Choosing a medical transcription service isn't necessarily a walk in the park. It takes time to interview each company, dig through their fee structures, and understand their unique selling point. Even though you may have already weighed the pros and cons and determined that outsourcing your transcription needs is the most viable option, selecting a contractor can still be tricky and time-consuming. Plus, making the wrong decision can be costly in terms of productivity and lost revenue.
Before you hire a medical transcription service, here are four questions to ask.
1. What is your fee structure?
Depending on the company you choose, rates may be based per line or per minute. Sometimes additional charges may be included — anything from a monthly service fee to surcharges for rush delivery or editing. Do your best to select a transcription service who uses a simplified fee schedule so that you can calculate your expected expenditures from the start.
2. Do you have a team of skilled editors?
A number of physicians complete their dictations via voice recognition software. If your practice currently does this or plans to do so in the future, make sure that the transcription company you hire has a team of skilled editors too. The voice recognition software will transcribe the file, but to ensure accuracy and completeness, an editor will review the document and check for inconsistencies between the audio file and the final text before sending it back to the physician. Editors provide a critical component of quality assurance.
3. What is your process for handling a data breach?
As we've all seen, data breaches — and the resulting fallout — can happen to anyone. When dealing with a vendor, you need to know if they have dealt with a breach and what their process is for handling one should it occur. Make sure they are HIPAA-compliant and have the appropriate technical and administrative safeguards in place. You also want to find out how your patients' PHI will be treated upon termination of the contract.
4. What can your company do for me that others can't?
This can be a tough question to ask, but it really gets down to the nuts and bolts of why you should hire one company over the other. Is it that they can save you 20 percent annually on transcription services? Or do they have unprecedented customer support? Maybe a faster guaranteed turnaround time and higher accuracy than their competitors? Regardless of what it is, you should be able to walk out of the meeting and have a solid idea of each vendor's unique selling point.
If it's unclear, that may mean you haven't yet found the right medical transcription service. Keep looking and asking more questions though, until you find the one that fits all of your criteria.
What other questions would you ask before hiring a medical transcription service? Please join the conversation below.