How much does a medical office answering service cost?

You’re reading this post because you wonder how much does a medical office answering service cost? Hiring a medical or Doctors answering service is a most affordable expense and a cost-effective investment into your medical practice.

Though individual situations vary, for small to medium-size practices, the cost of a physicians telephone answering service is less than the price of one premium coffee a day. Most people who buy a cup of coffee each day give it little thought, yet some of these same folks agonize over the cost of medical office answering service.

But what would you rather have? A warm beverage that you drink and then is gone, or a professional medical office answering service that’s available to answer your office phone around the clock, 24/7?

So, What Does Having a Medical Office Answering Service Cost?

Though the details vary from one service to another, there are three common elements that make up the rate package at every service. These are the recurring base rate, the amount of work included in that base rate, and the charge for additional work, if any.

It’s that simple. Here’s the breakdown:

Recurring Base Rate: The first element of medical telephone answering service cost is the recurring base rate. This is a fixed amount you pay your telephone answering service each billing cycle. It provides a foundation from which to have their system configured to answer your calls and for their staff to be ready and available to work for you.

Work Included: This reoccurring base rate includes a fixed amount of work, usually measured in the number of minutes, for the answering service to handle calls on your behalf.

Estimate how many calls you expect your doctors office answering service to handle each day and the amount of time that they’ll typically spend on a call. For example, if they’ll handle an average of four calls in a typical day and a call takes forty-five seconds, that equates to three minutes a day. Multiply that out, and it’s eighty-four minutes for a 28-day billing cycle.

Charge for Additional Work: The goal is to pick a rate package that includes the number of minutes you expect to use each billing cycle. In this case your invoice will be for the recurring base rate and nothing more. That’s what you can expect to incur for your medical telephone answering service cost.

If your estimate of the number of calls or the average length of a call is off, that’s not a problem. If you experience an unexpected busy time, don’t worry. Once you exceed the amount of time included in your base rate, your answering service will continue to answer your calls without interruption and with no hesitation. They will simply charge you for the additional work at the agreed-upon per minute rate.

Summary of Medical Telephone Answering Service Cost: Answering services charge a recurring base rate, which includes a set number of minutes of work, with additional work—if any—billed at a low per-minute rate.

Transparency in Billing

When considering the cost of a medical office answering service, it’s important to look for transparency in the billing process. This will help you understand precisely what you’re paying for. Some services offer a simple, straightforward billing model without hidden fees. Transparency in billing ensures that you are not caught off guard with unexpected costs, making budgeting and financial planning for your medical practice much more manageable.

Customized Plans

One aspect that might ease your mind about the cost is the availability of customized pricing plans. Medical answering services often offer packages that can be tailored to fit the specific needs and call volumes of your practice. If your practice is growing, many services also allow for easy scaling, so you can adjust your plan as needed. This flexibility ensures you’re only paying for what you need and not wasting money on unused services.

Return on Investment

It’s essential to think of a medical office answering service not as an expense but as an investment in your practice’s future. By enhancing patient satisfaction and providing your staff with much-needed support, the service pays for itself over time. Happy patients are more likely to be loyal to your practice, leading to more stable revenue streams and even growth through word-of-mouth referrals. Therefore, the long-term financial gains can far outweigh the initial costs.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q7: Are there any setup fees for a medical office answering service?

Answer: Setup fees can vary between service providers. Some may offer free setup as part of their package, while others might charge a one-time fee. Always inquire about this to avoid any surprises on your first bill.

Q8: Can a medical answering service handle bilingual or multilingual calls?

Answer: Many medical answering services have bilingual or multilingual operators or use translation services to assist patients who speak languages other than English. This is an important feature if your practice serves a diverse community.

Q9: What is the cancellation policy for a medical office answering service?

Answer: The cancellation policy can differ among providers. Some may require a notice period, while others may allow for more flexible terms. Be sure to read the contract carefully and discuss the cancellation terms before making a commitment.

 

What Does NOT Having a Medical Telephone Answering Service Cost?

You can often hire a professional medical telephone answering service for less than a cup of coffee a day. It’s an inexpensive, cost-effective solution to provide your patients with the availability they want and your staff with the support they need.

Yet to save a few dollars, a shortsighted business manager may choose to cancel their answering service. They’ll throw technology—such as an answering machine or voicemail—at the situation, regardless if that’s what patients want or expect.

The result of this effort may save a few dollars, but it comes at a cost of upset patients and lost business. And for most practices, that’s too high of a price to pay.

Take Action

Given how affordable medical office answering service is and the substantial risk of not having one, are you ready to move forward? Sign up online or call 800-450-9045 to discover how we can provide you with an affordable and effective medical practice answering service to serve you and your patients.