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How to Calculate Medical Transcription Pay Rates

May 17, 2019

Medical transcription, an allied health care process converts voice recordings by health care professionals like the physicians and the doctors into digitized text formats. Today, the industry of medical transcription is one of the most booming sectors of the health care domain. And that is primarily because every doctor or physician is seeking to hire a medical transcriptionist that is experienced and trained to specifically understand medical terminologies.

A medical transcriptionist astutely listens to the voice recordings that may vary from medical reports of the emergency room to chart reviews and transcribes them into medical reports. The job of a medical transcriptionist usually does not require specialized prerequisites but they must possess an ability to understand various accents and medical jargons. This significantly impacts the quality of your medical report! 

As a health care provider, you want your medical reports to be of the highest quality and that is often intertwined with the medical transcription pay rates. A higher transcription pay rate does not always mean high quality which is why it important to understand the various factors that affect the medical transcription pay rate. Detailed knowledge of the factors that affect the invoice charges will allow you to understand and calculate transcription pay rates efficiently for your practice. Following are some of the factors that the outsourcing providers generally use to determine the transcription pay rate of the voice recordings:

  1. Length of the audio: The length of the voice recording is the first factor that determines the transcription pay rate. The 2 factors are directly proportional which basically means that longer the length of the audio, more will be the invoice generated.  
  2.  Single versus various speakers: The transcription rate is usually low for dictations or for a one person recording versus a recording that may include various doctors and health care providers. This is basically because it is easier to transcribe the voice recording of 1 person versus a group of people.
  3. Audio clarity: The clarity of the audio is again one of the major factors that influence the transcription pay rate. If the quality of the audio isn’t clear, medical transcription service providers charge more because it takes them a long time to transcribe the voice recording. We suggest you conduct your voice recordings in a quiet room that has minimal distractions.   
  4. Speaker Accents: Medical transcription pay rates are also often influenced by the accents of the speakers in the audio. Now, if the accent is difficult to understand or there is a second health care professional in your audio whose primary language isn’t English, chances are that you may be charged more to transcribe your audio.
  5. The turnaround time: If you choose the standard turnaround time of the outsourcing provider, then the transcription cost would be nominal as opposed to urgent delivery.
  6. Type of Specialty/Complexity of the Content: If the voice recording is of a specialized health care unit or the content to be transcribed is highly complex or supremely technical, then the resources may need to invest more time in analyzing the content which is why your medical transcription outsourcing provider may charge you more. For instance: The charges for transcribing a radiology report may be less than transcribing a dermatology report.

These were just some of the few factors that the transcription agencies take into consideration while determining the transcription pay rate.

Another major factor that very often influences the transcription pay rate is the location of the service provider. Though this is not always the case, it is important to be aware that medical transcription service providers residing in the United States, Canada, and European countries may charge more than the service providers located in Asian countries. This is basically because the medical transcriptionist salaries and their hourly pay rates differ significantly between the two regions.

Various job market sites illustrate that the compensation for an average medical transcriptionist during their first year in the States is between 9 to 13 dollars per hour with an average of 14 to 15 dollars/hour in the next few years. This rate varies between INR 150 to 300 per hour in India. Apart from paying by hourly rates, you could also calculate your medical transcriptionist’s remuneration with another method known as character line counts. Following are the guidelines for a 65 character line:

  • The first step is to determine the rate per line (The rate is generally influenced by 1 or more factors listed above)
  • The next step is to determine the number of the lines in the document.
  • These number of lines are then multiplied by the per line payment rate that was set in the first step. For instance: If a document has 174 lines and pay rate is 10 cents a line, then the total payment for the transcribed document would amount to 17.4 Dollars (174 X 0.10 = 17.4) 
  • Alternatively, you can also enumerate the total character count of the document and then divide it by a value of 65 to determine the number of lines. For instance, if a document has 8500 characters , then the number of lines would amount to 130.76 which can be rounded of to 131 (8500 / 65 = 130.76) 
  • One of the factors to ensure the correct calculation of the transcription rate via the character line count method is to ensure that the space counts are not being counted as characters. Inclusion of spaces within the character count increases the value of payment.

The above guidelines for character line count have been set by AHDI (Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity), an organization that was formerly formed to reward the achievements of professionals from the medical transcription industry.

Although there are various ways to remunerate your medical transcriptionist, the character per line count method is one of the most popular and widely used processes to calculate the medical transcription pay rates among the health care professionals for their transcription reports. 

By: Anna williams Category: blog

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