You’re not alone. In order to deal with the labor shortage and rising employee costs, service providers in nearly all fields are raising their rates.
In its latest global technology spending projection, Gartner outlined the trend in IT services pricing. Higher prices, according to the market research firm, are a factor in the higher forecasted spending for software and services. In the coming year, Gartner projects that spending on software will increase 9.8% to $674.9 billion, while spending on IT services will rise 6.8% to $1.3 trillion.
Why Are Service Providers Hiking Prices?
It’s mostly in response to the rising costs that affect their business. These fall into the following categories:
- Inflation affects all businesses. One major reason that vendors and service providers are raising prices is overall inflation. The ramifications of supply shortages, high gas prices, and delays are still causing problems for companies as well.
- Salaries are going up. Many service providers have noted that they have been dealing with higher wages in recent months. Due to labor shortages and more demanding job seekers, businesses are spending more on staffing. As the labor market continues to tighten, companies are finding it necessary to offer higher wages and salaries in order to attract and retain good employees.
- There’s a growing need to invest in technology. In efforts to scale and serve more clients, providers are necessarily spending more on things like IT infrastructure and communications systems.
- Crucial data protection is becoming more expensive. With the greater reliance on technology comes an increasing need to focus on cybersecurity, upgrading to cloud tools, and MSP services. Companies are simultaneously being stretched between the demand for fast, reliable services and ensuring tight data security for users.
- Commercial space is more expensive to rent. Commercial property owners are also feeling the effects of inflation and the tight labor market. In turn, they are hiking rental costs for businesses.
- The cost of regulatory compliance is going up. Finally, service providers are also facing increased costs due to new and newly updated regulations related to data security, patient privacy, and healthcare interoperability.
What Is Driving Up the Cost of Medical Office Answering Services?
The healthcare industry is especially vulnerable to the effects of the tight labor market. The industry is already facing a shortage of doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals. This shortage is expected to worsen in the coming years, as baby boomers age and there are simply more patients to treat.
The price of answering services for medical offices is mostly determined by two variables. The first is that healthcare providers are in greater demand than ever. There is a growing need for health care and a shortage of qualified staff. Together, these two factors are speeding up the move towards outsourcing and subcontracting administrative work to service providers. This means that medical answering services are becoming a hot commodity.
The second consideration is the scarcity of qualified employees. There are a finite number of people who are capable of offering HIPAA-compliant, medical answering services. Like anything, the price of these services increases when there is a restricted supply. Many medical offices need a 24-hour answering in place to properly handle tasks like dispatching on-call healthcare staff, insurance verification, appointment scheduling, and fielding general patient concerns.
What Can You Do to Avoid Rising Costs?
There are a few things you can do to avoid the impact of rising service costs:
Shop around for a new service provider.
In many cases, you can find a similar quality of service at a lower price. Service-based companies are happy to sign on a new client and can often beat the price that you are paying a legacy provider.
Negotiate with your current service provider.
In some cases, you may be able to get a lower rate by scaling down services to fit the needs of your medical office better.
Look for package deals that include multiple services.
This can be a good way to save money on services that you need anyway.
Ask about discounts for prepaying or long-term contracts.
Many service providers offer discounts for customers who are willing to commit to a longer-term relationship. But beware of the fine print because extra fees and charges for ending a contract can add up.
Review your budget and prioritize your needs.
In some cases, you may be able to save money by eliminating unnecessary services, choosing a less comprehensive service plan, or switching to pay-as-you-go, or use-based pricing.
PatientCalls: Our Prices Haven’t Gone Up!
As a service provider, PatientCalls is dedicated to responding to the needs of medical offices as they develop and change. We provide a reliable way to outsource administrative tasks and augment current front-desk staff. Our flexible pricing module allows your practice to choose the option that fits your call answering needs the best – whether that’s daily overflow call handling, after-hours coverage, or 24/7 call management.