Calculate the Cost of Medical Answering Services
Calculating the cost of outsourcing your calls to a Medical Call Service in 2024 is fairly easy if you understand which call center solutions drive rates up and how you can better manage them. To help you discover what impacts pricing you can read the guide below to better understand just how much a medical answering service costs. In short, the average cost of a medical answering service is between $0.96 – $1.84 per call, with prices declining for healthcare facilities requiring higher inbound call volumes.
Of course this amount can be reduced or increased based the overall call length and/or the needs of the hospital or doctor’s office. Below is a table to help you calculate the actual cost of hiring a call center to answer your medical calls.
MEDICAL ANSWERING SERVICE PRICE GUIDE
|Call Volume Per Month
|Average Call Length
|Low End $
|High End $
|1 – 2 Minutes
|1 – 2 Minutes
|1 – 2 Minutes
|1 – 2 Minutes
|1 – 2 Minutes
|*Price ranges by call length and adds on
Pricing is often considerably reduced with 1,000 calls per month – contact us to discuss the best rates available.
Exactly How Much Will the Service Cost You?
In most cases you will be offered a 1-2 week free trial. During this period the medical call center can determine the volume of calls you receive, the duration, and and special needs your practice may have. This data will allows the medical answering service to give you an accurate price quote for future services. It also give you the opportunity to make sure you like to value they bring to your business.
Most call centers bill in time based increments simply because the nature of their business is one that is very labor intensive. For every minute their operator spends on a call with your patients they too are paying a labor cost to their virtual receptionist. However, providers offer flat rate packages and pay as you go (by the call) but those may not be available when costs to provide services exceeds the ability to earn a profit.
What’s a fair price for a medical call service?
On the high-end you can expect to pay a medical answering service about $2.28 per phone call answered, and on the low-end about $0.79 a call. However, more expensive doesn’t always equate to better service, and with that in mind we recommend that you test at least three call centers and ask each one of them for a 1-2 week free trial so you are able to make sure they can fully meet your needs (i.e. appointment setting, answering within 3 rings, etc), and this also allows the contact center to examine your call volumes and give you an accurate quote.
How does the number of calls affect pricing?
Like many businesses the biggest expense of a contact center for doctors is labor costs. Medical call centers must remain open 24 hours a day, weekends and holidays, and therefore must staff hourly employees even during their ‘downtime’. These employees, understandably, also require health insurance, paid leave, and other standard benefits. So, in the same way a 3 minute taxi ride will cost more than a 20 mile ride, it’s only natural to expect the cost of 200 calls to be greater than that of 50 calls.
How Duration affects the cost of medical call centers
Similar to how the number of calls impacts the cost for service (due to labor costs), so does the average duration of your calls. Some healthcare facilities only need basic information collected on a call (about 45 seconds), while others use the 24×7 answering service to schedule appointments, which can take as long as 3-4 minutes. So a call lasting 45 seconds will cost around $0.65 while another call lasting 3 minutes can cost anywhere from $3.80 to $4.70.
How Much Does It Cost to Patch / Transfer calls?
The call center will have you forward your lines to either a local phone number, or, if needed, a toll free telephone number. If you’re forwarding your calls to a local phone number transferred calls are generally free, however, if you forward your calls to a toll-free number there will usually be a small fee applied (usually around $20-$30 a month). The reason for this fee is when the call center transfers a call from their toll free number, even though the agents time has ceased, the phone company still charges a fee for the usage on the toll free number. So, once the call is patched to a nurse or the doctor, that call could last 2 minutes or an hour, and therefore the call center has to estimate this time and bill it accordingly (usually a fixed rate per month or per call transferred).
Is there a cost for the answering service to schedule appointments for doctors?
There usually are no costs for most call centers to schedule appointments if they are using certain popular online calendars like Google calendar. However, some medical offices require operators to use their own in-house appointment scheduling software which requires the contact center to continually train their staff how to use it. Some services will charge a one-time fee of $120, but if the online appointment scheduler is complex that fee could go as high as $145 a month.
What services are included in the price of a medical answering service?
Not everything cost extra, and in fact most solutions from a phone answering service are built in to the rate. Standard packages include 24/7/365 call support, appointment reminders (when using certain software), message delivery via SMS test, email, or fax, bilingual operators, and more.
Why Use Medical Call Service To Get Quotes on Phone Answering Services?
