Medical transcription, which consists of taking audio recordings and voice notes and turning them into written records, is something that many hospitals and clinics outsource.
The general cost for a medical transcriptionist depends on several factors, including turnaround time and the number of lines that need to be transcribed.
In addition, the need for both accuracy and privacy is incredibly important. With that in mind, hospitals should expect to pay around 7 to 15 cents per line for their transcriptions.
What is Medical Transcription?
A medical transcriptionist spends their day listening to the audio recordings recorded by doctors, specialists, and more, typing out every spoken word and turning it into a written record (Source).
In some cases, the recordings may consist of more than one person speaking, making it necessary to list what each person is saying on the page.
These spoken records involve a variety of different medical information. Some might be simple patient notes, while others are describing procedures that are necessary for billing purposes. Then, there are medical meetings and brainstorming sessions that also must be written out.
In order to do the job correctly, transcriptionists must understand medical terminology. Doctors may refer to a procedure in a form of spoken shorthand that must be written out in its long-form in the notes.
Also, codes, like those used for billing, may be included in the audio recordings. Since accuracy is important, it’s crucial that the transcriptionist is familiar with the medical field in general.
Cost Analysis of Annual Transcription – Average Savings
With medical transcription costing between 7 and 15 cents per line, let’s assume a cost of 10 cents per page and look at the savings of outsourcing medical transcription vs. hiring a full-time employee.
Based on this chart, your total annual savings would be $9,360.00 if your employee is paid $10.00 an hour, or $21,840.00 if your employee is paid $15.00 per hour.
Why Outsource Medical Transcription?
Many hospitals and clinics have found that it’s less expensive to outsource medical transcription rather than hire someone in-house. When a full-time transcription employee is hired, the company must pay their salary and benefits.
Outsourcing this work turns it from an hourly job into one that only pays per line or page of text. By hiring transcriptionists only when then the company needs them, a lot of money is saved.
Plus, transcription companies that specialize in the medical field offer high-quality results, the same as companies would receive from an in-house worker at a lower price.
What You Should Expect to Pay for Medical Transcription
Outsourcing medical transcription saves hospitals money, as they don’t need to hire fulltime workers to do the job.
In general, these third-party medical transcription companies charge either per line or per page. This makes it easy to see how much lower the costs are.
Many medical transcription companies charge per line. The rates depend on the overall number of lines, which in the field, usually consist of 65 characters.
The general per line rate is between 7 and 15 cents, depending on the company, volume of work, turnaround time, and other factors.
Larger jobs, like those that consist of letters written to patients or bigger amounts of records, will be billed per page. These pages of data take longer to transcribe than a single line or two.
The rate for per page transcription services runs between $4 to $15 per page. Keep in mind that a standard page length consists of 350 words, so it may cost more for longer pages of information.
Other forms of audio, such as the ones that consist of multiple speakers and more in-depth information tend to be billed per minute.
Expect to pay from $1.50 to $3.00 per audio minute, which is the length of the recording itself, not the amount of time that it takes the transcriptionist to write it out. These particular jobs tend to be broken down into hour-long blocks.
Other pricing, such as larger projects, transcriptions of meetings, and things of an urgent nature will be billed differently, based on the contract between the hospital and the transcription company.
Important Factors That Effect Price
When it comes to breaking down the price of medical transcriptions, it’s important to note the many different factors that are involved.
Turnaround time is the amount of time that it takes for a medical transcriptionist to listen to and then record the audio.
Many transcription companies have a standard turnaround time of 24 hours. This means that the written records and information would arrive the next day.
Although it’s possible to receive the recordings much faster, the price will be higher based on urgency.
Medical Knowledge and Terminology
Companies that specialize in medical transcription hire workers that understand medical jargon and lingo. They know what the abbreviations are, especially when working with billing, and their knowledge makes it easier to transcribe the spoken words.
As a result, the transcriptions will be very accurate. This is why hospitals need to find a company with this specialty, not just one that handles any type of audio transcription. As a result, the cost is slightly higher.
Number of Lines to Transcribe
Since medical transcription is billed either per line or per page, the costs are often broken down in this manner.
Expect to receive a quote that’s based on a per-line or per-page basis. Some companies may do both, while others only bill their clients using one single method.
Type of Recording
There are several different methods used by medical professionals. Some prefer to call into the transcription company and leave a recorded message to be transcribed. Others use handheld voice recorders or smartphone apps to record their audio.
The price of transcription services may be based on the type of recording provided to the company. Some methods are easier and clearer than others, lowering the price.
Number of People Speaking
If the recording consists of more than one person speaking, the transcription tends to cost more.
It can be tricky for the transcriptionist to determine who is speaking each time, making the job take a bit longer than that for a single speaker.
Since medical transcriptionists deal with other people’s medical information on a daily basis, it’s important that they adhere to all HIPAA laws.
The audio recordings and finalized transcriptions also must be transmitted in a secure manner. Using encrypted networks adds to the overall costs.
Choosing a Medical Transcription Company
Picking a medical transcription company will save hospitals and clinics a lot of money. However, care must be taken to ensure that the chosen company has experience in the medical field and hires employees who understand medical lingo.
In addition, select a company that transmits their data securely and insists that all employees adhere to HIPAA regulations.