Using Auto-Dialers Can Negatively Affect Your Medical Organization
Auto-dialers have been around and widely used for well beyond the last decade. At base, this is a technology that automatically dials programmed telephone numbers. For your practice, this might mean loading phone numbers for all past-due invoices and letting the system automatically dial each number. The time savings that this technology offers can be significant, and since you’re paying for that time, switching to an auto-dialer might initially seem like a great way to cut the cost of collections. Unfortunately, the “savings” may end up being more costly than you might think.
Everyone Hates Automated Calls
If you hate getting automated calls, why would your patients like receiving them? If you use an auto-dialer too much, you run the risk of upsetting or losing patients. When auto-dialers are linked with pre-recorded messages, you’ve created a robocall, a term often used when describing scammers. Robocalls have a very bad reputation, and the last thing your business needs is to be painted with the same brush.
Compliance Issues Can Lead to Big Fines
Many organizations do not realize this, but The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) provides strict guidelines about how and when to contact consumers via the telephone. Since the judgment in Nelson v. Santander, which awarded the plaintiff $572,000 in damages related to an auto-dialer, the cost of improper use of this equipment is clear. While that judgment was later vacated, the legal costs alone can be considerable. The use of an auto-dialer could add a considerable unexpected costs of litigation for your organization, especially if you do not get clear, written consent from every patient you contact on their mobile phone.
Customer Service Suffers with Robocalls
With an estimated 3.4 billion robocalls going out in the month of April alone, it should come as no surprise that consumers are using increasingly sophisticated technology to block them. When tech-savvy patients use an app to intercept your reminders, you might see a spike in missed appointments. Apps and other call prevention services can come between your messages and your patients when you use robocalls or other automated dialing technologies. While the goal is to prevent scammers, the use of these technologies can actually put your medical practice in the same category for consumers. These automated technologies are supposed to add another layer to your customer service, but they often do the opposite.
Building Better Relationships with Human Interaction
More calls, or more contacts, which would you prefer? Robocalls don’t offer help with billing errors. Considering that experts estimate that 80 percent of medical invoices contain errors, providing a path to help handle these issues is critical for timely payments. When a billing specialist is on the line with your patients, you know that you are providing a quality interaction that can solve problems. Robocalls irritate, annoy and add tension to an already tense discussion – so buyer beware!
Tavelli Co., Inc. has over 37 years of unparalleled experience in the debt collection and receivables management industry. Our mission is to achieve the right balance between getting clients paid and being empathetic to debtor circumstances, through implementing innovative practices, hiring experienced people, and improving business decisions through analytics. We provide peace of mind to all involved by collecting money with no complaints. Tavelli Co., Inc. takes the time to carefully listen to your customers and share their feedback with you through meaningful data and transparent communication, so you have access to the information you need to make quality decisions and improve your processes in the future. Contact us today and let the debt collection experts at Tavelli Co., Inc. help you set your business up for success.
IMPORTANT: Information provided by Tavelli Co., Inc., any employees of Tavelli Co., Inc., or its subsidiaries is not intended as legal advice and may not be used as legal advice. It is not intended to be a full and exhaustive explanation of the law in any area, nor should it be used to replace the advice of your own legal counsel.