Author Topic: Handling phone calls  (Read 2744 times)

supertaz93

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Handling phone calls
« on: October 04, 2012, 07:19:31 PM »
I am curious how others handled patient phone calls when they first started their business.  Did you have them go to voicemail?  Did you have specific days of the week that you returned calls?  Did you have a message on voicemail that said you would return the call within a certain amount of time?  Thanks in advance!

PMRNC

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Re: Handling phone calls
« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2012, 09:02:08 AM »
I always had my services include patient billing calls with the same hours the physician had. My phone number would be on patient statements. If I have to go out I will use voice mail which I check frequently. If it's something I can answer w/out too much difficulty I will call the patient right back. For most part I do try and make myself available for the hours as stated in our contracts.
Linda Walker
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Michele

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Re: Handling phone calls
« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2012, 01:46:50 PM »
We answer patient phone calls from 8-4.  We find that if we send very clear bills that are easy to read and understand that we don't get many calls so it's really not too disruptive and it is part of our service.
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supertaz93

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Re: Handling phone calls
« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2012, 02:20:30 PM »
Here's my situation.  I currently bill for a physician on the side and phone calls have not been an issue.  The amount of time it takes me on his account is very minimal.  I am in the process of growing my business and was wondering the best way to handle patient phone calls.  One of the reasons for me to work at home is to be flexible with my time.  I have 3 kids that will be going to 3 different schools at 3 different times next year.  Although I am usually home, I don't want to be "tied" to my phone unless I have enough work to be considered full time.  Many times when I call a company these days, the recording will say something like "We will return your call within 24-48 hours" or "we will return your call by the end of the day".   Do you find it rude to get a voicemail message like this?  Also do any of you have the option for the patient to contact you through email?  I was thinking about looking into this too.

For most part I do try and make myself available for the hours as stated in our contracts.
  Do you specifically have the times listed in your contract or do you say in general wording that you would be available for phone calls?


I'm trying to think of the best way to handle phone calls in the future so any additional input is appreciated.   

PMRNC

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Re: Handling phone calls
« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2012, 02:59:00 PM »
In my contract it's one of those fill in the spots that the client and I will converse and negotiate. When we do set the details I do specify a generalized time frame with some wiggle room to account for things that could come up to interrupt it. I also include a phone number that is to be used on the patient statements. ONLY patients use that designated phone number so that I KNOW it's a call coming in from a patient. It's on it's own designated secure phone line.
Linda Walker
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www.billerswebsite.com

asilva03

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Re: Handling phone calls
« Reply #5 on: October 08, 2012, 10:38:45 PM »
Hi Linda,

You raise a good point about having the amount of time in the contract.  I do not have this so I am interested in learning more about this... are you letting the provider know the hours specifically set aside for them to contact or that you could be reach to answer any of their questions? Are you specific so that you have time to work on other accounts?  This is something that I would like to get specific about so that the same provider is not calling throughout the day and I do not have time to work on other accounts.

Michele

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Re: Handling phone calls
« Reply #6 on: October 09, 2012, 08:29:51 AM »
As long as you do return the call in the time frame that you specify I don't see a problem with that.  I only get annoyed when it's a ridiculous time amount or they don't call back in that time.

Love the insurance companies who say "please leave a message and we will get back to you within two weeks"   ???
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PMRNC

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Re: Handling phone calls
« Reply #7 on: October 09, 2012, 08:37:36 AM »
Quote
You raise a good point about having the amount of time in the contract.  I do not have this so I am interested in learning more about this... are you letting the provider know the hours specifically set aside for them to contact or that you could be reach to answer any of their questions? Are you specific so that you have time to work on other accounts?  This is something that I would like to get specific about so that the same provider is not calling throughout the day and I do not have time to work on other accounts.

My contract leaves this open for negotiating with client, but for example, for one client I might have it set to be available M-F 8am-12pm and 3pm-6pm. With all of them however I do have disclaimer that covers me for anything that comes up, the time is "generally" speaking. I also include that my voicemail is available and that I will return all calls within 24 hours on business days
Linda Walker
Practice Managers Resource & Networking Community
One Stop Resources, Education and Networking for Medical Billers
www.billerswebsite.com

mcasey

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Re: Handling phone calls
« Reply #8 on: October 09, 2012, 09:49:59 AM »
Its really interested to know that you are curious about handling phone call.I would like to tell you that never be decissive on phone and make arrangement for face to face meeting.Greet properly and talk nicely.