Medical transcription vs Medical coding and what's the best online school?

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MT GettingOut in Bellingham, Washington

13 months ago

I signed up just to post here and, hopefully, help those still considering medical transcription. When I started, transcription jobs were abundant; now, they are scarce and have been mostly replaced with "editing" jobs, which pay 3-4 cents per line. It takes an enormous amount of lines to make any kind of a paycheck. Additionally, the companies that hire editors also keep raising their accuracy standards to now just a hair under 100%. Now figure in a heavy amount of ESL doctors who are difficult to impossible to understand, speed talkers, mumblers, poor sound, and QA who often don't agree about punctuation rules, or trying to remember the specific account rules for possibly numerous accounts. The MT/ME must maintain high productivity while also keeping quality scores extremely high, which is stressful and difficult for most, and are still lucky to make minimum wage. This means being scrutinized & tested daily with the threat of termination hanging over their heads, even for tiny errors, and all for low pay, and this is after paying for schooling.

However, even if a person can handle this day in and day out, the workflow is dwindling as more and more facilities are going with point and click and/or templates and very little dictation (if any), which means less overall available work. Plus, on top of all this, big companies have offshored work to foreign countries.

Finally, please note 4 observations that, to me, show the proof is in the pudding:

1. My MT school, which was highly respected & ethical, has closed their transcription program, and so have the community colleges in my area.

2. One giant MT company has filed for bankruptcy (2014).

3. MT companies are moving a few MT/MEs into training to become coders, while many MT/MEs at same companies complain about no work.

4. New regulations (meaningful use)-check it out.

5. Seasoned MTs having difficulty finding work.

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Why I Left in Sabattus, Maine

13 months ago

Please do not waste your time, energy, and money on one of those MT schools. It pretty much doesn't exist as a profession now! Go read on MTStars to get an idea of the suffering being experienced by a huge majority of transcriptionists and editors. For all of their knowledge: medical terminology, disease processes, treatments, pharmacology, anatomy, English grammar and punctuation, being able to handle ESL docs and various accounts, and cost of education, the MT/MEs are paid really lousy and treated pretty horribly, too. Most will tell you that their work is NOT stable and paychecks have plummeted. Almost no one has had a raise in over a decade and almost all have had two-three pay cuts and also experienced huge gaps in workflow or very sketchy work. I personally know of MTs who've filed bankruptcy or lost their homes or are struggling to hang on as they're close to retirement or are actively searching for something else or are trying to finish up retraining or a college degree. This is a terrible field to get into, and if you see an online school telling you otherwise, do your own research and do not sign up. Most of those schools are not accredited or are for profit and will happily take your money. Just realize, that many transcription companies have folded and the largest company just filed bankruptcy.

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Amanda in Gardnerville, Nevada

9 months ago

Why are you looking to get into medical transcription? Is it for the work from home aspect? If it is solely because you want to work from home then here's what I would do- get training that also includes editing (I believe this is what the job is evolving to) from an AHDI approved school (AHDI is a medical transcription association). Then take the Registered Healthcare Documentation Specialist (RHDS) exam through AHDI to have another credential on your resume. Then apply like crazy! Many career schools offer graduate assistance where they will help you find a job but please note that they can not guarantee you a job. Look at job boards now so you can get an idea of how many are out there and what credentials employers are looking for. bestmedicaltranscriptiontraining.com/medical-transcriptionist-jobs.html has a list of companies (some of which hire MTs from home) and AHDI also has job boards as a resource.

If you are just looking to get into the medical industry, there are other options like medical coding and billing which has been mentioned earlier. Medical coding and billing is mostly done in an office however there are a slim few that are from home. medicalcoderinfo.com/job-resources.html lists some companies that hire coders to work from home. For this career, I recommend getting training through an AHIMA approved school (a medical coding ad billing association) and also getting certified after you graduate. I recommend doing both coding and billing training since these jobs are so closely related. A lot of employers combine these into one job- coding and billing.

Other jobs that are rapidly growing are pharmacy technician, medical assistant, dental assistant, dental hygienist, medical records technician, vet tech, radiology tech, etc. You can learn more about those at www.healthservicecareers.com/

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Newbieatthis in Chicago, Illinois

2 months ago

What is the difference between AAMT and AHDI?

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Valerie in Milford, Indiana

2 months ago

Asri Joda in Lake Forest, California said: I am currently taking online medical coding class from allied school. But, before you take any expensive medical classes you will need to find out which medical career is more valuable for you.

Did you finish this course? Did it prepare you for the exam? Your thoughts on Allied Medical School for coding? I am thinking of using them. Thanks so much!

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blondegirl6 in San Juan Capistrano, California

1 month ago

Musiciantype in Lake Worth, Florida said: I am thinking of taking the medical transcription course at Career Step. I have always used an Apple computer and I was wondering if it is possible to use this computer in this career?

Hi. I am currently a Career Step student in the MTE (medical transcription editing) course. You can take all the transcription part on your Mac (as I am doing now) but when you get to the editing part of the course you can only take that part on a windows pc because the editing software only works on windows. I hope that helps in your decision. I love the Career Step Course. If you do sign up with them I would appreciate it if you would give my name as a referral, it is Laurie Russell. Thanks and best of luck to you.

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