This article was written by Jacqueline Oberst.
As hospitals look for more ways to improve their operating margins, we outline six key strategies to manage your healthcare telecommunication costs.
The effective management of telecommunication costs can deliver significant cost savings to your hospital. The challenge for most health systems is the often overwhelming volume of data they see each month which may deter them from realizing the potential cost saving opportunities available.
But as new technologies continue to emerge and hospitals become more dependent on their services, executing an effective strategy to manage your healthcare telecommunication costs is vital.
These six strategies offer a number of different ways for your hospital to manage its telecommunication costs.
Compare Invoice to Contract Pricing
Your telecom contracts should be consistently reviewed for inaccuracies as your hospital could be overpaying by up to 40% in excess costs.
In our experience at VIE Healthcare Consulting, 80% of all telecom invoices contain errors that could be affecting your total charges.
80% of all telecom invoices contain errors that could affect your total charges. Click To Tweet
That makes it critical for your hospital to verify contract pricing and invoice charges as follows:
- It’s important to ensure the pricing in your contracts matches the pricing on your invoices.
- It is equally important to ensure the correct price is applied to your account.
You might also want to check if your State allows hospitals to access telecommunication vendor contracts within their procurement program. This will help you to determine if your hospital is paying the standard rate.
In any case, telecommunication contracts should be reviewed on an annual basis at a minimum.
Get Notified of Contract Renewals
A contract renewal presents an opportunity to renegotiate terms and pricing while helping your hospital to avoid price increases and keep specific items under contract. If your contracts renew without a thorough review, you are missing an opportunity to improve both the quality and cost of service. Additionally, engaging end users to determine their short and long term goals helps to specifically negotiate how the contract will be affected by either adding or reducing services.
Review Monthly Line Item Details in Invoices
Reviewing the line item details in your monthly telecommunication invoices may be extremely time-consuming but overlooking this process may cause you to overpay for erroneous billing every month. VIE Healthcare utilizes its automated Invoice ROI™ technology to rapidly identify, reconcile, optimize and benchmark pricing and utilization of every line item detail in your monthly invoices.
Use Technology to Manage Costs Across Locations
Managing telecommunication costs across all locations is challenging and often results in unnecessary charges. For instance, healthcare organizations sometimes unknowingly carry service charges for decommissioned locations. Again, VIE Healthcare’s Invoice ROI™ can identify multiple errors across all locations and with different telecom vendors.
Identify Inaccurate Application of Taxes and Surcharges
For effective management of telecommunication costs, all healthcare organizations should review:
- Taxes and surcharges to ensure your invoices are accurate prior to making a payment.
- Confirm that all overcharges are properly credited back to the account. This should include historical invoices to determine if there were any additional fees or surcharges that you were not obligated to pay.
At VIE Healthcare, we have extensive benchmark data available for telecommunication pricing that consists of voice services, local usage, long distance usage and circuit pricing for various size clients.
Implement A Sustainable Process
Finally, once you’ve streamlined your telecom operations and costs, we recommend training your staff to continue with these best practices for a sustainable cost reduction process.
Since 1999, our team of experts in healthcare telecommunication cost reduction and management has realized a sustainable 25%-40% in cost savings for our clients.
To learn how we can help your organization, call our office today at 1-888-484-3332, Ext 500, or email us at [email protected] for a complimentary consultation.
Join the discussion! We’d love to have you in our Healthcare Telecommunication Professionals LinkedIn group where we share more resources, ideas and strategies related to this critical area in your hospital.