Hiring a team for an important job like answering the phone for your chiropractic service can be incredibly stressful.

You don’t want to choose the wrong company, but you also don’t want to overpay for a service that someone else might do just as well for less. It’s a hard line to walk, but you don’t have to go it alone. We put our heads together and came up with these five very important questions to ask before you choose your new chiropractor answering service.

#1. Do you offer HIPAA-compliant answering services?

As a chiropractor, you’re just as bound to HIPAA as a surgeon or a nurse.

If your answering service isn’t, that means a lot of patient health information is at risk of being lost to the wild. Since you chose the answering service as your HIPAA business partner, you’re responsible for their behavior and you get the fines and other reprimands.

#2. Can you explain your after-hours triage process?

Any answering service with an after hours answering team should also have some kind of triage process in place to help judge which callers are emergencies and which can be called back in the morning. Having a base process is good, but letting you specify what patient symptoms you consider to be an emergency is a sign of a really amazing answering service company.

#3. Do you offer overflow call answering?

Overflow is one of the most important services a busy chiropractic office like yours can have.

When callers start backing up and everyone’s being put on hold, you know that your patients are getting frustrated. Instead of that, overflow call answering can automatically transfer those callers to the answering service. They’ll take a message and send it right back to the office or, if it’s a real emergency or someone specific needs to be contacted, patch the caller per your instructions.

#4. Can your team schedule appointments for me?

Appointment scheduling in any sort of medical office eats up so much time.

Some patients call to reschedule the same appointment multiple times and others simply fail to cancel when they know they can’t make it because they just didn’t feel like they needed to come in. When you have a dedicated appointment scheduling team, it gives your callers the freedom to call any time of the day to change their schedule. Bonuses if you’ll be updated in real-time.

#5. How does billing work?

If you’ve used an answering service before, you probably already know that there are several different ways to bill for answering services.

Some companies bill by the call, others by the minute, in various increments. Others will build you a package with so many “free” minutes or calls included, after which there’s an additional fee per call or minute. If you go with a service that bills by the minute, make sure to choose the best company with the lowest billing increment, whether that’s 15 seconds or six seconds.

Running a chiropractic office means that you’re in charge of the care of many people who couldn’t make it without you. Make sure your new answering service is as invested in their success as you are.