There are two very important reasons why healthcare professionals use Medical Call Service to get quotes on answering services, and that’s time and money. We offer you a free solution to access our affiliates who are some of the nation’s best answering service providers. Simply advise us as to your healthcare facilities call answering needs and we’ll match them up with suppliers that can handle them. Then, you’ll work directly one on one with each call center as they offer up their best price points in hopes of earning your future business. We’ve already done the research so you don’t have to, however, you are never under any obligation, and if you believe you can still find a better call center at a better rate you’ll be free to continue requesting pricing information from their competitors, but we’re betting you won’t need to!
Factors That Influence Medical Answering Service Costs
Medical answering services are an essential part of any healthcare practice, providing patients with round-the-clock access to medical professionals. These services are designed to provide a variety of benefits, including appointment scheduling, answering patient inquiries, and providing triage services. However, many practices are hesitant to utilize medical answering services due to concerns about cost.
The cost of a medical answering service can vary widely depending on the needs of the practice. However, the benefits of these services typically far outweigh the cost. Here are some of the factors that influence the cost of a medical answering service:
- Number of calls: The more calls a practice receives, the higher the cost of the answering service will be. However, practices that receive a high volume of calls may find that the cost is worth it, as it allows them to provide better patient care and improve patient satisfaction.
- Type of service: There are a variety of medical answering services available, each with its own pricing structure. Some services provide basic answering and message-taking services, while others provide more comprehensive services such as appointment scheduling and triage. Practices should choose the service that best meets their needs and budget.
- Customization: Some medical answering services offer customization options that can increase the cost. For example, a practice may want to customize the greeting that patients hear when they call, or they may want to receive notifications via text or email when certain types of calls come in.
- Hours of operation: Practices that require 24/7 coverage will typically pay more for an answering service than those that only require coverage during business hours. However, 24/7 coverage may be necessary for practices that provide emergency care or have patients with chronic conditions.
While the cost of a medical answering service may seem high, the benefits can be significant. Here are some of the reasons why practices should consider using a medical answering service:
- Improved patient satisfaction: Patients appreciate being able to speak to a medical professional when they have questions or concerns, and a medical answering service can provide this service 24/7.
- Better patient care: Medical answering services can provide triage services that help ensure patients receive the care they need in a timely manner.
- Increased efficiency: Medical answering services can help practices streamline their operations by handling routine tasks such as appointment scheduling and message-taking.
- Reduced workload: By outsourcing their answering service needs, practices can reduce the workload of their staff and allow them to focus on providing patient care.
In conclusion, while the cost of a medical answering service can vary widely, the benefits of these services typically outweigh the cost. Practices that are considering using a medical answering service should carefully evaluate their needs and choose a service that meets their needs and budget. The result will be improved patient satisfaction, better patient care, and increased efficiency.
Medical Answering Service Buyer’s Guide
In today’s fast-paced healthcare industry, medical practices and healthcare facilities need to provide reliable and efficient communication services to their patients. One way to do this is by using a medical answering service. A medical answering service is a call center service that provides medical professionals with a dedicated team of trained operators to handle incoming calls and messages from patients.
If you’re considering purchasing a medical answering service, here’s a buyer’s guide to help you make an informed decision:
- Determine your needs: Before you start looking for a medical answering service, determine your specific needs. Do you need a 24/7 service or just after-hours coverage? Do you need bilingual operators? Do you need a service that can handle appointment scheduling or urgent calls? Having a clear understanding of your needs will help you choose a service that can meet them.
- Research: Do some research to find out what medical answering services are available in your area. Look for providers that have experience working with medical practices and facilities. Read online reviews and testimonials to see what other medical professionals are saying about their experiences with different services.
- Check for HIPAA compliance: As a medical practice, you need to protect your patients’ privacy and comply with HIPAA regulations. Make sure the medical answering service you choose is HIPAA compliant and has procedures in place to protect patient information.
- Evaluate their technology: The medical answering service you choose should have state-of-the-art technology that allows for efficient call handling and message delivery. Look for services that use advanced software to route calls, track messages, and provide real-time reporting.
- Consider their pricing: Medical answering services charge differently based on their services and packages. Look for a service that fits your budget while providing the level of service you need. Also, find out if there are any hidden costs, such as set-up fees or per-minute charges.
- Ask about their staff: The quality of the operators who will be answering your calls is critical to the success of your medical answering service. Ask about the training and experience of their staff. Find out if they have bilingual operators or if they have experience working with medical practices and facilities.
- Look for a service with backup: Emergencies can happen, and you don’t want your medical answering service to be down when you need it the most. Look for a service that has a backup plan in place in case of power outages, technical difficulties, or other issues.
