Contact Centers in Healthcare Industry Have Challenges, Opportunities

acaSince the Affordable Care Act passed in 2010, more than five million Americans have signed up for health insurance coverage through federal and state marketplaces, millions have been given Medicaid eligibility, and three million young adults gained insurance through their parents’ coverage. These numbers mean an overwhelming amount of phone time for call centers in healthcare facilities.

Challenges Facing Healthcare Contact Centers

Millions of Americans and thousands of small businesses must navigate new responsibilities as regulations from the ACA begin to unfold. What this means for contact centers in the healthcare industry is increased traffic online and more phone calls. Agents will need to be prepared to handle patient questions and concerns and hospital requests. Potential issues at these contact centers could be additional wait times, and pressures to increase staffing and improve agent training. One way call center managers can relieve some of these pressures is to implement self-service options for customers and having readily available information on frequently asked questions, contact numbers for healthcare navigators and information on widespread policy changes.

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One 2013 study by the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia estimated over 500,000 new hospital patients after ACA is fully implemented. Health systems and health-related business will need to prepare for the influx of new patients with proper training of call centers agents and management. Call centers need to address the increased workload of their agents. One way to respond is to improve agent training.

Managers Should Seek Expert Insight, New Ideas

Attending conferences is another way call center managers can get ideas and insight into how the changes in the healthcare system will affect their call center business. An upcoming conference in Atlanta is looking at the cultural, technological and generational transformation that’s happening in the healthcare call center industry. There are also upcoming conferences in Philadelphia and Minneapolis.

Invest in High Quality Training for Agents

The changes in the health industry are complex and will continue unfold in the years to come. To stay ahead of the curve, we recommend investing in world class call center training. My company is a leader in call center coaching, and we can help your call center adapt to these new changes. We offer the training, coaching, and consulting necessary to help each agent be confident in guiding your customers.

Is your healthcare call center falling behind? We can help you get back on track with a free consultation session.

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