Archive for Medical Transcription

Transcription trade groups offer ethics guide

By Joseph Conn

The medical transcription industry, represented by its two trade groups, is preparing for what it sees as the possibility of heightened privacy, security and fraud enforcement by coming up with its own guidebook of ethics and best practices.

The Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity, an association of medical transcription practitioners, formerly known as the American Association for Medical Transcription, and the Medical Transcription Industry Association, the trade group for transcription service providers, have released their “Manual of Ethical Best Practices for the Healthcare Documentation Sector.”

The release of the full guideline is timed to coincide with the MTIA’s annual conference April 28th-May 1st in Daytona Beach, Fla., according to Peter Preziosi, CEO of the two organizations, which formed what they describe as “a strategic legal partnership” in 2007.

Scott Edelstein, a Washington, D.C., lawyer in the healthcare law practice at Squire, Sanders & Dempsey, was the lead author of the manual for the MTIA and AHDI. Edelstein said that more stringent privacy and security protections in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009—which include new breach notification provisions and empower state attorneys general to enforce HIPAA privacy laws—as well as the increased fraud-fighting sections of the recently enacted Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, will likely yield more government enforcement activities going forward, Edelstein said.

And that prompted the two trade groups to take a pro-active approach in producing the manual. “I think just generally, the tone for this administration is going to be increased in enforcement, because there is increased sensitivity for privacy of information,” Edelstein said.

“Most of the companies in the medical transcription industry tend to be small mom-and-pop operations, but they’re handling such sensitive information,” he said. “The concern is that some of these companies may not have taken all the measures needed under HIPAA and fraud and compliance laws, and this manual was to provide guidance for them.”

Data on the medical transcription industry is somewhat sketchy. The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics places the number of medical transcriptionists in the U.S. workforce at around 100,000, but the BLS figures don’t capture independent contractors, according to Preziosi, “and I’d say a good 50% are independent contractors.”

Add in small physician offices where the office manager might double for an MT and, all told, there may be as many as 250,000 to 300,000 medical transcriptions working full or part-time for 1,500 to 1,700 companies, mostly sole proprietorships, though there also are a handful of “giants,” he said.

The manual offers a best practices check list, copies of the codes of ethics of both organizations, guides on billing practices and the rules on hiring employees vs. independent contractors, roughly 170 pages devoted to compliance with Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act privacy and security rules, a how-to section on establishing a HIPAA-compliant home-based office, and a “50-state data privacy survey,” according to a listing of the manual’s contents on the AHDI website.

Such guidance doesn’t come cheap. Copies of the manual cost $4,000 for non members of the two associations, with prices ranging between free to $750 for MTIA members and $750 or $950 for AHDI members.

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Transcription Association Releases Highly Anticipated Compliance and Practice Guidelines for Healthcare Documentation and Speech Recognition Adoption

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Industry best practices, corporate transparency, and legal compliance will be the major topics of discussion at the 21st Annual Conference of the Medical Transcription Industry Association (MTIA) April 28 through May 1 in Daytona Beach, Florida. MTIA and its partner organization, the Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI), will announce the completion of their Manual of Ethical Best Practices for the Healthcare Documentation Sector at the conference and use the event as an opportunity to highlight the importance of best practices to the future success of the medical transcription industry and profession. Additionally, a speech recognition adoption guide will be released to address the relevance of speech recognition technology as an evolving method of clinical documentation and to present operational and fiscal implications for technology adoption.

Heightened privacy and security requirements, increased calls for transparency of operations, greater reliance on speech recognition technologies, and a growing home-based workforce prompted the need to release these best practice guides. “With the emerging demand from healthcare delivery for increased standardization and greater specificity around exchange of health information, it is time for the healthcare documentation sector to look closely at its compliance practices and at evolving technologies to capture and deliver health information safely and securely,” states MTIA 2010 Board of Directors Chairperson Eileen Dwyer. “We want to be a resource for business owners and users of our services in developing best practices that reflect high-integrity business practices and promote transparency around key issues that reflect well on the industry as a whole.”

The Speech Recognition Adoption Guide is designed to help consumers understand adoption-related issues, impact, terminology, standards, and metrics. In addition, the guide presents unified perspectives of the varying stakeholder groups concerning issues such as documentation quality and risk management.

About MTIA

The Medical Transcription Industry Association (MTIA) is the world’s largest trade association serving medical transcription service organizations.

About AHDI

The Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI), is the world’s largest professional society representing the clinical documentation sector whose purpose is to set and uphold standards for education and practice in the field of health data capture and documentation.

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Accurate, Affordable Medical Transcription for Group Practices

By Rajeev Rajagopal

The healthcare industry is booming like never before. The substantial growth rate has triggered a massive response from BPO companies that offer accurate, affordable medical transcription for group practices. Hospitals, clinics, and healthcare centers strive to find the best transcription service providers in order to get quality service.