A medical answering service can help medical practices and healthcare facilities provide efficient and reliable communication services to their patients. By following this buyer’s guide, you can find a service that meets your needs and budget while providing high-quality service and protecting your patients’ privacy.
What to Look For in a Medical Answering Service
In the medical field, effective communication between healthcare providers and their patients is critical. It’s an essential aspect that not only ensures seamless delivery of healthcare services but also fosters trust and confidence among patients. One of the key components facilitating this communication process is the medical answering service. Here, we’re going to look into what you should consider when choosing a HIPAA compliant medical answering service, particularly in the United States.
1. HIPAA Compliance
The first factor to consider is whether the medical answering service complies with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). A HIPAA compliant medical answering service is a must for any healthcare provider in the United States. This compliance ensures that the sensitive patient information relayed during phone calls is protected and confidentiality is maintained.
2. Round-the-Clock Availability
In the medical field, emergencies can occur at any time. Thus, it’s crucial that the medical answering service can handle patient calls 24/7. This availability ensures that patients can always reach out to their healthcare providers, no matter what time it is.
3. Call Routing Capabilities
Another important factor to consider is call routing. A robust medical answering service should be able to intelligently route a patient’s call to the appropriate department or professional. This capability can greatly reduce the waiting time for patients and increase the efficiency of the healthcare provider.
4. Professional and Courteous Staff
The people handling the phone calls are the first point of contact between the patient and the healthcare provider. Therefore, they should be professional, courteous, and empathetic. They should also have a good understanding of the medical field to appropriately address the patient’s concerns.
5. Bilingual or Multilingual Support
In a diverse nation like the United States, it’s beneficial if the medical answering service can handle patient calls in multiple languages. This feature ensures that language barriers do not hinder communication between the patient and the healthcare provider.
6. Customizable Services
Every healthcare provider has unique needs, and the medical answering service should be flexible enough to cater to these requirements. Whether it’s special call routing instructions or personalized greetings, the service should be customizable to match the healthcare provider’s operations.
7. Reliable Technology
Finally, a reliable HIPAA compliant medical answering service should be backed by cutting-edge technology. This includes having backup systems in place to handle any technical glitches and ensure that the phone calls are never interrupted.
In conclusion, a medical answering service plays a pivotal role in the healthcare sector. By carefully considering the above factors, healthcare providers in the United States can select a service that best suits their needs and guarantees the smooth handling of patient calls.
Understanding the Pros and Cons of Medical Answering Services
In today’s fast-paced world, a missed phone call can mean the difference between a resolved patient concern and a health crisis. Medical answering services have emerged as a solution to this problem, ensuring that healthcare providers never miss a patient call. However, like all technologies, they come with their unique advantages and disadvantages.
This article will explore the pros and cons of a HIPAA compliant medical answering service, considering factors like the sensitive nature of the calls, the role of virtual receptionists, and the real-time delivery of urgent messages.
Pros of Medical Answering Services
24/7 Availability: A significant advantage of medical answering services is their availability. Unlike traditional receptionists, virtual receptionists are available round the clock, ensuring that all patient calls are answered, even outside regular office hours. This capability is especially crucial for urgent messages that require immediate attention.
HIPAA Compliance: A HIPAA compliant medical answering service guarantees the protection of patient information. Given the sensitive nature of the calls, it is vital that the chosen answering service adheres to the rigorous standards set by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). This compliance ensures the privacy and security of patient information, maintaining trust and reducing the risk of legal issues.
Cost-Effective: Implementing a medical answering service solution can be more cost-effective than hiring additional staff to manage phone calls. With the cost of hiring, training, and maintaining an employee, a virtual solution can offer substantial savings for health care providers.
Real-Time Response: Medical answering services provide real-time response to patient calls. This immediate feedback is particularly beneficial in urgent situations where quick communication can have significant health implications.
Cons of Medical Answering Services
Potential for Miscommunication: One downside of using a medical answering service is the potential for miscommunication. Virtual receptionists may not have the same level of medical expertise as the health care providers they represent. As a result, there is a risk of misunderstanding the patient’s problem or not accurately conveying the issue to the healthcare provider.
Lack of Personal Touch: Even though medical answering services are convenient, they lack the personal touch that comes with a human receptionist. Some patients might find it off-putting to talk to a machine, especially when discussing sensitive health issues.
