Medical transcription is standard procedure in the healthcare industry.
As a provider/partner, medical transcription is just another expense that has to be factored into the budgeting process. But how much is too much? And is it possible to make your dollars go farther than they are now?
Right out of the gate, you'll need to decide whether to outsource your medical transcription needs or handle them in-house. From a cost perspective, in-house transcription is considerably more expensive than outsourcing. Industry statistics demonstrate that outsourced transcription can be 50% less costly than assigning it to a full-time or part-time staff member.
If you decide to outsource your transcription, there are a number of cost considerations to consider, starting with the way transcription providers bill for services and how you can manage your overall transcription expense.
Standard Billing Procedures
Medical transcription services almost always charge on a per-line basis. The industry standard defines a line as 65 characters (including spaces). Depending on the quality of the service and the features they offer, rates range from $.07-$.20 per line. However, most medical practices and hospitals can secure reliable transcription services for between $.12 and $.14 per line. It's possible to secure a contract that is billed on a per-report basis, but that kind of pricing is rare and is reserved for practices that require a high volume of short reports.
Offshore vs. Domestic
Offshore outsourcing has firmly entrenched itself in the medical transcription service industry. Offshore providers tout the same quality of service at a lower price with workflows that leverage time zone differentials. Many medical practices are uncomfortable dealing with offshore providers, but if you're looking for a way to cut costs, offshore outsourcing is an option to consider.
Offshore outsourcing isn't the only way to manage your medical transcription service costs. Medical providers who are willing to enter into slightly longer contracts or minimum volume requirements are awarded vendor discounts. With a little planning, you can also minimize the incurring the high costs associated with turnaround times of less than 24 hours. If you're happy with your service (but not the cost) have a conversation with your vendor about what can be done to reduce your monthly expense.