Outsourcing Answering Services for the Healthcare Industry

Outsourcing Answering Services for the Healthcare Industry

The 2020’s have proven a challenging time in the healthcare industry. The industry, which is one of constant transformation, was pushed to its limit with the onset of the COVID-19 virus in March 2020. Already dealing with razor thin margins and healthcare staffing shortages, they were now faced with a pandemic that dramatically disrupted everyday life. Systems hemorrhaged employees and many smaller practices were acquired or merged. Most operated at a loss, and patient satisfaction plummeted.

In order to stay fiscally solvent, many healthcare systems outsourced parts of their business administration services to offshore firms. One of the most common office features to be outsourced is its call center. However, it is not necessary to shop offshore to cut costs. Adding answering services from an experienced provider here in the US often brings costs down significantly and greatly improves employee morale.

“Anserve is consistently being asked to support healthcare networks stemming from employee shortages and the need to maintain quality standards,” says Anserve’s Manager of Business Development, Linsey Baker. “They are increasingly turning to outsourcing administrative services like call answering and appointment setting. This strategic shift enables networks to optimize their focus on specialized care of their patients while ensuring seamless operations during peak demands, without compromising service quality.”

Another factor in post-COVID America is that customer service is at an all time low. The healthcare staffing shortages due to COVID restrictions has made hospital call centers a “nice to have” feature. Outsourcing healthcare answering services can change this perception for healthcare systems, almost immediately. When employee morale is high, employees stay put. When patients speak to live, qualified operators with answers, they stay put as well.

While some other services can be outsourced offshore, doing the same for healthcare answering services often exacerbates the problem. While they do cut overall costs initially, they are laden with chronic challenges. Two of the main challenges include a huge language barrier and little understanding of the nuances in the healthcare field in this country. Offshore answering agents simply don’t speak healthcare the way we do. Successful healthcare systems should take advantage of answering service providers that actively work in a variety of healthcare fields. This has been Anserve’s business for more than five decades. Anserve combines its award winning (recently acknowledged as a Top Ten company in the industry) answering service knowledge with specific healthcare experience in the following areas:

  • Physicians Offices
  • Speciality practices
  • Hospitals and healthcare networks
  • Dental practices
  • Home healthcare
  • Telehealth Services

Hospital Employees and Nurses Especially are in High Demand

Nurses comprise nearly 60% of all healthcare employees, and currently, there are far too few of them. There is a current healthcare staffing shortage of 480,000 workers, with nearly 220,000 of those desperately needed employees are nurses. Nurses move to new healthcare systems or stop working based on a number of different factors. Competition among providers, overwork, stress, and government tax mandates are among the most common reasons.

At this rate, by 2030, there will be a healthcare staffing shortage of one million workers in the healthcare industry. Further, 20% of the population will be 65+ by 2030, leading to a large increase in the need for healthcare staffing for the elderly. The fact that this percentage of the population is aging out of the workforce will also lead to further attrition through retirement. This means the demand will continue to rise. Having the additional funding afforded by outsourcing answering services will go a long way in retaining these valuable professionals. Additional Anserve services to free up medical personnel to focus on healthcare include:

  • Virtual Receptionists
  • 100% live call answering
  • Scheduling
  • Emergency answering services
  • Custom call scripting

Call Centers are a big expense for the Healthcare Industry

Healthcare companies generally maintain minimal staffing at their call centers, given the expense. These skeleton crews are often overworked and usually short term. As discussed, overqualified medical personnel step in to assist, however this practice is unsustainable as it often contributes to employee burnout. To keep medical personnel focused on the core purpose of treating patients, call center functions ultimately get outsourced. In healthcare, Anserve is the answer.

Outsourcing healthcare answering services with Anserve can cut existing costs by 50%, most often resulting in seven figures of savings annually. This influx of additional capital can go towards medical personnel retention and training for employee advancement. All of this leads to a palpable increase in overall patient satisfaction, which is one of the ultimate goals of every healthcare system. Anserve leads in this critical space with:

  • Over 55 years in healthcare answering services
  • Live agent availability 24/7/365
  • Support in over 200 languages
  • All operators based in North America
  • State of the art data protection technology
  • Concierge Account Setup
  • Highly experienced HIPAA-compliant medical agents

Healthcare Industry

Surveys have come back with LOW ratings.

The best gauge of the effectiveness of a healthcare system is in hearing from its patients. Systems are able to determine through these surveys what is effective and what is not. One of the top complaints, consistently, is the inability of patients to speak to live operators upon calling. Anserve also ensures that every patient speaks to a knowledgeable live agent, experienced in healthcare. To go a step further, Anserve operators can speak to patients in their native language.

In many cases call center inefficiency is flushed out through these surveys and ultimately outsourced. At a time when customer services are at record lows across all businesses, Anserve’s human approach can quickly reverse this trend.

Consolidation will continue

There are a number of reasons the healthcare space has seen many recent consolidations like:

  • St Peter’s Healthcare/Atlantic Healthcare
  • Rutgers/RWJBarnabas Health
  • NYU Langone Medical Center and Winthrop-University Hospital
  • Aria Health and Jefferson Health
  • Curae Health and Community Health Systems
  • Kindred Healthcare and Arkansas Department of Health
  • Capella Healthcare and RegionalCare Hospital Partners
  • ​Select Medical Corp. and Physiotherapy Associates Holdings

For many, it’s nothing more than a financial life line. But for others, consolidation means adding specialties, adding administrative efficiency, and ultimately growing their organization. This trend is expected to continue. In conjunction, Anserve can help to reduce the cost of doing business, making organizations more efficient and streamlined. Explains Danielle Prtune, Anserve’s Training Manager, “By specializing in call center functions, we prepare our Operations teams to shoulder the burden of spikes in call volume, allowing healthcare providers to concentrate more on their specialties without compromise. At Anserve we guarantee the highest quality of support even during peak demand periods. This ends up being a tremendous cost savings to our clients.”

To learn more about how Anseve’s healthcare answering services can cut costs and create administrative efficiencies, even in the face of healthcare staffing shortages, contact Anserve today.