Is Medical Transcription/Healthcare Documentation a Good Career?


Medical Transcription/Healthcare Documentation: A Real Work-At-Home Job Opportunity?

Everyday, we see online advertisements telling us Sally Jones makes $100 a day working from the luxury of her own home. You can even find signs plastered on telephone poles with the promise that there are hundreds of people “just like you” working from home every day. But are those jobs real? In most cases, they are just trying to sell us something rather than provide people with a viable income. However, Medical Transcription/Healthcare Documentation is a legitimate and profitable career for those wanting to work from home.

So if you’re asking if Medical Transcription/Healthcare Documentation is a good career, this article is for you. Here’s what you can do with a career in Medical Transcription/Healthcare Documentation:

Work as an employee

For decades, MTs (now referred to as Medical Transcription/Healthcare Documentation Specialists or MT/HDS’s) have been employed in many different areas while also working from home. This has not changed. In fact, transcription has been made even easier due to the Internet. As an employee, Sally Jones can type for Rapid Transcription Company 8 hours per day, even work a split shift, and still receive healthcare benefits and PTO (paid time off). In this digital age, it has become even easier to find employment working from home. There is no requirement to invest in anything except high-speed Internet, reference materials and a foot pedal. As an MT/HDS, all you need is an up-to-date computer and the ability to follow standard privacy and confidentiality procedures.

Become a subcontractor

Working from home does not only apply to employees. Some people in the MT/HDS profession prefer being a Business Associate or a subcontractor. These folks are usually known as ICs (independent contractors) and establish their own business contracts with providers. An MT/HDS can be a subcontractor for a physiotherapy clinic, a doctor’s office or even a veterinary practice. Subcontractors carry insurance and have to usually sign contracts and documents ensuring the protection of patient health information. They can arrange to physically pick up work to transcribe at home or they can do it all online. They can also print out hard copies of documents or can simply send the files back electronically to be printed or stored at the facility.

Existing transcription department

Still another way for MT/HDSs to work at home is through an existing medical records department or transcription department. Many hospitals and clinics no longer have in-house transcription space and have chosen instead to send their employees home. It makes more sense to employers as there are less sick days utilized, more productivity gains and less turnover rate. Why? Because most people, especially mothers, would prefer to be at home working rather than having to commute and spend money on cars, gas and wardrobes. More importantly, the family-oriented MT/HDS prefers not to entrust their children to daycare and bear the exorbitant expense.

Working from home has its downsides as well. The most prevalent complaint is interruption or people not understanding the MT/HDS has a “real job.” It is far too easy for family and friends to impose upon someone who works at home unless the MT/HDS is diligent about setting boundaries. Self-discipline and the ability to plan and prioritize are crucial for anyone working at home but even more so for an MT/HDS. The need for absolute concentration and devotion to the task at hand are imperative to keep up accuracy rates and production.

The question is easy for most to answer but here it is: “Do you want a career that has great earning potential and that you can do from home?” Most students would shout a resounding “Yes!” It is a career that has advancement potential and where you can earn good money ($30,000 to $52,000 per year on average). The question is do you have the self-discipline to make it work? Take our Distance Learning Assessment to find out.

– Audrey Kirchner, CHDS

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