EXTENDED BUSINESS OFFICE | 7 MIN READ

5 Ways Your Collection Agency or Call Center Can Help Healthcare Providers During a Crisis

Written by Michael Wise

With many healthcare providers requiring non-essential employees to work from home, some of the normal business office operations of hospitals and physicians have been disrupted or overloaded.

This decrease in bandwidth, coupled with a spike in inbound calls from concerned patients and the need to share frequent updates via mass messaging, has created several areas of need for extended services. Some of these needs might be temporary, but others could remain long after the crisis is over.

Here’s some of the problems providers are experiencing and how you may be able to help:

Absorb Increased Call Volume

The problem: Most healthcare systems use an on-premise PBX for their main corporate telephony system, which means employees working from home are making and receiving calls to personal mobile phones or landlines. If that employee is unavailable or on another call, there is no way to roll the call to another employee.

What you can offer: To have non skills-based calls routed to your office to reduce overall call volume. Or, provide an answering service for inbound calls to reduce hold times or answer common questions or concerns not addressed in the corporate IVR.

Call Routing & Answering Services

The problem: Many non-essential healthcare employees don’t have remote access to their hospital or physician offices’ one-premise PBX phone system. They may have forwarded calls to their mobile phone or landline but not have remote access to EHR or PM systems necessary to handles the calls they’ve received. Or, they can’t access their voicemails from work or reach the extensions of coworkers or other departments.

What you can offer: An answering service where calls to the extensions of remote workers are forwarded to your office to screen and handle appropriately. 

Provide an Information Hotline

The problem: With crisis-related inquiries flooding healthcare phone systems, other patient calls aren’t being handled quickly or routed correctly.

*What you can offer: A special toll-free number that hospitals and physicians can provide to the public that’s dedicated to answering questions and providing updates related to COVID-19. 

 *Assuming scripting is provided by healthcare provider.

Conduct Outbound Messaging Campaigns

 The problem: With so many scheduling changes and workflow disruptions due to crisis-related emergencies, many healthcare systems are unable to maintain non-emergency communications with patients. Example: Many providers are switching existing appointments to tele-visits. Or, many will require mass rescheduling of non-emergency procedures and visits when the crisis has subsided.

*What you can offer: To be an outsourcing resource for some of these services. Example: revenue cycle services like insurance claims, denial management, and pre-authorizations.

 *Assuming these are services you’re already providing to other healthcare clients.

Offer Aditional Services to Free Up Staff

The problem: Hospital systems typically have some areas where specialized or clinically-trained staff also perform non-clinical tasks. This creates a staffing shortage during a health crisis.

*What you can offer: To be an outsourcing resource for some of these services. Example: revenue cycle services like insurance claims, denial management, and pre-authorizations.

 *Assuming these are services you’re already providing to other healthcare clients.

Is your agency or contact center missing tools needed to expand into healthcare?

Whether you’re looking to improve one area of your collections or EBO services, or the whole enchilada, we can help!

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