Healthcare organizations must meet strict requirements when it comes to patient care, communications and the storage and handling of records. Many of those requirements carry over to your vendors, and ultimately, you’re responsible for whether or not your call center vendors are upholding regulatory and compliance rules. That’s true for healthcare outsourcing companies as well.
One of the best ways to mitigate your risks when outsourcing call services is to fully vet a vendor before you sign a contract. Here are five major considerations to factor in when choosing a call agency for your medical business.
1. The Call Agency Must Follow HIPAA Compliance
Medical outsource companies that work with healthcare organizations to answer member/patient questions, schedule appointments, assist with billing inquiries or simply forward calls must be compliant with HIPAA regulations.
HIPAA-compliant call services include:
- Operating based on need-to-know policies
- Appropriately protecting all personal health information with encryption, password protection, HIPAA-compliant texting, and other approved technology
- Training staff to abide by Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act rules for disclosures, writing down information and disposing of recorded information
2. What Are Your Staff Qualification Requirements?
Not all healthcare call centers are the same. For example, one call agency might be staffed by clinical professionals such as RNs who are trained to answer questions about symptoms or medications. Paying for this type of staffing when you only need help making patient appointments, routing calls or providing benefits explanation is overkill. Partner with a qualified contact center outsourcing company that’s prepared to meet your specific needs.
3. Understands Medical Terminology During Calls
Medical questions can be complex, and communication during calls tends to go better when the patient can use a language they’re comfortable with. Work with an outsourcing company who is able to provide staff who speak the top languages spoken by your membership base.
4. Integration With In-House Technology
The benefits of subcontracting to a medical call center include increased efficiencies and decreased costs. But you can’t realize those benefits if the vendor can’t effectively connect with your processes or systems. Ensure you have a plan in place to pass information between your systems and the vendor in a HIPAA-compliant way that also supports productive workflow and accuracy of data.
5. Location of the Outsourced Contact Center
Make sure the location of any outsourced contact center you work with isn’t contradictory to your existing contracts. Some insurance companies, for example, include requirements in managed contacts that require healthcare organizations to use domestic contact centers for any member/patient-facing communications they outsource.
By doing your homework before you sign on with a new inbound call service, you can reap the most benefits of outsourcing. If you’re looking for HIPAA-compliant contact services, contact Ameridial today to learn how we can shoulder the burden of calls for your organization.