6 Critical Aspects When Choosing a Virtual Medical Assistant Service
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Virtual medical assistants have become integral to the working of healthcare enterprises thanks to the internet and cloud-based software. An excellent virtual medical assistant (VMA) is like an unsung hero of medical practice, working behind the scenes while providing various benefits to busy healthcare practitioners. VMA services can help nurses, doctors, and other medical team members streamline their workflow and increase the efficiency of their daily operations.

Considerations When Choosing a Virtual Medical Service

With so many virtual medical assistant services, it can be tricky to find the right one for your practice. If you have a shortlist of certain VMA providers, compare each of the following parameters.

1. Skill

Every VMA you hire possesses a particular skill set, which determines the service they render to your medical practice. For instance, if the VMA is skilled in medical billing, they will handle all the billing tasks for your practice, including claims submission, AR follow-up with insurance companies, charge review and approval, and denial management. A VMA skilled in customer service will attend to your phone lines, verifying patients’ appointments by speaking with them on the phone and texting or chatting with them on your website or your social media handles.

There are several other skills that a virtual medical assistant can bring to the table, and it may be impossible to find one VMA with all those skills. It is important to choose a virtual medical assistance service that provides a wide range of services. This way, your practice will acquire the required skills to execute non-clinical tasks.

Also, the wide range of services a VMA company offers will come in handy when you need to scale up services as you hire more providers or reduce your operating costs by reducing the number of full-time staff.

2. Location

When it comes to virtual assistants, you can choose between onshore or offshore VMAs. Let’s briefly look at the two groups to consider what’s best for you.

  • Onshore VMAs work in a country where the medical practice is domiciled. It is expected that an onshore VMA is easier to communicate with because of the similarity in language/ accent and because they are in the same time zone. However, an onshore VMA service will be significantly more expensive than an offshore provider.
  • Offshore VMAs work in different countries. Compared to their onshore counterparts, offshore VMAs are the more cost-efficient option, with services starting at $5 per hour. Most back-office processing companies that cater to US healthcare providers use HIPAA compliant software and processes.

Some of the best VMA service companies are found in Southeast Asian countries like India and the Philippines because:

  1. They have a good understanding of American culture.
  2. They are fluid in the English language.
  3. They are extremely cost-competitive.

Some offshore VMA companies also have representatives based in the US for ease of communication and coordination with their US-based clients.

3. Availability

Do you need a VMA to work part-time, 8-hour, or 12-hour shifts? One beautiful thing about getting a virtual medical assistant is that the schedule is flexible; unlike your traditional office staff, they are not restricted to regular working hours. Because they work remotely, they can offer their services at different times.

4. Software and data protection

Ask the skills the VMA service has in working with the practice management software used at your medical practice. The Elite virtual assistant team has experience with the following software:

  • Advanced MD
  • GE Centricity
  • Avid Anesthesiology
  • Med Evolve
  • Eclinical Works
  • MedInformatix
  • Athena One
  • Allscripts
  • Kareo and many others

Equally important is understanding the data security standards at the VMA provider to safeguard your data from the threat of cyberattacks.

5. Experience in working with practices of your specialty

What experience do the prospective VMA services have in working with practices of your specialty? Elite Offshore Resources has worked with major specialties, including:

– Anesthesia
– Orthopedics
– Urology
– General physicians
– Diagnostic & Interventional Cardiology
– Gastroenterology
– Plastic, Reconstructive, and Aesthetic surgery
– Neurology
– Neurosurgery
– Endocrinology
– Primary Care Physicians
– Podiatry
– Internal Medicine
– Psychiatry
– Radiology

6. Office facilities and business continuity

While some VMA companies have staff that works from home, others have sufficient office facilities for the VMAs. When the VMA’s are work-from-home employees, they may struggle with internet service and electricity issues. But VMA’s who work from office facilities are unlikely to have power or internet outages.

Also, it is important to ask the potential virtual medical assistant service about their backup business continuity processes and disaster recovery. You don’t want your VMA to disappear on you because their offices are shut down due to a local political situation or torrential rains in their country.

Whether your practice is just starting, or you need additional help with non-clinical aspects of an established practice, hiring a virtual medical assistant will make life easier for you and your staff. It will give you time to focus on medical tasks and improve the patient experience. Contact Elite Offshore Resources to get the virtual medical assistant service your practice deserves.

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