Getting bogged down by calls only creates frustration on your and your patients’ parts. So what other options do you have?
One of your best options is to hire a quality medical answering service company is to check out our medical answering service review. This service will handle your calls for you so you can get back to being a doctor.
Not sure if you have the funds? Here’s a price guide to help you decide.
Answering Service Rates by Medical Niche
Due to a wide array of different needs, the average cost of a medical answering service will vary by niche. Below is what we’re seeing as an average cost across the nation:
Physician Answering Service Rates:
The average rate per call for a physician answering service typically ranges from $1.20 to $2.15. This service ensures that patients’ calls are answered promptly, even outside of regular business hours. It offers benefits such as improved patient satisfaction, reduced staff workload, and better emergency response coordination, enhancing overall practice efficiency.
Chiropractor Answering Service Rates:
Chiropractor answering services usually charge around $0.80 to $1.60 per call. These services are specialized in handling appointments and inquiries specific to chiropractic care. The main benefits include increased patient engagement, efficient appointment scheduling, reduced missed appointments, and improved patient retention, which is crucial for small to mid-sized practices.
Dental Answering Service Rates:
For dental answering services, the cost per call averages between $1.25 and $1.75. This service is tailored to manage dental appointments, emergency dental queries, and patient follow-ups. Benefits include better patient communication, reduced administrative burden, and the ability to capture more new patient leads, contributing to the growth of the dental practice.
Pediatrician Answering Service Rates:
The rates for a pediatrician answering service is generally between $1.25 and $2.50 per call. This service provides a compassionate and understanding response to parents’ concerns about their children’s health. Key benefits are 24/7 availability for urgent queries, improved patient trust, and relief for staff from after-hours calls, ensuring better patient care.
Hospital Answering Service Rates:
Hospital answering services have a higher cost, averaging $1.50 to $2.50 per call due to the complexity and volume of calls. These services offer substantial benefits like efficient handling of a high volume of diverse inquiries, coordination of emergency responses, and improved patient and family communication, which are essential for large healthcare facilities.
Managing the Monthly Cost
The data presented shows the average costs for various medical answering services across different specialties. However, healthcare practices have the flexibility to adjust these costs. By reducing the amount of information collected by the operator, costs can be lowered. Conversely, adding more tasks like scheduling appointments, answering detailed inquiries, or handling payments can increase costs. This flexibility allows practices to tailor the service to their specific needs and budget.
Answering Pricing Options For Medical Offices
When comparing medical answering service costs, you aren’t likely to see a single, specific cost listed. That’s because this type of company charges in different ways.
The way you’re charged could include a monthly fee, paying by the minute, or paying by the call. You may also see any combination of these options.
As you consider the options available to you, look for a company that best suits your needs in terms of payments. Before moving forward with a company, make sure you understand exactly how their charging and payment system works.
Cost per Minute
This is by far the most common billing practice for medical answering services today. This service is exactly what it sounds like. Companies that offer this option have a setup that tracks how many minutes their agents spend on the phone for you. The number of minutes is multiplied by a designated rate to find out your total.
There’s little variation when it comes to this method. There’s not much you can change in a minute, so this method is simple and straightforward.
The cost for a medical answering service ranges between $1.29 – $1.39 per minute of receptionist time. Without question, the lower the price, the less you can expect from your provider. Things like bilingual services, 24-hour support, appointment scheduling, and prescription support may be more difficult with small plans.
Medical Answering Service Cost per Call
With a pay-by-the-call medical answering service, you’ll spend between $0.74 – $2.49 per call. The call center will want to know what type of support they will be offering your callers. This allows them to better calculate a fair cost per call. This option probably sounds cut-and-dried too. So it might surprise you to hear it’s not.
This price model can vary immensely. This depends on how the service provider defines a call.
A call may simply be a phone call. Or they might charge you for a call every time a communication happens through a text, an email, or a voice call.
Since the definition of “call” can vary so much, it’s important to understand how your chosen company defines the word. That will help you decide if the costs are too high or too low for you.
Another thing to consider is dropped calls and those that were placed on accident. Will your provider charge for those? It depends on the provider. Some will, so be aware.
Flat Rate Medical Answering Service
The flat-rate monthly fee is about as simple as you can get. This fee is charged to you each month that you use the company’s services. In this case, you can get unlimited calls and minutes for a flat rate. This type of package is almost extinct because most medical answering service providers lose on these programs. Less than 35 companies nationwide offer this plan, and they typically cap out your maximum number of calls per month to use the service. Currently, the average monthly cost of a flat rate answering service falls around $250, and most companies will cap out at 300 calls.
Calculating The Cost of a Medical Answering Service
Remember, you’ll likely encounter a combination of these price models. To get an idea of what you might pay for an answering service, take a look at these example numbers.
You’ve paid a base fee for a certain number of minutes. The out-of-pocket cost here is $0.98 for each 1 minute (give or take $0.18).
You might also have a need for messages (texts or emails) during each call. For each message, you’ll be charged up to $.75. However, most companies do not charge for this service.
However, if they do charge, here’s what you’ll spend. Say you received 50 calls and each lasted about three minutes. That puts you at $100 for those 150 minutes.
Each call required a couple of messages to be sent, too. So that’s $1.50 for each of your 50 calls, or $75.
You’ve also paid a monthly rate of around $39 to use the service.
Using this price model you’d owe the service company a total of $214.
You’ve given the company of your choice $200, so you have that much credit. From this, the charges for each call will be pulled.
This particular company charges $1.00 per call. Any messages that need to be sent will also cost you $0.00 each.
In this sort of situation, you’ve already decided how much you’re spending. That means you’ll have room for so many calls and messages before you hit your limit.
This scenario would allow for varying combinations of messages and calls. For example, you could take 53 calls and send 40 messages. Or you’d have room for 200 calls and 200 messages before your $200 was used up.
The number of calls and messages that would be covered each time would depend on the number of calls received and the number of messages that needed to be sent.
Ask your service provider about extra costs. These may come in the form of holiday fees, set up fees, or through setting up appointments. These fees are nominal.
Tips for Making the Right Choice
There are only a few price models that are used when it comes to answering services. But those few models leave room for many different charging combinations. Because of this, you’ll have to determine which model or combination works for you.
Consider your specific business needs. How many calls do you usually take? Do they tend to be long or short?
If calls tend to be short, you’d likely get more for your money if you went with a per-minute charging model. This would allow for more calls to come in within a specific price range.
On the other hand, if your calls tend to be more than a few minutes long, you should go with a plan that charges you per call. Otherwise, each call could become fairly pricey.
Your decision should be based on the needs of your practice and your clients. If your clients like the option to message instead of call, make sure that option is included in the service you choose.
Sign up for a Medical Answering Service Today
If you’re bogged down and ready to get your focus back to other things, a medical answering service is a way to go. They’re helpful, affordable, and designed specifically for the medical industry.
So what are you waiting for? Compare quotes for an answering service today to see how much it can improve the time you spend at work.
We’ll find you the coverage you need without messing up your budget. To view more on common plans, packages, and features offered, click here.