Technical Issues: Like any technology-based solution, medical answering services are not immune to technical glitches. Downtimes, connectivity issues, or software problems can disrupt services, potentially leading to missed or delayed responses to patient calls.
Dependence on Internet Connectivity: A medical clinic heavily relying on a medical answering service might face issues if there is an internet outage or weak connection. It is important to have a backup plan to ensure uninterrupted communication with patients.
A HIPAA compliant medical answering service can be a valuable asset for healthcare providers. It offers 24/7 availability, cost-effectiveness, and real-time responses while maintaining the sensitive nature of patient calls. However, medical clinics must be aware of the potential for miscommunication, lack of personal touch, and technical issues. By understanding these pros and cons, healthcare providers can make an informed decision on whether a medical answering service solution is the right fit for their practice.
Best Medical Answering Service Companies
Healthcare is an industry that never sleeps, necessitating round-the-clock attention and immediate response to urgent calls. Medical answering services are essential in managing these responsibilities effectively. They handle after-hours calls, schedule appointments, and deal with emergencies. Here’s a closer look at the top five medical answering service companies that are offering stellar services in the healthcare industry:
1. Signius Communications
Founded over 30 years ago, Signius Communications is a US-based company providing high-quality answering services. They specialize in medical answering services, serving medical practices of all sizes.
Services: Signius Communications provides a wide range of services, including after-hours answering, appointment scheduling, emergency dispatch, and bilingual services. They offer HIPAA-compliant call recording and messaging for secure and efficient communication.
Values and Corporate Information: The company operates based on values of accountability, professionalism, and commitment to customer satisfaction. They have a vast network of 12 call centers across the United States, employing highly trained agents who understand the importance of each call.
2. Stericycle Communication Solutions
Stericycle Communication Solutions is a leading provider of high-quality answering services with a focus on the healthcare sector.
Services: Stericycle offers a comprehensive suite of services such as patient access solutions, after-hours answering, appointment scheduling, and emergency dispatch. They also provide automated services like reminder calls and online appointment scheduling.
Values and Corporate Information: Stericycle values integrity, accountability, and customer focus. They serve thousands of clients across the United States and Canada, leveraging their strong commitment to technology and personalized service.
3. MAP Communications
MAP Communications is a US-based answering service provider with over 30 years of experience in the industry.
Services: MAP Communications offers specialized medical answering services that include patient scheduling, after-hours answering, and emergency dispatch. They provide 24/7 service, ensuring that medical professionals can always provide prompt attention to their patients.
Values and Corporate Information: MAP Communications values client relationships, personalized service, and continuous improvement. They boast a team of dedicated, well-trained agents who are available 24/7 to meet the needs of their clients.
MedConnectUSA is a Nevada-based company that has been providing medical answering services for over 25 years.
Services: MedConnectUSA offers a wide range of services, including after-hours call handling, appointment scheduling, and emergency dispatch. Their services are HIPAA compliant, ensuring the secure handling of sensitive patient information.
Values and Corporate Information: MedConnectUSA values service excellence, integrity, and customer satisfaction. They are proud to serve a diverse client base, ranging from small private practices to large hospitals.
AnswerNet is a full-service provider of answering services, with a strong focus on healthcare.
Services: AnswerNet provides a comprehensive range of medical answering services, including after-hours answering, appointment scheduling, and emergency dispatch. They also offer bilingual services, ensuring that they can cater to a diverse range of patients.
Values and Corporate Information: AnswerNet values customer satisfaction, excellence, and integrity. They serve clients across the United States and Canada and have received multiple industry awards for their high-quality service.
With a rich history spanning over five decades, Answerfone is one of the longest-standing answering service companies in the industry, providing reliable service for various sectors, including healthcare.
Services: Answerfone offers an array of specialized medical answering service solutions. This includes 24/7 live answering, appointment scheduling, patient reminders, and emergency dispatch. Their services also extend to include bilingual answering, ensuring they can cater to diverse patient groups. They are HIPAA-compliant, prioritizing the safe and confidential handling of sensitive patient information.
Values and Corporate Information: Answerfone operates on the values of reliability, customer satisfaction, and integrity. They understand the critical nature of healthcare communication and aim to provide an efficient, compassionate, and professional service at all times. The company is based in the United States but extends its services across the country, always ensuring a human touch in their interactions.
These top six medical answering service companies are distinguished by their commitment to quality, customer satisfaction, and HIPAA-compliant secure communication. Their services ensure that healthcare providers can focus on what they do best – delivering excellent patient care.