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Best Call Center Service for Medical Practices: Specialty Answering Service

Specialty Answering Service
Credit: Specialty Answering Service

After conducting considerable research and analysis of call center services, we recommend Specialty Answering Service as the best call center service for medical practices in 2018.

Specialty Answering Service offers a competitive call center services for any business in any industry, but because of its specific experience in the healthcare industry and its HIPAA-trained agents, it's our pick for the best call center service for medical practices. Specialty Answering Service's familiarity with handling sensitive patient data also makes it a useful service for other industries that typically handle confidential information, such as the legal or finance spaces.

Editor's note: If you're looking for information to help you choose the call center that's right for you, use the questionnaire below to have our sister site BuyerZone provide you with information from a variety of vendors for free.

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Specialty Answering Service is one of the few call center services that offer a free trial, granting two weeks of unrestricted access so you can try it out and determine whether the service is up to your standards. From there, Specialty Answering Service maintains several pricing plans that cater to the needs of practices and companies both small and large.

Specialty Answering Service bills on a month-to-month basis and requires no contracts. To cancel, simply alert the company prior to the first of the month. There are no cancellation fees associated with any level of service. There are no setup or activation fees either.

The company offers eight different price plans:

  • Economy (includes zero minutes): $31 per month, $1.19 per minute
  • 100 minutes: $117 per month, $1.09 per each additional minute
  • 220 minutes: $199 per month, $1.09 per each additional minute
  • 500 minutes: $490 per month, $0.99 per each additional minute
  • 1,000 minutes: $925 per month, $0.95 per each additional minute
  • 2,500 minutes: $2,200 per month, $0.89 per each additional minute
  • 5,000 minutes: $4,199 per month, $0.85 per each additional minute
  • 10,000 minutes: $7,749 per month, $0.79 per each additional minute

The economy package is a good introductory option for small businesses, because it is a pay-as-you-go plan that doesn't require the purchase of any minutes that you might not use. Specialty Answering Service does not require any call volume minimums and allows you to upgrade or downgrade your service level as needed. The company is also open to working with you to customize a plan that will work best for your practice.

Specialty Answering Service is fully HIPAA-compliant, an important feature for a medical practice. Under HIPAA, healthcare providers are required to protect patients' health information.  Otherwise, your practice might incur penalties or forego incentive payments from Medicare. Specialty Answering Service meets the requirements and conducts quality assurance checks to ensure its system is continuously operating up to the standards.

For industries that routinely handle sensitive data, Specialty Answering Service's familiarity with HIPAA means it is capable of safely handling confidential information outside the healthcare industry as well. This is an especially important feature for companies dealing with European Union residents since the implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). As more countries are expected to adopt data privacy laws, HIPAA compliance and other forms of data security are likely to become more important.

Another useful aspect of Specialty Answering Service for a medical practice is the appointment-scheduling feature. Using your practice-management software, Specialty Answering Services will schedule or change patient appointments. Not only does this take some of the burden off your practice's front office, but the call center offers an appointment-reminder service to help reduce no-shows and increase efficiency in the scheduling process.

Specialty Answering Service is available 24/7/365, so your patients can always be in touch for immediate information, to provide information of their own or to alter their scheduled appointments at any time that's convenient for them. The center can also field questions about insurance or referrals at any time.

Our customer service experiences with Specialty Answering Service were simple, friendly, informative and helpful every time. Specialty's employees are knowledgeable and patient, and they were ready and willing to answer all our questions without hesitation. You can be sure your patients will be treated with respect and courtesy.

Emergency calls can be directed to you and your staff by phone, text, pager or email. Agents are trained for emergency situations and can gather the necessary information to refer to your practice. In cases of extreme urgency, Specialty Answering Service will directly transfer the call to your practice, immediately connecting your patients with the help they need.

Specialty Answering Service doesn't engage in lead generation or cold-calling. For a practice with an established clientele, this isn't much of a problem; Specialty Answering Service will still contact patients for follow-ups and automated appointment reminders. The service will also conduct surveys and solicit customer feedback. Unless you're looking to expand your base of patients, the center's outbound services should be sufficient.

Specialty Answering Services supports only fluent English and Spanish speakers. The center's staff cannot communicate with speakers of any other language, so if you serve patients who primarily speak a different language, you will want to consider choosing another service.

We chose Specialty Answering Service from a pool of the dozens of call center services we considered. To read our full methodology and for a more comprehensive list of call center services, visit Business News Daily's best picks page.

Ready to choose a call center service? Here's a breakdown of our complete coverage:

Editor's note: If you're looking for information to help you choose the call center that's right for you, use the questionnaire below to have our sister site BuyerZone provide you with information from a variety of vendors for free.

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