Healthcare Call Center Software: Pricing, Benefits, and Features of an In-House Hospital/Medical Call Center
Effective communication is a key component of customer service. In fact, CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) agrees, allotting seven of its 33 quality measures to accountable care organization. To facilitate effective communication in your healthcare call center, look for the right software.
Healthcare Call Center Software
The right software for a healthcare call center needs to do a little more than what's needed for call centers in other industries. In addition to managing patients and creating a smooth, consistent communication between patients and staff (and among different departments), you have to remain compliant with all state and federal regulations. The best software includes technology that manages regulatory compliance as well as operations.
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These operational needs include billing, setting appointments, sending appointment reminders, follow-ups on procedures, and prescription refill reminders. To do this effectively, your software needs to fulfill a variety of requirements.
First, of course, it must manage your patients' histories. This goes beyond a database, though, and into an integrated CRM that uses pop-ups and scripts to give providers a quick overview of the patient's history.From there, your call center software needs to help manage interactions – both inbound and outbound – between doctors, patients, and staff, as well as among
internal staff. This can (and should) include workforce optimization to help improve staff performance and efficiency.
Process automation helps boost efficiency across channels, especially if it includes an intelligent routing system directing inbound calls. It sounds like high expectations, but the best software does all of that and more.
How Much Does Healthcare Call Center Software Cost?
Pricing varies, depending on the number of agents and features, as well as whether you choose self-hosted software or cloud-based.
Typically, you're looking at between $700 and $2,000 per agent, depending on the size of your organization (smaller organizations pay higher rates) and whether you need telephone hardware along with the software. In addition, you're looking at install and setup fees, which may cost you as much as $25,000.
If you have a small or mid-sized organization, you may prefer a cloud solution. These charge a monthly fee (per agent) and come with a much lower up-front cost. For around $50 per agent, you get a basic inbound/outbound software package. As you add features and capabilities, the cost goes up, topping off at around $300 per agent.
Some cloud solutions also include a setup fee in addition to the monthly user fee. Make sure you verify all fees with the provider, as setup fees, even for cloud services, can run you upwards of $15,000.
The Benefits and Features of a Healthcare Call Center
Offering your patients the best care requires excellent customer service. With the right medical call center software, you support both patients and staff and improve quality of care. How does call center software accomplish this?
Probably the most obvious patient benefit is the ability to implement a triage and message service that allows patients to communicate directly with nursing staff. If you are a hospital, this immediately frees up resources, as nurses easily advise patients as to which symptoms require immediate medical attention and which are safe to take to their regular physician. This directly relates to disease management programs, which allow chronic patients to self-treat (as appropriate) while still collaborating with medical staff.
You can also streamline operations within your facility via a variety of call center features, starting with navigation support helping patients find you through to pre-admission/pre-registration. From there you can add physician referral services to your software, prescription refill automation and education, and post-discharge communication.
In fact, every bit of scheduling can be automated with the right software. It begins with creating provider schedules and patient registration but doesn't end there. You also have:
- Verification abilities: Eligibility, medical necessity, insurance coverage, provider par/non par records, and authorization to ensure compliance and accuracy in billing
- Payment services: Enjoy full transparency in billing and payment options before providing any services, reducing need for collections
- Outpatient procedures: Coordinate services among a variety of healthcare providers, including laboratory services, pharmacies, and follow-up care
- Billing and collections: Dramatically improve coding accuracy, billing, and collections, including technical support for patients
You can also take advantage of customizable phone scripts that allow operators to tailor each interaction to a particular provider or service. In addition, most medical call center software includes QA tools and a dashboard with a variety of analytics tools to measure efficiency and efficacy of your efforts.
An in-house healthcare call center lets you dramatically improve the patient experience and streamline efficiencies within your facility. You can keep things incredibly basic or take advantage of the many features that help automate and streamline every patient "touch."