Timely, accurate medical transcription key to improving revenue
HIM leaders told us loud and clear in a recent survey that accuracy is essential for improving revenue—and it’s no wonder why. Timely, accurate medical transcription boosts physician productivity and helps maintain a predictable revenue stream for organizations.
Quality medical transcription jump-starts the revenue cycle
Ensuring accurate transcription starts even before physicians dictate. Silent Type works with provider organizations at the beginning of our relationship to create a template for physicians to follow, making it easier for organizations to produce a more complete chart. This helps our transcriptionists quickly turn around consults, operation reports or discharges—usually in just six to 12 hours—and increase the availability of documents to be billed. Our transcribed documents go directly to providers, whose coders can gain access to them through our STARS web-based document management system, via HL7 feeds to an encoder interface or through the hospital EMR. Documents can be coded even before the physicians see them. This starts the revenue cycle, and within 15 days, providers are paid.
That’s if everything goes according to plan, and for far too many providers, it often doesn’t.
EMRs increase the likelihood of errors and diminish physician productivity
Many organizations, for instance, are replacing medical transcriptionists with voice-to-text capabilities of EMRs. While EMR technology is improving the coordination of health care in many ways, the lack of transcription support is often its pitfall. Aside from the fact that free-text typing into an EMR can have a high rate of error, copied-and-pasted notes from patients’ health histories or lab results may not always fully reflect a patient’s health status or most recent visit. And for physicians, free-text typing is a time-consuming task that eats into the time they’d otherwise use to see patients. One doctor told us that it can take hours to pull together all of the requisite notes for a single patient. For the physician, that time may be equal to five or six more patient visits—which would result in more revenue for the provider.
Domestic transcription improves accuracy
Another way organizations are trying to be more efficient and cost conscious is outsourcing medical transcription overseas. But what they’re saving in money is costing them in accuracy. The error rate of offshore MTSOs is much higher than better MTSOs in the United States, whose error rate is 1 to 2 percent. Because the charts providers receive are lower quality, they are forced to hire additional staff (increasing their soft costs) to double check for accuracy, negating any savings they hoped to achieve by sending work offshore.
Even in this age of EMRs, medical transcription is proving its worth to organizations. By sparing physicians the time-intensive task of typing lengthy EMR notes or cobbling together pieces of patient records, and quickly turning around transcribed documents, medical transcriptionists are helping protect the bottom line.