It can be challenging to work through some of the issues with medical answering service pricing, especially when you are comparing virtual systems and live operator or call center types of options.
There are some very important differences between the cost of providing the two, and these factors come into play when you start to look at pricing and plans. To understanding the differences, let’s take a closer look at the cost of operating both a call center answering service as well as a virtual service, with both specializing in working with physicians and medical services.
Cost of Call Centers
You will find that medical answering service pricing for call centers with live operators is going to be higher than for any virtual service. These services have a fairly high overhead to consider, and these costs are passed on to the consumers through the services they offer.
The costs for call centers, particularly those specializing in medical facilities and healthcare provider answering services include:
- 24/7 staffing of people paid at least the minimum wage
- HIPPA training and updating of staff for the service to remain in compliance
- Maintaining of phone system, computer equipment, and technology
- Operating costs for the physical plant including office equipment, lights, heating and air conditioning
- The cost of sales staff and administrative staff to oversee employees and to generate business.
Typically these services offer a range of plans, with additional fees and charges if there are additional requirements or based on inbound call volume and the number of messages relayed.
There are some live operator systems offering a low-cost flat rate, but be very careful with these options. These call centers may not be located in the United States, and the operators may not have English as their first language, leading to possible frustration and difficulty for patients as well as doctors in communication with the call center staff.
Virtual Answering Services
The flip side of this coin is the medical answering service pricing that can be offered through the virtual or automated medical answering services. These services can charge a true monthly flat fee because they have none of the ongoing expenses that the live call centers experience.
The equipment can handle multiple inbound calls, contact on-call doctors, automatically email messages, and even provide that personalized and compassionate message to the patients calling in.
You also have the option to customize the system, making it work for your specific medical office and needs. These systems really do offer a viable, effective, and superior choice to a live operator. Plus, you will find that you save money, which is always a nice additional feature to consider.