Medical Billing Forum

Starting a Medical Billing Business => Starting Your Own Medical Billing Business => Topic started by: Powerade_993 on September 29, 2017, 12:29:46 PM

Title: Phone/Fax Business Services
Post by: Powerade_993 on September 29, 2017, 12:29:46 PM
For those of you currently running your medical billing business from home what services are you currently using for your business phone and fax? I'm looking into options that will be cost effective as I'm just starting out. I called my local phone company (Charter) today and for two phone lines they want to charge $50 and for one they charge $29.95. Wow! Here has to be other options! I'm interested in hearing what you currently use. I'm also worried about hippa compliance with the ones I've research such as efax, google voice, skype.
Title: Re: Phone/Fax Business Services
Post by: Michele on October 02, 2017, 07:39:08 AM
Check out nextiva.
Title: Re: Phone/Fax Business Services
Post by: Powerade_993 on October 02, 2017, 10:22:02 AM
Thank you!! I'll look into it now.
Title: Re: Phone/Fax Business Services
Post by: voquendo6167 on October 25, 2017, 10:52:15 AM
Hello,
I would like to add to the above question. I have a house phone, that I do not use. Can I use this phone as a business phone?
Title: Re: Phone/Fax Business Services
Post by: Michele on October 25, 2017, 11:27:59 AM
If you want to you can certainly use your house phone as a business phone. 
Title: Re: Phone/Fax Business Services
Post by: Keis1225 on October 28, 2017, 09:16:14 AM
If you want to you can certainly use your house phone as a business phone.

Michele thank you for replying to this!  For some reason I didn't think you could use your house phone, don't know why I thought that :o   I use MyFax for my fax service. Its electronic, cheap ($10-$15) and pretty user friendly.
Title: Re: Phone/Fax Business Services
Post by: Michele on October 30, 2017, 07:22:24 AM
No problem!  But if you are conducting business out of your home make sure that is ok.  I have heard of people getting into deep trouble by conducting business out of their home when it was not allowed!

Title: Re: Phone/Fax Business Services
Post by: PMRNC on October 31, 2017, 06:39:15 AM
Quote
I'm also worried about hippa compliance with the ones I've research such as efax, google voice, skype.

Pet Peeve:  It's HIPAA. ;) 

In regards to phone, I would not use VOIP unless the company is compliant and will sign a BAA, and then I would be sure you have taken all the steps to maintain compliance as required. I have ONE landline through our local phone company and it's split line (old fashioned phone line :) ) it will double ring for clients calling my business line and single ring for my home line. I also have an OOMA line for my other business which I don't need to be HIPAA compliant.

Aside from that, I would NEVER ever ever ever, use my home phone for business. In fact No one would have this line except for clients or potential clients as most medical billing companies are responsible for answering questions from patients about their billing accounts. It's not a good idea to mix business with personal for that reason alone. Many phone companies do offer split lines like I have where you port a number and have a distinctive ring. My phone company only charges $49 a month and then I pay $20 for the added number. That $50 you mentioned is really a decent rate and if your a billing company that is figured into your costs with your clients so you really won't pay anything. When you charge your clients phone/fax should be included in your fees. Don't sacrifice compliance for cost or it's a sure way you'll sink the ship before it gets going. If you don't have any clients yet, that phone number is still a write-off as you include it in your marketing materials and budget.

Title: Re: Phone/Fax Business Services
Post by: Christy on October 31, 2017, 01:02:31 PM
I love S Fax. It's electronic and they willingly sign a BAA. also VERY reasonably priced.
Title: Re: Phone/Fax Business Services
Post by: PMRNC on October 31, 2017, 01:15:17 PM
I've not heard of S fax.. what is their website?
Title: Re: Phone/Fax Business Services
Post by: Christy on October 31, 2017, 01:17:21 PM
https://www.scrypt.com/sfax/
Title: Re: Phone/Fax Business Services
Post by: voquendo6167 on November 08, 2017, 11:23:29 AM
So according to the previous posts, I shouldn't use my house phone as my business phone, due to hipaa??
Title: Re: Phone/Fax Business Services
Post by: Michele on November 09, 2017, 07:27:40 AM
Actually Linda was stating she wouldn't use voice over internet unless they were compliant and signed a BAA.  She also stated that she would never use a home phone for business because she wouldn't mix business with personal.  I did not make that statement so the following is my opinion of why Linda said that.  I believe she is concerned with having your business calls coming in to your personal phone line for a couple of different reasons.  1.  Are there other family members that answer this phone?  Obviously if you have clients calling you it wouldn't be appropriate if you eight yr old (or whatever age child) is picking up the call.  Also it wouldn't be good for anyone not employed by the business to be picking up the call for several reasons.  The provider may not be happy if someone picks up they don't know, if you have an answer phone others can hear the messages, etc, etc.   2.   If you don't have a system that identifies a business call vs a personal call how are you going to answer?  Hello?  XYZ Business?  It just doesn't appear professional.  I'm sure Linda may have other reasons as well but those are a few that I think she would mention.

With that being said, I think that it is possible to professionally use your home phone when getting started IF the situation is appropriate.  A single person living alone might be able to pull this off.  A couple whose spouse only uses his/her cell phone and won't be answering the home phone might be able to work it out.  Caller id gives you a heads up as to if it's a friend/relative vs an unknown caller.  Any that are not clear would be answered as the business.  So it is not a violation of HIPAA to use your home phone IF you can guarantee that no one has access to the phone other than yourself and that any messages left would be secure, etc. 

But the other issue is that as you grow you may decide you need a business line and switching numbers could be costly and a pain, so that is something to consider as well.

So basically it can be done but there are  several HIPAA issues that you need to be sure are covered and is it really the best option.  Hope that helps!
Title: Re: Phone/Fax Business Services
Post by: voquendo6167 on November 09, 2017, 09:35:25 AM
Yes this helps a lot. 
I am just starting off and live alone, well my 11 year old daughter lives with me, but she wont answer the phone. And I receive all my personal calls on my cell phone. Thank you so much for responding. :)
Title: Re: Phone/Fax Business Services
Post by: PMRNC on November 09, 2017, 04:05:04 PM
I would make sure your compliance plan includes your phone, fax, email process, this will eliminate any concerns.

My compliance plan includes a stand alone fax, email and phone.. it doesn't include language or interpretation that my daughter "won't answer the phone". I'm not trying to be a stickler but many starting out don't think they need to have a compliance plan and this is one such example to show you do need one. Not saying your daughter will answer the phone but there should be compliance plan in place to explain the process and how the process is compliance. This will only help you as a billing company that works from a home office.
Title: Re: Phone/Fax Business Services
Post by: Powerade_993 on November 16, 2017, 09:43:57 AM
Is it a must to have a toll free number? What is your experience with this?
Title: Re: Phone/Fax Business Services
Post by: PMRNC on November 16, 2017, 12:28:05 PM
It's not a must at all. Having a toll free number today isn't as important as it was years ago, now with most phone services there is coverage for long distance. For marketing purposes it could be good to have, but again not necessary. When you obtain clients it's best to have a dedicated line for the provider to offer to patients and have printed on statements for them to call with questions about their bills. This doesn't have to be toll free either.
Title: Re: Phone/Fax Business Services
Post by: Powerade_993 on November 16, 2017, 02:28:22 PM
PMRNC - You’re always so helpful! Thank you!!