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The medical transcription industry offers a lucrative career to its dependents, just like any other industry. The career ladder is the same in most MT companies:

  • Medical transcription trainee
  • Junior Medical Transcriptionist
  • Senior Medical Transcriptionist
  • Junior Editor or Quality Analyst (QA)
  • Senior Editor or QA
  • Quality Controller
  • Team Leader/Supervisor
  • Project Manager

Some MTs and QAs prefer to remain in the same position while others wishing to take a more proactive role in the business aim for supervisory and leadership positions. Experience strongly influences pay for this job. The highest paying skills associated with this job are Proofreading, Quality Assurance/Quality Control, and Editing. And, as mentioned before, with leadership positions, the income is proportionately higher.

Opportunities - Global Wide

Any healthcare institute in order to acquire medical transcription services can either outsource the job to a domestic medical transcription service organization, offshore, or opt for both methods. Outsourcing is the most preferred mode of service procurement in medical transcription with the market share of 62.2% in 2012. In addition, large internationally operating healthcare organizations prefer to opt for both the modes of service procurement, due to reasons such as ease of operations, rapid turnaround times and easy allocation of monetary resources on the basis of nature of reports.

Asian countries such as India and Philippines are some of the leading hubs for off-shoring of transcription services. Most of the off-shored business is captured by these countries and is supported by government incentives and subsidies for setting new business and expansion of existing business units. United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Latin America are emerging markets in RoW followed by Qatar. North America currently dominates and is expected to retain its position in the medical transcription services market in the future.

Growth drivers for this market in North America are factors such as rise in aging population and passing of Patient Protection and Affordable Healthcare Act, 2013. The North America medical transcription services market was worth more than USD 18 billion and is expected to grow at a CAGR of over 5% in the forecast period.

In India, the MTSO business is predominant in cities like Bangalore, Hyderabad, New Delhi, Chennai, Coimbatore, and Trivandrum.

Technavio’s analysts forecast the global medical transcription market to grow at a CAGR of 6% over the period 2014-2019.

Key regions:
  • Americas, Asia-Pacific, EMEA

The market for medical transcription services is highly competitive and entails many challenges. The key market players continue to grow at a fast pace as they emphasize on using standardized reporting styles. Some of the players performing well in the current global medical transcription services market are:

  • Acusis
  • IMeDx Information Services
  • MModal Inc.
  • Nuance Communications
  • Precyse Solutions
Other prominent vendors:
  • Ascend Healthcare Systems
  • Global Medical Transcription
  • Scribe Healthcare Technologies
  • Transtech Medical Solutions

GLOBAL

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By geography, the global medical transcription services market is segmented into regions such as North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and Rest of the World. North America led the global market for medical transcription services due to improved medical services documentation in the United States.

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According to a new market report published by Transparency Market Research “Medical Transcription Services Market – Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast, 2013 – 2019”, the global medical transcription services market was valued at USD 41.4 billion in 2012 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.6% from 2013 to 2019, to reach an estimated value of USD 60.6 billion in 2019.

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The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) website reveals that the average annual salary for a full-time medical transcriptionist is close to $34,000 (working 25 days a month), which is about $14 an hour. This is only an average and the hourly rates could go as high as $25 for more experienced MTs/QAs.

INDIA

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In the last few years India has shown amazing success in this field. The large pool of IT professionals, the internet revolution and the encouraging policy changes have catapulted India to a top position as a quality source of medical transcription services.

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The concept and benefits of outsourcing medical transcription is well known to the medical industry. The direct and immediate advantage of outsourcing medical transcription is cost reduction, reliability in turnaround time and total security.

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The main advantages to outsourcing to India are cost-saving (outsourcing to India reduces the transcription costs to one-third) and the vast pool of English-speaking resources. There is also the geographical factor.

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Turnaround time is critical in this industry and since India is several hours ahead of America and Europe, Indian medical transcription industries can offer the natural advantage of quicker turnaround time.

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At entry level medical transcriptionists are generally paid around Rs. 5000/- per month, which can go up to Rs. 20000/- per month within two years, depending on the person’s aptitude and proficiency.

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Some companies also offer additional perks and performance incentives. In essence, there is no limit to the amount of salary one can draw in this field. Companies also offer line-based incentives, allowing people to earn as high as Rs. 50,000-60,000 per month.

Myths

Certification is the best way to break into medical transcription.

Fact – You don’t need a certification or a license to become a medical transcriptionist. There is a Certified Medical Transcriptionist (CMT) credential, but it’s not an entry-level kind of thing, and no training program can give it to you. You may opt to earn it eventually, but you’ll need at least two years of experience first. The exam itself is rigorous and will test your medical knowledge and transcription skills across multiple medical specialties.

Medical transcriptionists just need to type really fast.

Fact – The ability to type at warp speed is a great asset, but it isn’t an automatic ticket to success as a medical transcriptionist. The things that really make the difference are largely mental:

  • An inquisitive mind and love of language so you keep learning all those medical terms
  • An independent, pressure-resistant mindset
  • The ability and motivation to concentrate for extended periods of time.

Medical transcriptionists need little or no training.

Fact – Unless you have formal medical transcription training, your résumé will never make it into the “to interview” stack. The training must be from a recognized, reputable source, such as a community college program or well-established medical transcription school. Plan on spending a minimum of nine months preparing for your new career. You’ll study anatomy and physiology, medical terminology, formatting of the different report types, and many more skills you may not anticipate needing but definitely will. When you graduate, you’ll have that crucial formal training to include on your resume and the know-how to do the job.

Speech recognition technology will make medical transcriptionists obsolete.

Fact – Speech recognition technology (SRT) is in widespread use as a way (in theory) for medical facilities to cut transcription costs. Working medical transcriptionists refer to it as “speech wreck,” because the results sometimes have more in common with a multicar pileup than a quality healthcare document. Under ideal dictation conditions, SRT can do a decent job, but it takes very little to send things awry. SRT has its own shortcomings and the results of SRT are unreliable and require constant supervision, something that a medical transcriptionist or an editor does on a daily basis. Speech recognition has added a fresh twist to the ever-evolving MT profession, not made it obsolete.

Electronic health records will eliminate the need for medical transcriptionists.

Fact – This is merely a marketing gimmick of people who sell EHR software. Digitizing medical information does not automatically mean transforming the recording of healthcare details into an entirely point-and-click process. Some elements of healthcare documentation are enhanced by restricting input via check boxes and drop-down lists, but for some things, fill in the blanks is not enough. Healthcare providers need a way to incorporate narrative observations, opinions, and conclusions – in other words, dictation.

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