A physician answering service manages incoming phone calls to the doctor’s office providing call screening, general information, appointment scheduling, remote triage, critical call forwarding to on-call staff, and more. Support can be for overflow, after-hours, or 24/7. 

Medical answering services can help all types of healthcare providers, specialty doctors, dentists, nursing homes, hospitals, and wellness professionals. Services are designed to ensure HIPAA compliance for protecting patient privacy and securing sensitive data.   

Are their cancellation fees?

There is no cancellation if you provide PatientCalls with the 30-day notice required.

What if we don’t know our call volume to choose a plan?

Don’t worry, happens all the time! During your first 2 months of service with PatientCalls, we’ll discuss with the client and provide you with cheapest plan for your usage.

Is there a setup fee?

There is a ONE TIME set up fee of $75 that will be charged to the clients first month invoice.

Do we have to sign a contract?

A service agreement and a business associate agreement must signed in order to start service with PatientCalls

How quick can you start an account?

We move as fast as our client returns the data needed to us. 

Are there live agents?

PatientCalls provides live agents 24/7 365 days a year.

Are your agents located outside the US?

PatientCalls does not outsourse any of our calls to other countries, our service is US based right here in King Of Prussia, PA.

How many clients do you have?

PatientCalls prides in organic growth offering service nationwide.  We have small practices to large networks. 

How many employees do you have?

PatientCalls calls has 60 plus employees working hard to provide superior service.

How many years in business?

PatientCalls has been serving the Medical Industry for over 20 years.

Are you a medical only / HIPAA compliant medical answering service?

PatientCalls is the only 100% HIPAA Compliant and Medical only service available.

How long are the contracts with PatientCalls?

PatientCalls typical contract is 30 day month to month.  If a client prefers a longer commitment or it is determined between both parties a longer term is required PatientCalls will work with our client to meet their needs.

Do you have English and Spanish speaking agents?

Patientcalls is a bilingual call center for English and Spanish convenience.

Is there a dedicated manager to the account?

PatientCalls assigns an Account Manager upon beginning service that will help you along the way.  At all times 24/7 all account have access to a Shift Supervisor.

Do you have multiple locations?

PatientCalls is located in king of Prussia pa, right outside of Philadelphia.

How do you bill, is it on a per call or per minute basis?

PatientCalls provides both options depending on the type of service we are providing for you and/or the scope of work outlined.

How Can I Verify that the Phone Answering Services and Messaging Meet Requirements? 

As their client, you can simply phone your current call center and ask. But first, get informed about the regulations relevant to every medical answering service. 

– Who is your HIPAA Compliance Officer? 
– Are customer service agents trained in HIPAA / HITECH / OMNIBUS? 
– When was the last documented training and how often is the training renewed? 
– Is your e-mail and text solution secure with encryption and password protection? 
– Does your medical office use Windows XP or any earlier version of Windows? 
– Does your answering service software have the ability to audit logins in real-time and block unauthorized users to prevent PHI breaches? 
– What physical security measures are in place to protect medical information? 
– Will you sign our Business Associate Agreement? 
– Are you properly storing, transmitting, and destroying all messages as required by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act?   

If your current answering service does not have an immediate answer to the questions above then we suggest looking for a new HIPAA-compliant medical answering service. As the covered entity, you must make sure that the answering service is HIPAA compliant or risk violations, fines, and possible criminal charges.  

What are the consequences if medical professionals do not use a HIPAA-compliant answering service?

Based upon HHS requirements and documented fines from PHI breaches, you are exposing your business to hefty fines and/or criminal charges. Penalties depend on the extent of the breach and if there is evidence of willful neglect. Violations put patient data at risk and there can be other expensive liability issues that result. Of course, news of HIPAA violations damages the reputation of healthcare entities and may negatively impact stakeholders’ and patients’ decisions in the future. 

Is alpha paging and/or numeric paging to medical professionals HIPAA compliant? 

No. Any traditional method like paging is not secure for transmitting PHI, therefore NOT HIPAA compliant. This is due to the lack of encryption and password protection. Any transmitted patient name or phone number – even for the purpose of appointment scheduling – that could be linked with medical relevance is considered PHI and needs the proper protections defined by HIPAA. 

Does an answering service have to be HIPAA compliant?

Yes. Your medical office is defined as the covered entity. A live answering service is a business associate hired to capture protected health information and to store and transmit it digitally, which is defined as ePHI. HIPPA privacy and security rules outline specific requirements for handling and transmitting ePHI.  

Therefore, all medical answering services that store and transmit PHI and ePHI must comply with HIPAA regulations and customer service agents must be trained to follow HIPAA compliance policies.  It is also the responsibility of your organization to perform a risk analysis of your current answering service to identify possible HIPAA violations and vulnerable breach points. 

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