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According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS.gov), national health expenditures continue to rise at unprecedented rates. The average person in the United States spends almost $10,000 per year on health insurance and care costs, and total healthcare spending is nearly one-fifth of the total U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Medicaid enrollment will eventually ease, but not for another decade or so. Still, the growing rolls of healthcare workers – nearly 1,000,000 new jobs were added in 2015 and 2016 alone – illustrate the increasing demand for patient care.
As hospitals, emergency rooms, specialized care centers and other healthcare organizations struggle to manage patient care requirements, call answering services and patient call centers are helping to meet the challenge. More patient health information, detailed care strategies and greater enrollment figures put considerable stress on hospital administrative staff. Finding a leaner, more efficient way to handle patient calls and distribute information in a confidential manner is one of the primary challenges facing hospitals today.
Medical call centers used to be a luxury. Now, they’re a necessity. How does a medical call center enhance hospital care? And why is a hospital answering service considered an indispensable part of total patient care? Here are 11 reasons why medical call centers are a necessity for all hospitals:
Questions and concerns about health insurance plans comprise a significant portion of patient – healthcare provider interaction. Frequent legislative changes, confusing co-payment structures and endless billing queries requires a dedicated, on-demand solution to keep patients up-to-date with the latest information – and also confident they’re getting the services they need.
Today’s advanced medical call centers offer health insurance call support for the most pressing patient demands. This service creates short-term confidence – patients are assured their healthcare group is on top of ever-changing insurance protocols – and also improves any hospital’s long-term patient care strategy. An insurance support center is just one part of TeleDirect’s comprehensive suite of services for hospitals, specialty care groups, healthcare networks and other organizations. In order to improve healthcare call center performance, optimizing your healthcare organization’s overall insurance data stream can’t be emphasized enough.
Patient Satisfaction Monitoring
Are your patients satisfied with your current menu of healthcare services? If so, how can you continue to assure the highest-quality care? And if not, which areas should your organization focus on for long-term improvement. TeleDirect’s proven techniques for enhanced patient outreach – including a strong focus on patient survey responses – helps any healthcare group stay on-point with customer concerns.
Many healthcare groups attempt to track patient satisfaction, but many patients remain “off the grid” – seemingly undetectable by conventional contact methods; in many instances, more than 25% of patients have never responded to surveys. Giving these patients a feedback portal is critical to determine which services need improvement, and which ones currently exceed patient expectations.
Worry-Free Appointment Processing
Many hospitals dedicate a considerable portion of administrative hours to set, confirm and change patient office appointments. To help streamline this time-consuming process, some medical call centers provide an automated patient appointment service.
How does an appointment setting tool benefit medical practice operations?
- Accuracy – automated call center appointment setting services provide an extra level of accuracy and also prevent double-booking.
- Reliability – from small, specialized medical centers to large, full-service hospitals, accuracy and appointments isn’t the only thing; it’s everything. Having a reliable appointment setting call center avoid common pitfalls associated with a hospital’s frantic daily, weekly and monthly schedules.
- Streamlined confirmation – just to double-check, TeleDirect’s call answering platform and appointment setting services follow up with confirmation for both patient and care provider.
When combined with a hospital or healthcare group answering service, call center appointment setting provides much-needed flexibility to better manage patient care across the health continuum.
While hospitals and care providers are rightly concerned about patient satisfaction with call center performance, another aspect gets overlooked: the business brand. At the end of the day, every hospital is a business. Keeping a brand’s message visible and consistent is just another way a hospital answering service can boost business performance.
The ability to stay on message is crucial in building trust with customers. And in the medical world, those customers are patients. In order to build confidence and foster long-term relationships, hospitals need a consistent brand message. One of the best methods for developing a marketable and trustworthy brand is with a hospital call answering platform. From professional scripts to efficient personnel, TeleDirect can help elevate your hospital or healthcare organization brand.
Medicare Provider Contact Center
With more than 50 million people currently enrolled in Medicare coverage, your hospital needs an effective way to answer coverage questions, track changing legislation and stay on top of premium adjustments – in many cases, all in a single call! Current Medicare enrollment figures are projected to grow well into the early 21st century, which means your hospital’s Medicare call center needs a dependable provider contact center available 24/7/365.
