Medical Dictation: Laws Anyone Working as a Medical Transcriptionist Should Know

Medical transcription involves more than just accurately transcribing records. Workers must also be familiar with a few basic laws concerning medical dictation if your practice is to avoid heavy fines and legal sanctions. Here are a few of the most important laws any medical transcriptionist should be familiar with.

HIPPA Privacy and Security Rule

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) was enacted in 1996 to ensure the privacy and safety of patient information. Medical offices must adhere to the Privacy Rule and Security Rule.

The Privacy Rule:

  • Limits how and when certain medical information may be disclosed
  • Allows patients to obtain a copy of their own medical records or to examine them upon request

The Security Rule:

  • Limits how and when certain medical information may be disclosed
  • Allows patients to obtain a copy of their own medical records or to examine them upon request

The Privacy Rule and Security Rule can be found at 45 CFR Part 160 and 45 CFR 164 Parts A and C.

HITECH Changes to HIPAA Law

The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinic Health, or HITECH Act, makes sweeping changes to HIPAA. These changes increase penalties for violations, and even mandates investigations by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in a number of instances.

They also place new responsibilities on independent contractors that provide outsourced functions such as medical transcription. Known as “business associates”, these contractors are now equally as liable as physicians for the breach of private information.

When looking for a transcription service, it’s important to choose one that is familiar with all these very important laws. Here at Sunrise Transcription, our associates are very familiar with these laws, which is why we invite you to contact us to find out more.

3 Things to Consider Before Selecting a Medical Dictation Service

In the world of medical professionals, one of the biggest frustrations is the proverbial burn-out. With increasing case loads, one of the largest sources of burn-out is all of the reporting and paperwork. In a recent study from the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association found that of all of the methods of medical documentation, medical dictation often resulted in the lowest quality accuracy and ultimately, the lowest ranked quality of care.

However, by taking the time out to learn about prospective medical dictation and transcription services before you make a final selection, combined with dedicating time and attention to learning the best practices and how-tos, you can greatly increase the final document quality.

Do Some Research

The secret is to seek out first-hand, third-party reviews and write-ups focused on your short list of possible medical dictation companies. While looking over these reviews (which you can often find for free with a simple Google search combining the name of the business with the search term reviews) pay careful attention to testimonials, both good and bad, that deal with the following three considerations.

#1: Are They Really Convenient?

Just about every medical dictation and transcription service will tout their convenience factor. However, only a small percentage actually deliver on the promise. Look to see if there are complaints about constant errors, delays or long queues and multiple editing sessions. The whole purpose of medical dictation is to save time. If you ultimately lose more than you save you’re just wasting your time and money.

#2: Are They Truly Cost-Effective?

The primary reason to seek out an outsourced dictation or transcription service is to save money. Hiring a full- or part-time transcriptionist and then paying for taxes and benefits can set a practice back substantially. Evaluate reviews looking for insights on the company’s practices on per-line billing, labor costs plus any possible hidden fees. Don’t forget to find out if there are any associated penalties for failure to meet minimums.

#3: How Exact Are They?

Quality is one of the greatest challenges in medical dictation and transcription. Are they prone to errors or mistakes? What is your personal threshold for errors? It makes sense to work with companies that have great reviews paired with extensive industry knowledge and experience. Don’t be afraid to call up and ask if the company works in your particular area of expertise. It’s not even unheard of to ask for permission to speak with other clients in your same field to ask them directly about the total experience. When it comes to your greatest potential headaches and hassles, this is the area that will expose you to the greatest risks.

If you’re looking for a dictation company that allows you to dictate from any phone, toll-free, all day and every day using either a handheld digital recorder or your smart phone via our mobile apps, contact us today to see what we can do to help you save time, money, headaches and hassles in your medical dictation and transcription execution.