How Much Does a Medical Answering Service Cost in 2023?
How much does a medical answering service cost? Should you outsource to a medical answering service? Here’s the latest pricing data for doctors, physicians, and hospitals.
What are the Factors that Drive the Cost of a Medical Answering Service?
- Call Volume: To be expected, an answering service fielding 100 calls will cost more than a provider fielding just 50 calls. However, the cost per call typically goes down on higher volume call levels.
- Time: The average duration of each call is the number one factor that drives the cost of medical answering services. The largest expense a call center has is its receptionists. For this reason, most answering service providers wisely bill by the minute, and not the call.
- Integration: If you need the call center to integrate with your company’s online calendar (to set appointments) or to access a portal to process payments, you can expect an increase in cost ranging between 5% – 15%. These types of calls require additional training and go beyond the standard classroom procedures.
- Holidays: Like most companies, employees who work on holidays receive time and a half pay. This fee is typically billed at a flat rate of around $20 per holiday.
What Standard Features are Included in a Medical Answering Service?
- 24×7 Support: Your provider will typically answer calls 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The only exception is a small fee on holidays.
- Bilingual Support: Most medical answering service companies have a dedicated staff to support Spanish and English-speaking clients.
- Call Recording: With the exception of 2 party notification states, expect all of your calls to be recorded and generally stored in a secure environment for up to 3 years.
- SMS / Email Message Delivery: Your messages are sent in live time via SMS text message, email, or both. This can include a sound file of the full conversation.
- Toll-Free Number: A toll-free number can be provided to forward your calls to or to be used to forward your company’s inbound calls to.
Most Common Types of Medical Answering Services:
- Doctors Answering Service: This is to support most physicians and doctors.
- Healthcare Answering Service: Live call support for Chiropractors, dentists, and more.
- Hospital Answering Service: Typically for very high call volumes ranging from 1,000 – 10,000 calls per month.
An Overview of Medical Answering Service Pricing
If you’re considering hiring an answering service, you probably want to know “How much does a medical answering service cost?”
Depending on your plan, a physician answering service can cost between $0.89 and $1.79 per call. If you task the answering service with additional work, such as setting appointments, it may cost more.
On average, an answering service may charge between $60 – $120 for 45 to 75 calls every month. Accordingly, you should consider your call volume when selecting a service and a plan.
Engaging a medical answering service allows you to tap into an external team’s expertise, offering a suite of functions beyond just call handling. This can include managing appointment reminders, fielding inbound inquiries, conducting outbound calls, and providing virtual receptionist services.
Suitable for both small clinics and larger healthcare institutions, these services are tailored to fit a variety of needs. Moreover, outsourcing your call management to an answering service is often more cost-effective than handling it internally.
The pricing model for your chosen service will typically be structured around the number of calls handled or the duration of time spent on calls, depending on the specific plan you select.
What Kind of Services Do Medical Answering Services Provide?
Utilizing a medical answering service enables your practice to maintain a round-the-clock communication hub, extending your availability to a 24/7 operation. These services can handle a variety of tasks including scheduling appointments, and they often offer multilingual support through bilingual operators.
While traditionally physicians enlist answering services for after-hours call management, their capabilities can greatly enhance your practice’s efficiency in numerous ways.
Most non-medical tasks, especially those that can be conducted via telephone, are within the scope of an answering service’s capabilities. The key is to engage a service with a track record in the medical sector, as they will be adept at navigating the unique requirements of medical practices, including adherence to HIPAA regulations for patient privacy and data security.
A medical answering service can also prove beneficial during operating hours. You can hire the service to take calls that your staff members field regularly.
By hiring an answering service, you’ll free staff members to focus on patients, for instance, in the waiting area. Alternatively, they can start collecting information from patients in exam rooms.
Usually, a patient enters a doctor’s office, fills out a form, and waits. Once it’s the patient’s turn to see the doctor, the appointment typically takes some time.
By outsourcing to a call answering service, you can free staff members to start part of the exam process. Because your staff members have more time, they can increase their productivity and work on improving patient satisfaction.
What Kind of Medical Offices Do Answering Service Providers Support?
One of the most important features of a medical answering service is that it can help your organization remain HIPAA compliant when communicating with patients. HIPAA compliance is crucial in the healthcare setting.
Reliable and efficient communication stands as a crucial pillar for your medical practice, with patients depending on it for their well-being and urgent health situations.