Physicians in group practices can’t often find time to manage the great inflow of patients and in addition to this, tight schedules and meetings hardly allow them any time off from work. Failure to manage their medical records properly would make patients lose faith in a medical practice and jeopardize its reputation. To employ staff for undertaking the work would not be practical owing to the huge expenses involved in terms of salary, employee benefits and other factors.

The practical approach to the problem lies in seeking the services of a reputable medical transcription company which would efficiently meet all the requirements regardless of the quantity of work the practice has. Most of the work is outsourced and therefore the cost of service tends to be considerably less. The practice could save as much as about 40%. In the long run, this would prove to be a great financial gain.

To provide accurate, affordable medical transcription for group practices outsourcing companies utilize the latest technology and software and complete the jobs entrusted within minimal turnabout time. Multilevel quality checks by quality analysts and verification of work by proofreaders ensure that transcription work is flawless.

HIPAA compliant companies take adequate safety and security measures. Encryption of data and transfer of files via FTP ensure dedicated and seamless connectivity. Last but not the least, round the clock customer/technical support addresses every issue to ensure customer satisfaction.

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Voice Transcription Software To Grow A Medical Transcription Business

Companies who are in the medical transcription industry may underestimate the importance of a powerful voice transcription software platform. Consider for a moment that almost every function of that business will be affected by and handled by that system and it is easy to see how important it is to select the right one. Trying to save money on a system that does not significantly improve the productivity of medical transcriptionists can end up being a waste of capital.

There are many ways that voice transcription software can improve the profitability of a medical transcription business. The equation for making money is fairly simple; revenue has to go up and expenses must go down. The right voice transcription software platform can help a company to do both of these things.

In terms of reducing costs, things that medical transcription companies can look for in a software platform are advantages like local dictation telephone numbers that reduce the telephone bill. If a provider of this software has local numbers that are based in major centers across the country, then long distance charges will be minimized. It may not seem like a large expense, but when all of the clients that are dictating into a system are doing so for long periods of time and frequently then it can add up quickly.

Because the systems are so technical, often it can be beyond the abilities of the medical transcription company to maintain the voice transcription software and the servers that it will run on. This should be handled by the provider, and a good one will offer the large amount of storage space required at a good price. It will also be able to commit to having technical support available when it is needed.

Upgrades to the voice transcription software can also be expensive. When a transcription company is looking to engage a software provider, they should inquire about what kind of future costs they will have to shoulder for system upgrades. It is also important to know that upgrades can be facilitated without the need to bring down the system.

Improving profitability also has to do with increased revenue. If a voice transcription software platform can allow every medical transcriptionist to produce more in the same amount of time then this will have an effect on the company’s fortunes. This means having the ability to review and edit the document quickly and it also requires a seamless distribution of the work to medical transcriptionists. When documents are complete, it should also incorporate an automated system that delivers the finished product to clients.

Companies should move very carefully when they are considering purchasing a voice transcription software platform. It touches every department of their business and ones that provide a complete system will reduce the administrative burden on a company. When much of the tedium that was present in the industry in past years is eliminated by advanced software platforms, companies can then focus on retaining good talent and acquiring new clients.

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Medical Transcription Poised For Bigger Things Ahead

By Arvind Kashyap

Ever since the beginning of medical services & procedures around the world, there was always a need for properly writing down medical procedures. It was an important thing, because it could be easily referred to whenever a patient’ treatment history was required. Hence, initially it started with Doctor’s assistants writing down treatment procedures for the future reference of the doctor. But these instructions which were purely in Medical terms needed to be elaborated for easy comprehension of others in the medical fraternity.

To address this problem, and help in creating a comprehensible treatment history of every patient, Medical Transcription was formally introduced. The task of a Medical Transcriptionist thus involved understanding the medical jargon written by the doctor’s assistant, and document the same in easily understandable language. Slowly, this practice became popular and with the advent of recording devices, it was completely transformed to a totally new level.

The recorded tapes could now be sent to Medical Transcription companies located at the farthest corners of the world, and they would document the tape and send it across through internet in just a matter of hours. With the increasing presence of internet, Medical Transcription Services have attained greater significance in developed countries across the world. Doctors practicing in US, Canada, Australia & Europe are hiring transcription Companies based in Developing countries for their transcription work.

Countries like India have seen a big rise in the number of Companies, because of abundant availability of educated labor, who are able to deliver highly accurate transcription work at fairly cheap rates. And this also is the prime reason behind outsourcing of Medical Transcription Services to India which is growing at a pretty healthy rate through the past few years.

Considering the fact that rising concern about quality health services is only going up all the time, the future does look quite bright for people working in the business of transcription in India. As more and more Doctors in the west queue-up for quality Transcription services, the Transcription companies in India are sure looking for a pretty busy and booming future ahead.

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