Did you know?
We often take our environment for granted. At work or at home, whatever it is we’re doing, we tend to keep doing the same thing. As the old adage says, “things in motion tend to stay in motion; things standing still tend to stay still” – an artifact from thermodynamics.
And so it is with clinical documentation, especially transcription, and today coding as well. For years, hospitals go about doing whatever it is they’re doing and keep doing it, despite facing increasing economic and regulatory pressures, competition, insurance pinch points, consolidation, and so on. Sure, we can all agree that we’ve seen many changes over the course of the last 25 years looking at them with the wide-angle lens of critical analysis. Yet, it still takes a lot of inertia and momentum to move any programmatic train on the rails of progress.
To abuse the binary term “core competence”, transcription is one of those skills that has never been, nor will ever be, a “core competence” for hospital work space. Hospitals are for healing the sick, not for typing recorded media. Remember, the operative term is “core” – not that it can’t be done in-house (duh, its done all the time!), but the argument for outsourcing transcription is steadily growing post-ICD-10 implementation. Moreover, the opportunities are just limited to domestic on-shore outsourcing – this area of the industry has gone through time-warp improvements that are worth considering from a life-cycle cradle-to-grave analysis.
The list below is not rocket “surgery” (pun intended), but it’s worthwhile reinforcing the fundamental truths about why your hospital (or clinic) should revisit the idea of outsourcing. Trust us, as we mentioned above, this is the stuff we take for granted:
1. Minimize Carrying Overhead Costs: The amount of effort involved in task-specific and human management, administration, hiring, firing, fringe and all-in labor costs, document and queue management, QA, systems management, etc. can be overwhelming. Partnering up with a qualified and proven transcription provider eliminates these headaches, and internal resources are better spent on health care. The opportunity to capitalize on wholesale and economy of scale contractual agreements and line costs aren’t left on the table with outsourcing.
2. Improved TAT and Quality: From STATS to run-of-the-mill transcription, using an outsourced medical transcription service provider ensures a continuous stream of coverage, quality, and response – regardless of the volume and variability. Hospitals and clinics will no longer have to carry the burden of billable hours or lines for light periods. Without outsourcing, your facility pays for the salary and benefits of your in-house transcriptionists no matter their productivity! Outsourcing flattens out the utilization and expense curve over the long run to your benefit! Moreover, in the world of ICD-10, it is essential that auditing, quality improvement, training, and quality assurance are employed effectively and are compliant with all stakeholders.
3. Reduced Front and Back-end Capital Expenses: In-house transcription means equipment and software purchasing, systems integration, maintaining, upgrading, securing, and archiving your own transcription – it comes at a headache, laden with liability, and at a cost! Outsourced transcription reduces budget line items on the capital and expense side, as well as secondary and tertiary softer benefits such as peripheral hospital equipment costs (e.g., copiers and fax machines), IT services, etc. which are desperately needed elsewhere in the growing competitive health care “we-have-to-answer-to-the-investors” environment.
Still, there are many other softer benefits that hospitals and clinics can reap from once an outsourced medical transcription service provider is screened, hired, and integrated into your hospital or clinic environment. You should be able to easily do a back-of-the-envelope line item cost analysis for your in-house transcription and compare it against an all-in life-cycle whole-sale outsourced medical transcription option.
So, what are you waiting for? Get out that old envelope from the recycle bin and jot some numbers down. Then pick up the phone and explore the outsourcing transcription and coding opportunities that have evolved and are waiting to benefit your organization!
And lastly, partner with a US company that can allow you to grow your volume and maintain your target metrics.