I don't make phone calls to patients or accept phone calls from patients. All phone calls go through either the triage nurse, or through my MA.
I have the MA call and deliver the message I provide: "Blue Devil said your CT was negative. There is no evidence of ________(whatever we were looking for)." Or "Blue Devil said your TSH was WNL, no changes to your medications." If they have questions, they need an appointment. If their test demonstrated worrisome findings, the MA calls and says "I'm Jane from ABC Health, we'd like to schedule your follow-up visit to go over your test results..." Or, "Blue Devil said your TSH is off and requires a medication consult, when would you like to schedule that?" She is very crisp, very professional. I have heard her on the phone countless times and I like the way she handles it. She is very good at screening things, can anticipate most answers (she knows I'm almost always going to say no to whatever they are asking for, lol) and knows what information to get from the patient to pass along a complete report to me about a situation. We do all of the communiction electronically so it is part of the patient's medical record, which is nice, and it saves everyone a lot of time.
I also don't do paperwork without a visit, even if it means they just come sit in a chair and watch me fill it out! Anything that requires me to "certify" anything = a visit, and anything that requires more than simply a signature = a visit. People get po'd about that, as if I'm supposed to spend 30 minutes filling out their forms for the government, schools
, camps, FMLA, etc in the evenings at home on my own time. Um, no. You want something from me, you will pay me for my time, just like I pay my lawyer for his time. I do my pro bono work in another venue, not from my office!
There is talk that we are going to start doing phone consults and bill for them, but I don't know how that is going to work.