When searching for a medical answering service, you have no doubt seen and have been attracted to the low priced options ($19.99 per month) or flat-rate prices regardless of volume. Although this appears attractive simply because all of us want to decrease cost, the issue with many of these services is quality, reliability, and accuracy. The only possible manner for low cost medical answering services to sustain such a low revenue model is to try and make their agents act super human by forcing them to answer 200-400% more calls than what a typical answering service or medical call center agent can physically handle. Therefore, the quality of service being provided is very low due to long hold times, high abandonment rates, unreliability, and severe inaccuracy due to high employee churn within the answering service. In addition, these types of services have a much higher client turn-over rate than a more expensive and higher quality answering service.
Finally, low cost medical answering service providers will most likely keep you up at night due to their inaccuracy in dispatching and following proper protocols. The more stress an answering service agent experiences, the more prone they are to taking short cuts and making mistakes. In most cases, low cost or flat rate medical answering services are not HIPAA Complaint Medical Answering Services due to lack of funding.
The simple fact is, it is expensive to become a HIPAA Compliant Medical Answering Service acting as your Business Associate. You need to make sure your answering service is not sticking it’s head in the sand, hoping for HIPAA to just go away; this is not going to happen and this behavior is drastically increasing your risk as the Covered Entity. In the end you need to ask yourself if saving $100, $200, $300 per month is worth HHS fines and the possibility of criminal charges if you choose to utilize a low cost, non HIPAA Compliant Answering Service. Remember, Omnibus started being enforced on September 23 2013 so please make sure you audit your current answering service for their HIPAA Compliancy. If any red flags present themselves, you MUST find a HIPPA Compliant Medical Answering Service to start servicing your business immediately! Ignoring HIPAA, HITECH, and Omnibus regulations for business associates altogether could be one of the most catastrophic oversights your organization could make for the future.
Is saving a few dollars really worth it in the long run if you choose a service that is not completely 100% compliant? Remember, if it looks too good to be true, it is !
PatientCalls has been a leader in the medical answering service field for over 15 years providing answering services with top rated quality and expertise to those in need of optimizing their organizations’ time and communications. Call PatientCalls today and ask for more information regarding our 14-day risk free trial and custom flat rate monthly price plans.