Multi Location OBGYN Specialist

How Med Staffing & Consulting Helped Grow
A Physician's OB/GYN Practice

"After trial and error for twelve years in the private OB/GYN practice - with decreasing reimbursements and increasing labor costs - I was on a verge of a very tough decision - go big, adapt and modernize, or go home and get a salaried job. Thankfully I chose the former and worked with Med Staffing & Consulting to hire two agents to answer all phone calls, schedule appointments, take messages, and triage calls. That took a large work-load off my $17 and $19/hr full time receptionists, and they were able to perform higher level tasks, saving me money and allowing me to grow my practice" - OB/GYN client

Problems & Challenges

  1. 2 front desk employees are tasked with various assignments while struggling to keep up with incoming and outgoing calls. Problems with basic call-management, long hold times, dropped calls all with patients checking in and out of their scheduled visits.
  2. During the same work day, they are also tasked with verifying insurance eligibility and coverage, including copays, deductibles, outstanding balances, and are responsible for collecting the correct amounts. 
  3. All while correctly verifying scheduled appointments, rescheduling “no shows”, scheduling periodically indicated visits (s.a. Diabetic follow up q3-6mo, anti coagulated patients q3mo, annual Gyn visits, etc.) 
  4. Obtaining preauthorizations for specific procedures.
  5. Responding to messages from providers (MD, PA, Midwife, RNP), regarding scheduling follow up for abnormal labs (anemia, infection, high cholesterol, abnormal PAP smear, etc) and/or radiology (inconclusive mammogram or abnormal bone density scan, etc) results.

Outcome

  1. We started with two remote agents, trained them to answer phone calls and use our EMR (to schedule appointments, enter demographics, send system messages, etc.) Within two weeks, they were answering 900-1200 calls per week, spending 6-10 minutes per call (in English and Russian), with only 10% overflow calls going to front desk.
  2. This greatly relieved the phone-work volume from the receptionists, and the most senior employee was promoted to Front Desk Supervisor, who trained and supervised the remote agents. In the 2 location practice with 14k patients, two remote agents were entirely busy answering calls and entering essential data into our EMR.
  3. A third agent was trained to review patient records and lists, address system messages from providers regarding scheduling follow up for abnormal lab and/or radiology and attempt to reach patients and schedule follow ups.
  4. A fourth agent was trained as Doctor’s personal assistant, under his direct supervision, is reviewing thousands of his outstanding messages.
  5. A location supervisor was trained to be knowledgeable in all tasks of the remote agents, responsible for input office practices and train new agents, fill in for absent agents, and communicate all issues and goals directly with the Front Desk Supervisor.

Proposed Solutions

  1. Delineate all the tasks performed by a receptionist.
  2. Calculate how many employees needed to complete all tasks on time (usually based on patient volume. Perfecting this will improve patient satisfaction, retention of current patients, and attracting new patients to ensure maximum office scheduling.)
  3. Analyze which tasks can be performed remotely and which require employee presence in the physical office location.
  4. Explore alternative staffing options to: Outsource 50-60% of “mundane” work performed by expensive trained employees that can be performed remotely. Unload “mundane” work from the current employees and entrust them with higher level tasks. Let them concentrate on patient satisfaction, improved patient flow and communication between all the other team members (patient, provider, medical assistant, radiology technician, biller, manager, etc.)
  5. Lower payroll costs (minimum wage in NYS is $15/hr or $40K annual, considering payroll tax, workman's comp, disability, bonuses, etc.) Ensure continuous, uninterrupted functioning of all components of the practice, to prevent unnecessary high expenses associated with employees absenteeism, not to mention 20 legally paid days (holidays, sick days, vacations). Increase the educational level of future employees. (minimum wage may get you a high school graduate, or someone with inadequate language skills.)
  6. Delineate all the tasks performed by a receptionist.
  7. Calculate how many employees needed to complete all tasks on time (usually based on patient volume. Perfecting this will improve patient satisfaction, retention of current patients, and attracting new patients to ensure maximum office scheduling.)
  8. Analyze which tasks can be performed remotely and which require employee presence in the physical office location.
  9. Explore alternative staffing options to: Outsource 50-60% of “mundane” work performed by expensive trained employees that can be performed remotely. Unload “mundane” work from the current employees and entrust them with higher level tasks. Let them concentrate on patient satisfaction, improved patient flow and communication between all the other team members (patient, provider, medical assistant, radiology technician, biller, manager, etc.)
  10. Lower payroll costs (minimum wage in NYS is $15/hr or $40K annual, considering payroll tax, workman's comp, disability, bonuses, etc.) Ensure continuous, uninterrupted functioning of all components of the practice, to prevent unnecessary high expenses associated with employees absenteeism, not to mention 20 legally paid days (holidays, sick days, vacations).
  11. Increase the educational level of future employees. (minimum wage may get you a high school graduate, or someone with inadequate language skills.)
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