Medical practices often weigh the pros and cons of running aspects of their business in house, or outsourcing to another vendor. Cost can play a major role, but there are other aspects to consider. We break down 4 key areas to help you understand what it really means to hire your own staff and whether it makes sense for your business.

1. Compensation & Benefits

If you\’re just considering salary, one full-time call representative can run about $40,000+ a year. Factor in taxes and benefits, which is typically 1.25-1.4x the salary, and the actual cost can be more like $50,000-56,000+.

A small practice at a minimum needs 2-3 call representatives to help ensure phone calls and web leads from both prospects and patients are effectively managed. Larger practices of course require more. At the end of the days, that means medical practices can be prepared to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars each year to house their own customer service.

But the costs don\’t stop there.

2. Training & Managing

Statistics show the average cost to hire an employee is around $4,000.* Of course, the best ways to reduce the cost of hiring is to focus on employee retention to keep turnover low. However, even that costs. It takes time for leadership to train and manage adds up. Having just 2-3 office staff then typically requires a full-time manager, adding an average salary of roughly $70,000+ per year, plus benefits.

3. Risk & Liability

We\’ve covered the cost of salaries, hiring, and training, which is essentially the minimum a practice will pay no matter what. However, practices should also consider the risk they\’re taking on. Common risks include:

  • Poor or sub-par performance
  • Employee absenteeism which includes planned time off for vacations, but also last minute sick days or personal days.
  • Employee turnover or unexpected resignations
  • HIPAA or other compliance violations
  • General HR issues

This list of course isn\’t comprehensive, but it highlights some areas medical practices don\’t consider until they\’re in a risk situation.

4. Consistency & Performance

All of the above is what the average practice should consider before hiring in-house. But if you\’re running a growth-focused medical practice, you don\’t want to be just average. You want highly-trained employees who consistently deliver excellence with every patient interaction in order to stand out among competitors. When you\’re spending a lot on marketing to prospects, you want to ensure you never miss a lead from a phone call or web form. The truth is, you could have the best physicians with the latest and greatest technology, but it won\’t matter if the patient doesn\’t make it past the front line staff.

5. When Outsourcing Makes Sense

Hiring your staff to manage patients certainly has its advantages, but when considering the cost associated, plus the need to manage a team and mitigate any risks, the total cost given all factors above could run between $100,000-$1 million+.

Outsourcing to a partner like OptiCall can drive efficiencies and generate more revenue, at a significant cost savings.  For what practices may pay in the salary of a part-time employee to a full-time employee (depending on volume) practices receive:

  • A team of highly-specialized counselors who act as an extension of your staff. From the outside, patients don\’t even know they are speaking with an outside team member.
  • A proven method of converting more inbound leads to patients. Our method is consistently 15-25% above industry standards, so you don\’t need to go through a trial and error process doing it on your own.
  • Extended hours of coverage to ensure leads are handled outside of normal business hours.
  • Peace of mind that every inbound lead is properly handled. No missed calls or web forms falling through the cracks.
  • Detailed reporting to understand full performance.
  • Flexible options where practices can have their staff focus on existing patients, while OptiCall manages all inbound leads.

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\”It\’s like having an employee that\’s never sick. You don\’t have to pay payroll tax. And they don\’t take a day off…It\’s made a huge difference for my clients and is one of the most important things for a practice.\”

– John Austin

[one]If you\’re still wondering whether outsourcing is right for you, we can help. Contact OptiCall to learn more about our programs and get a free practice assessment.

*Source: Business News Daily, What Does it Cost to Hire an Employee?