If you’re a health insurance company dealing with a global pandemic like COVID-19, you may be experiencing higher call volume to your call center at this time. There are likely to be thousands or even tens of thousands of people calling to ask about your company’s specific benefits and coverage policies, especially as they pertain to telehealth services or home health visits, during the coronavirus.
As the number of coronavirus cases continues to grow exponentially, many health insurance companies are taking steps to preserve margins while making sure that patients receive the testing and treatment needed to prevent a full-blown coronavirus outbreak. Some states are issuing emergency orders, asking state-regulated health insurance companies to waive deductibles and copayments for patients who need tests, to allow early refills for prescription drugs and to suspend prior authorization requirements for COVID-19 related testing.
On the flip side, all of these changes in health insurance coverage policies based on state mandates mean that patients want to know now what is covered and what is not covered by their insurance policies. And they are going to want to know whether or not telehealth services or home health visits are now covered, especially now that there is a new expansion of telehealth services for seniors in an effort to prevent patients from visiting doctor’s offices and risk the spread of the coronavirus.
This means much higher call volume over the next few weeks as healthcare updates continue to be made, based on state mandates, and patients call to ask what those updates mean for their coverage. Therefore, it is essential to have a thorough plan prepared for your call center to handle higher call volume during a pandemic.
On top of insurance concerns, patients are likely under a lot of stress, what with travel restrictions, the stock market crashing, countries on lockdown and millions of people in quarantine. People across the world are dealing with the anxiety and economic impact of COVID-19, so it’s more important than ever that your call center is ready to help answer questions and concerns for patients.
How to handle higher call volume during a pandemic like COVID-19
Global pandemics like COVID-19 can be scary and can cause higher call volume due to patients asking about their coverage. Use this guide to prepare your call center for higher call volume at this time.
- Reach out to patients now. Even if your call center is used to taking inbound calls, it is crucial that you take the time now to reach out to patients and make them aware of what is happening and what their coverage is and let them know that they are able to reach out to you if needed for questions and concerns. ChaseData let’s you reach out with automated live calls and automated, personalized voicemail drops that free up agents to handle inbound calls.
- Prepare for patient questions. No matter what your operational situation is, today’s policy holders want instant answers to all of their questions, problems and concerns. Most people are in quarantine right now and feeling a lot of fear, so it’s your job to answer their questions as efficiently as possible while also reassuring them. Use on-hold messages, scheduled call backs, etc. to speed up the delivery of answers to policy holder questions.
- Calm patients’ anxiety. Your policy holders are feeling a lot of anxiety right now, and they want both reassurance and up-to-date accurate information now. Your call center truly represents the face of your business and your brand, so you want your call center to be thoroughly prepared with the tools you need for a seamless patient experience.
- Automation will make your call center more productive. Right now is the perfect time to start using ChaseData call center software to automate functions in your call center. ChaseData’s CCaaS (Call Center as a Service) efficiently connects many more outbound calls, precisely routes a larger volume of inbound calls to the right departments and agents, integrates your back office systems and the web-based apps your agents rely on securely. The net result is that more of your agents are able to handle more policy holders’ calls quickly.
So there you have it! Now you have several ideas to help you handle higher call volume from patients during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Schedule a call with a ChaseData specialist to discuss how your health insurance company can handle higher call volume during the coronavirus or COVID-19 outbreak.