Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Medical transcription: Billing methods and line count methodology

When it comes to outsourcing medical transcription needs, there are many factors to be considered. A healthcare facility needs to analyze what it exactly hopes to gain from outsourcing and then has to evaluate a medical transcription service provider on the basis of these criteria.

But one of the most important and often ignored factors is the billing method used by the medical transcription service provider. On the face of it, this could seem trivial, but it is really important to study this to ensure that the partnership with the service provider works in the long run. Comparing quotes by different providers could be like comparing apples to oranges. One needs to understand the variables in the billing methods used to make an equitable evaluation.

There are different methods of billing; some of the methods are as follows:

Page: Under this method the client will be charged on the number of pages transcribed. This seems like a fair and verifiable method unless one looks at it in depth. The disparity arises because of differences in the contents of a page. A page could have as many as 46 lines or have a low as 10 lines. However the amount charged would remain the same regardless of the contents of the page.

Report: Under this method the client will be charged a flat rate on each report transcribed. Again this is not a fair method of calculating rates for transcription as the number of pages and lines in a report could vary vastly.

Minute: Under this method the client would be charged on the number of minutes transcribed. This would mean that a slow talker would be charged more than a fast talker. This method would also include interruptions and any other intrusions that occur while a healthcare professional is dictating. Factors like accent, specialty of the healthcare professional could affect the cost of transcription.

Gross lines: Under this method a client would be charged on a visual count of lines. Many healthcare professionals do prefer this method given the ease of calculation. However what they do not realize is that under this method the bill could be beefed up by double spacing and other formatting tricks.

Visible black character: Under this method the client would be charged on the characters that are visible. This method does not provide for equitable charges for the efforts put in by the medical transcriptionists for spacing, formatting, bolding, italicizing, underlining, tab sets etc. Normally the charges under this method are inflated taking into consideration these factors, making this method unattractive.

Character line: Under this method the total number of characters transcribed including space and returns are added and the total is divided by a predefined number like 50, 60, 65 characters to arrive at the total number of lines transcribed.

The character line method of billing has the advantage of meeting all the criteria of “ Billing method principles” as recommended by the MTIA.

According to the billing method principles advocated by the MTIA a billing method has to be:

  • Verifiable
  • Definable
  • Measurable
  • Consistent
  • Fair and honest 
TransDyne has adopted the character line method of billing, charging 10 cents for a 65-character line. This ensures that the client is charged a price, which is fair and easy to understand. Care is taken to make sure that the healthcare facility has no doubts about the method about the line count methodology and the billing method.

TransDyne offers quality medical transcription at reasonable prices, executed by experienced and qualified medical transcriptionists with a very quick turnaround time executed through secure HIPAA and HITECH compliant channels, with very high levels of accuracy and all this with technology that is advanced but easy to use!               

To avail low cost medical transcription services from TransDyne, click here.

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