Offering a Medicare call center is a daunting challenge for many hospitals and healthcare groups – if they choose to tackle it alone. Experienced consultants like TeleDirect help create a significant customer service opportunity; many older Medicare members prefer phone calls to instant messaging, and our Medicare contact center simultaneously satisfies patient concerns and helps keep current care protocols on track.
Medical Center Messaging
Providing a “bulletin board” message portal for patients – general announcements, traffic considerations, building renovations, personnel updates and more – allows everyone to stay in the loop. With a medical information call center part of your hospital answering service, your healthcare organization can provide clear, concise, consistent information to all your patients. Through special announcements, updated scripts and other techniques, TeleDirect works with hospitals and healthcare centers to craft efficient, always-updated medical call center messaging.
Plus, you can update content as required, quickly and effortlessly. TeleDirect’s customizable medical center messaging services puts you and your management team completely in control, whenever you need it, wherever you happen to be. Hospital call center messaging requires 24/7 monitoring, and TeleDirect always has our eye on your organization.
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), signed into law in 1996, has impacted the healthcare system on a variety of fronts – and the best medical answer services have made HIPAA compliance a core part of their patient service platforms.
When HIPAA was initially implemented in the late 1990s, the law’s primary focus was directed toward the “portability” on health insurance plans, regardless of a patient’s employer. While that’s still an important component of HIPAA, recent focus has shifted on patient health information. Keeping this data secure yet accessible is a challenge for many hospital call centers. TeleDirect’s HIPAA compliant medical answer service ensures rock-solid security and dependable information transmission, thanks to industry-leading encryption and proprietary security protocols.
With award-winning HIPAA compliant customer relationship management (CRM) software, TeleDirect provides hospital patients the data they need, when they need it. And hospital administration enjoys additional peace of mind that their call answering service adheres to the latest HIPAA regulatory requirements – a win-win for everyone!
A hospital call answering service must handle a variety of tasks – appointments, patient record modifications, HIPAA compliance protocols, just to name a few – with accuracy and speed. Ignore small business processes, and overall performance suffers. But spend too much time mired in mundane duties, and your backlog will grow into an insurmountable burden on daily business operations.
TeleDirect’s call answering service for hospitals ensures patient satisfaction, thanks to our flexible and affordable business processing outsourcing services. Our call center “template” is applicable to any industry, and our healthcare answering platform provides in-depth customization and complete control for hospitals, care groups, nursing homes and other healthcare organizations.
Taking care of patients is important, and the best hospital answering services strive for 100% patient satisfaction. But it’s also important to grow your existing patient base. With a smart, streamlined member enrollment service attached to our hospital call center platform, you can handle existing patient concerns and prospect new patients simultaneously.
Capture Critical Information
Since your hospital answering service is always in operation (thanks to TeleDirect’s outstanding redundancy and reliability), it’s always collecting information – high-volume call times, keyword-sensitive queries and much more. Any hospital call center can collect data – but how that data is utilized and analyzed separates an average service from an exceptional one. Actionable information enables your healthcare group to target formerly hidden business opportunities, penetrate additional markets, outperform your primary competition and capture timely leads. TeleDirect’s comprehensive lead response management service – a long-time staple of our industry-wide call center platform – has been optimized to meet the healthcare continuum’s unique challenges.
For these reasons and many more, your medical organization needs a reliable, scalable, flexible solution to handle customer calls and queries. TeleDirect’s inbound and outbound call center brings a custom, capable platform to handle current business challenges – and also anticipate future pitfalls.
TeleDirect’s dedicated account management means that your business needs are our business needs. With more than a quarter-century’s worth of call center management expertise, we realize how important patient satisfaction is to your hospital’s future success. To learn more about our complete line of call center services, please call our healthcare answering center experts today at (800) 776-1081. You can also fill out a confidential client contact form, and one of our hospital answering service consultants will be in touch.
Smitha is the CEO and CFO of TeleDirect. As the CEO of TeleDirect, Smitha is responsible for running all facets of the business and has a proven executive management track record. Smitha obtained her license as CPA in 2007 from the California Board of Accountancy. With more than 15 years of experience in business, finance and accounting, Smitha is also responsible for implementing financial controls and processes. She is also responsible for organizational improvements and streamlining business operations that drive growth, increase efficiency, and bottom-line profit.