Virtual Medical Answering Service – Pay per Call or Flat Fee ?

April 18th, 2009

When it comes to medical answering there are many services out there to choose from. But what narrows your search is the ability to stay out of long-term contracts, and be in charge of how you would like to be invoiced. It is important to know what is available before you jump into a service package with a vendor. Once again do your homework, shop around (Search google using on “medical answering” and you will find everything on the Internet), and ask copious amounts of questions of the vendor.

The first question you should ask yourself when choosing medical answering service is what you intend to use it for? Will it be mainly used as a back up or will it be your main front desk receptionist for answering the phone? Are you intending to use it as an after hours appointment scheduler , or will it be used for callbacks and reminders or other functions? This then brings into question how feature rich do you want your package to be?

The more features you purchase the better your overall price will be relative to a basic package with limited options. This will also mean you could probably negotiate for more flexibility when it comes to invoicing. Do not be afraid to ask for what you want in a package, technical support, and billing options. If you shop around and get competitive pricing perhaps you can use those prices to leverage a better deal from your medical answering vendor of choice.

Although purchasing an online virtual medical answering service may not be the largest expenditure your business will ever make but it could well be the most important one. This means you should not jump at the first service that impresses you. Watch the demonstrations and take advantage of the free trial offers, which are generally for 30 days each. DO NOT be afraid to say no if you are not satisfied after the trial ends. Make a call and try a different package.

Pay per call medical answering packages are probably a wise choice for after hours use because the number of after hour calls will in all likelihood be fewer than what you will receive during regular office hours. You can purchase a package with numerous features sufficient for after hours use and pay [depending on the vendor] $50.00 per month. This will include 50 calls, and if you average ten after hours calls a day for 20 days @ $1.00 per call, that’s $150.00 per month extra for paid calls with an excellent medical answering service package.

Flat fee monthly pricing is more cost effective if you are going to be using your virtual medical answering service more often throughout the regular workday. Regular hours use could include back up phone duties, reminder calls, sick days or vacation leave. Perhaps you would like to transfer one of your employees permanently to other more important office tasks, let the virtual answering service be your new office workhorse. An all-inclusive monthly flat fee on a premium package works for these scenarios.

Whatever your reasons for using your new virtual medical answering service, calculate the number of phone calls on average during the time you will be using the service the most and which options you are likely to use more frequently, and base your choice on these factors.

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