Questions and Answers
Q: What is outsourcing?
A: Outsourcing is primarily done with medical reports. Actually, there are two different types of outsourcing: One type of outsourcing is when a provider of service sends their work outside of their location to be transcribed, i.e., to a local service or individual Transcriptionist here in the United States simply because the provider requires additional help with their workload or because they do not have a Transcriptionist or MT Department on site.
The ‘other’ type outsourcing (which is heavily discussed in the news today) is when the confidential voice file dictations or documents of a United States resident are sent ‘overseas’ to a foreign service or worker. This latter type of outsourcing is extremely detrimental to patient confidentiality and quality issues, and globally overall with regard to our United States economy from which all US Healthcare Personnel derive their income (Doctors, Nurses, Facilities, and Transcriptionists). Additionally, turn around time (TAT) may be affected by overseas outsourcing as well as having an impact on prudent “standard of care”.
This ‘overseas’ type of work most often does not carry with it the United States standard of quality and integrity which is partly attributed to cultural differences and perhaps different standards in work ethics. The outside-of-the-US Transcriptionist often struggles with obvious common phraseology, and our language differences can create needless, multiple, time-consuming mistakes, which then of course will require time-consuming correction by you (as the provider of record) prior to your signature.
Q: Is outsourcing work to foreign (non-US) countries giving US Medical Transcription a ‘bad name’?
A: The answer is a resounding NO! Actually, quite frankly, much to the contrary! Although we firmly believe that US work should be transcribed in the country where the medical practice is located, it is becoming common knowledge that foreign Transcriptionists are doing an ‘awful’ job and thus many clients are now quite adamant in demanding their patient’s reports be transcribed ONLY here in the United States.
As stated, many American colloquialisms and/or “Doctor-specific phraseologies” are quite easily misunderstood by the outsourced non-US Transcriptionists and non-US Transcription Service Editors, and those completed reports often do not accurately reflect what was dictated. Unfortunately and further confusing is the disturbing trend for a non-US Transcription Service to ‘set up shop’ here in our United States so that the Healthcare Providers naturally ‘assume’ their work is being transcribed here. Distressingly, those ‘Services’ are intentionally located here in the United States and then re-route US-patient-related work overseas, and oftentimes those Services may refuse to openly admit or volunteer the information that they are doing so. However, the quality of returned reports from these “overseas” Services tells the true story of this type of outsourcing. This disgrace carries an economic impact when a non-US Service merely located within the US for some sort of residency credibility, undercuts hardworking, conscientious US (Professional) MTs and at the same time financially exploits non-US MTs. NJ Transcription will never condone exploitation of anyone.
In utilizing a United States Medical Transcriptionist, Healthcare Providers are strictly assured and confident in knowing their returned reports will be accurate and HIPAA-compliant, and of course, confidentiality-bound, which is a prudent choice by the Healthcare Provider given the stiff penalties imposed under HIPAA regulations for infractions breeching PHI (protected health information) confidentiality. The complex issues of PHI confidentiality and turn around time are exceptionally hard to address and contain when voice files or medical records are intentionally sent outside of the United States. In conclusion, for this reason (with no offense intended), we firmly support ONLY United States Services for United States patients and/or their respective healthcare records, which includes any and all transcriptions, radiology reports or studies, and any manner of US-resident documentation. Regarding Confidentiality: We comply with all attendant patient and/or provider confidentiality responsibilities, including State and Federal PHI in maintaining strict confidentiality of your sensitive/private information. Every NJ Transcription Transcriptionist is required to sign a Confidentiality Agreement with us so you know your work is bound and covered against any disclosure of PHI.
Lastly, as we all know, the old adages are true (which is why they are adages) – You DO get what you pay for! What one may save in the short term, may end up costing more in the long run. Our recommendation? In-shoring your work.
Q: What is Digital Technology?
A: Digital Technology is absolutely wonderful! Digital affords you greater flexibility in your dictations. You dictate wherever you choose and whenever you choose, and then simply upload your dictations to us via your computer, uploading when it is convenient for your staff utilizing our “Secure Server”. We at NJ Transcription constantly and consistently maintain our own “Secure Upload Site” for your voice file upload(s) and document(s) return. We provide you with your own private “vault” protected by a username and password which only you and we (NJ Transcription) have. Each individual client’s account is kept separate from other clients. Truly a private vault location for only your work.
Q: What is “proper report format”?
A: Proper report format means your reports are prepared in strict accordance with AAMT (American Association of Medical Transcription) and AHDI (Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity) Guidelines to name only two standards we utilize and are of course formatted to comply with all of your specific requirements and instructions. Requestor requirements may be State and/or Federal Government reporting requirements with regard to headings and information contained therein, and/or formatted to comply with insurance company IME, DDS, or SSI Consultation Report requirements, or as required by your specific medical specialty or adjunct procedures performed. Importantly, we don’t “pad” our reports or add unnecessary lines or spaces, nor increase the margins or fonts needlessly to make your report lengthier and cost you more – That is truly unnecessary and unethical by our standards. We more often than not will politely suggest removing unnecessary white spaces from your present documents.
Q: What is a “qualified” Transcriptionist?
A: NJ Transcription only employs experienced US Transcriptionists and we thoroughly train your Transcriptionist in proper format, terminology, spellings, AAMT/AHDI Guidelines along with your specific report requirements, thus ensuring proper grammar and usage, etc. We, as a matter of course, routinely screen and QA your work before it is returned to you.
Q: What about quality?
A: We take pride that we provide you with clean, accurate documents within an exceptional turn-around-time, doing so for what we feel is a very reasonable page rate rather than an expensive line or character rate. We always strive to uphold professionalism in your document and our work at all times. We utilize digital technology the clarity of which provides very few “unintelligible” flags. A ‘flagged’ item is an alert to an unclear word or phrase which requires your further attention. We are not permitted to and never ‘guess’ as to what is being said; we transcribe verbatim. Again, your work goes through QA before it is returned to you.
Q: What are “reasonable rates”?
A: There is no reason for you to wonder if you are being billed for the correct amount of lines or pages dictated. We prefer to bill you by the page (That is: A page, is a page, is a page). It is that simple (for all concerned – both for you and us)! However, if you currently work under a line or character rate with your present service, we can provide a very competitive comparative rate, although again, we would much prefer to give you a similarly competitive page rate. We do not believe in charging a character rate and rarely if ever do so. In either standard scenario, our rate and billing method will save you money and needless headaches with your Accountant with regard to your tax-deductible transcription services!
In closing, regardless of one’s requested billing method, we always offer our clients excellent documents within a surprisingly short TAT, at a very competitive rate. Your weekly or twice monthly invoice is always a detailed invoice (at no extra charge) showing the date of service to your patient, date of your digital upload, date transcribed, patient name, page count (or line count), and the date the reports were returned to your secure vault.