a physician, you are responsible to answer their queries. However, you may not be able to address the query immediately due to other professional commitments. This may prove to be detrimental to your practice and reputation.

While doctors have staff members to help patients, it is cost consuming and comes with working hours. A live phone answering service, on the other hand, helps to provide basic information to patients and addresses their queries on time without many hassles. This service comes with a round-the-clock availability which makes it a win-win situation for both patients and doctors.

Scheduling Appointments

American Medical Association has greatly emphasized on ensuring the well-being of physicians. As a medical professional, you are well aware of the fact that patients need to visit you regularly during the course of their treatment. Administering injection doses and changing bandages are some things that are needed to be done at fixed intervals. The simplest way to determine these intervals is by fixing appointments.

Fixing appointments is not as simple as it seems. One has to consider complex factors such as time availability of both patients and doctors which may prove to be quite harrowing and time-consuming. It is definitely not a wise decision to spend a lot of your time trying to contact patients, schedule and reschedule appointments.

A live phone answering service can easily handle appointment scheduling and confirmation responsibilities. This does not require people with any medical background and can be managed very well with the help of online calendars.

Communication Management

The first moment of truth occurs when a patient contacts your office and the response they receive in return. Any patient who calls up a medical facility expects that the person addressing their problem has sound knowledge about the condition and has a good acumen for treatment-related solutions.

Since most patients are not well-versed with the medical lingo, they rely on their doctors and their team to simplify those terms for them. Patients may face cognition problems due to inadequate health literacy and thus need guidance from experienced staff members.

Hiring professional help to resolve patient queries is the need of the hour. It can be easily managed through phone interactions between your patients and a knowledgeable support team.

Clock Friendly

It is humanly not possible to be able to answer calls round the clock after dispensing your duties throughout the day. At the same time, your staff too would leave for home once their scheduled working hours are over. Medical assistance does not have any fixed working hours and may be needed at any time of the day or night.

Setting up a dedicated call and messaging service to help patients is a great way of earning credibility. Minor queries are addressed automatically without the need to disturb you while major queries are sifted through and sent to you depending on the urgency factor.

Revenue Generation

Hiring staff is cost intensive. Staff requirement is directly proportional to the strength of your practice. The larger your establishment, greater is the need to employ more staff to ensure a smooth functioning of your daily activities. However, these high costs are also reflected in the consultation charges that a patient has to pay. The United States has the highest administrative cost accounting for 25% of total US hospital spending.

While professional medical staff like nurses, assistants and janitors are a must, you can save cost on administration. It is very easy to manage administrative tasks as they do not need people with a medical background. Tasks such as scheduling appointments and answering queries asked by patients can be outsourced.

This outsourcing not only saves additional work-related hassles, it also helps in decreasing your expenses, thereby, increasing profits.

After-Hours Assistance

Were you brought out of a deep slumber just to instruct a patient to have his pills before a meal? Such cases are quite frequent where the patient contacts the physician just because nobody was available to answer the official contact telephone.

As a physician, addressing minor queries may take up a lot of your valuable time. It is, therefore essential to set-up an error-free system that has the ability to address the queries posed by patients and people looking for a consultation. Your ability to deliver a prompt response is of strategic importance in such cases as it has the capacity to build or destroy your reputation.

A live phone answering facility designed for physicians can easily tackle such time-related issues and provide people with great advice and recommendations.

HIPAA Compliance

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act was established in 1996 to decrease instances of fraud and abuse in the healthcare industry. It has established mandates for electronic information handling throughout the healthcare sector.

A lot of companies provide live phone answering services to ease your load by outsourcing your basic service elements. You should choose your service partner only after an initial background check and a review pertaining to HIPAA compliance.

Reduction in Administrative Expenses

A dispensary or a hospital is not only about treating and being treated. It involves a lot of paperwork, appointment scheduling, insurance claims and payment processes. Though it is not noticed much, administrative costs are getting dearer by the day.

Patients are provided with administrative support when it comes to the process of treatment of their ailments. This could range from providing simple information to guiding about an insurance claim settlement. This calls for a need to employ more manpower which is expensive and works only for a specific time bandwidth.

A live phone answering service helps you create your own support system 24×7 that patients could benefit from. These features are customized by companies offering live phone answering services which is an added bonus for you. It also helps to bring down your total cost spent on managing the administration of your facility.

Accurate Recordkeeping and Billing Details

A professional service being utilized to address the daily requirements of your healthcare activities is a great bet for a systematic process handling. This ensures that all the data in your record is secure and accurate. This data can be used in the future to conduct research and base other findings.

Billing is also handled in a seamless manner as patients can do that by simply making a phone call. It saves you from the problem of having to go through multiple documents to get information about a particular case and address it meticulously.

Manage Insurance Claims

Today, healthcare services are not limited to going to a doctor and getting treated for your ailment. It goes much beyond it, thanks to the increased medical expenses. This calls for a need to get insured so that medical expenses can be reimbursed to patients at a later date. While this is beneficial for patients, it can become a nightmare for you as it involves a lot of processes and information churning.

Hospitals and healthcare facilities are inundated with insurance claims that are needed to be settled. This involves a lot of paperwork and subsequently, an increased workload on your part. You can easily manage this using phone answering services. Such services come with a virtual agent who helps patients resolve their claim issues. A dedicated phone assistant is more helpful as it can spot errors and frauds easily.

Handling Medical Cases Seamlessly

The healthcare industry is reaching new heights in the modern world due to new discoveries and cures being conjured up daily. While this may point towards progress, being able to find innovative solutions to reduce redundant work is a key factor towards achieving all-round success.

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