If your practice is grappling with high call volumes during the day or you’re looking to reduce the expenses associated with employing in-house personnel for after-hours communication, a medical answering service could be the answer.
A proficient answering service will blend smoothly with your existing team. It’s essential that they are adaptable and knowledgeable about catering to the diverse requirements of various healthcare establishments. An experienced medical answering service is equipped to operate a call center catering to various medical specialties, including:
- Cardiac specialists
- Internal medicine practitioners
Despite the specialty or the medium – email, phone, or text – a qualified medical answering service will keep patient information safe and secure.
How Much Do Medical Answering Services Cost Per Minute?
The national average cost per minute of a medical answering service is $1.35 – $1.55.
The cost of an answering service varies depending on your call volume. For example, if your practice receives around 50 calls a month that last less than a minute, the medical answering service may charge you $1.00 to $1.70 per minute.
Depending on the type of questions you need to be fielded, if you receive around 100 to 200 calls per month, the service may charge you anywhere from $1.35 to $1.44 per minute. If you receive an even higher volume of calls, for instance, up to 500 calls a month, answering service rates may cost between $1.33 and $1.41 per minute.
Alternatively, your inbound calls may take a little longer. For instance, each call may average a minute and a half long.
If you receive 500 one-and-a-half-minute calls a month, you may pay around $1.30 per minute. If the service accepts calls for your practice on holidays, however, the company may add a flat rate of $10 per day for answering calls.
How Much Do Answering Services Cost Per Call?
The national average cost per call of a medical answering service is $0.99 – $1.75.
A medical answering service may charge you by the call. If so, the cost per call will vary based on your call volume.
For instance, if your office receives around 50 thirty-second calls per month, the service may charge you $0.74 to $1.10 per call. One hundred two-minute calls may cost you between $1.65 and $2.09 per call, whereas 50 two-minute calls may cost you $1.57 to $1.95 per call.
How Much Does a Medical Answering Service Cost Per Month?
The national average monthly cost of a medical answering service is $275 – $380.
If you hire a medical answering service to forward calls to a nurse or doctor when necessary, the call could last anywhere from two minutes to an hour. The call service must estimate this time and then bill your practice.
The company may charge you a fixed monthly rate, or for each call that they transfer. Also, you may hire operators to make appointments using your in-house scheduling system. If so, you’ll have to train the operators on how to use the system.
Some medical answering services may charge a one-time fee of $100 for this service. If you use a complex scheduling system, however, the service fee could reach as high as $125 per month.
Pros and Cons of Outsourcing to a Medical Answering Service
If you hire a medical answering service, you’ll benefit in several ways. For instance, you can significantly reduce the cost of answering patient calls. By hiring a call service, you’ll avoid the expenses associated with call center infrastructure, labor and other overhead. Together, the savings are significant.
Hiring and training staff to man the phones becomes unnecessary, and you can offer your patients round-the-clock office access without the significant cost of maintaining overnight staff.
However, outsourcing to an answering service means ceding a degree of control. Some patients may miss the personal touch of speaking directly with your staff.
The chosen call center acts as the face of your practice after hours. In partnering with an answering service, part of your practice’s operations is in their hands, which requires trust in their management to uphold your standards.
Call center agents won’t have the same level of familiarity with your practice as your own team, and the answering service’s workplace culture may differ significantly from your office’s environment.
Does a Doctor Answering Service Save My Practice Money?
Bottom line, in most cases, a medical answering service will save you both time and money. If you operate a successful practice, you probably field a lot of calls. This task is a resource and time-consuming activity.
At times, your staff can become overwhelmed with phone calls. If this happens too often, you may have been considering hiring more staff to answer calls.
You can save money and resources by hiring an answering service to perform the same duties for a fraction of the cost. If you choose the right service, they can provide a superior patient experience and help your practice thrive.
Comparing Answering Service Providers
Now, you have a better understanding of medical answering service pricing. You can make an informed decision when choosing a provider.
Outsourcing work is not a new phenomenon for doctors’ offices. Already, many physicians outsource essential tasks such as medical transcription.
If you operate a medical practice, you must ensure that your office remains accessible. Patients feel more comfortable when they know that they can get in touch with their physician. By hiring an answering service, you can keep existing patients happy and attract new ones.
It’s vital to choose the right medical answering service to ensure that your office remains profitable. For more up-to-date info about answering service rates for your office, visit the PriceItRight.com call center service guide today.