I am sharing here a response I received from a colleague on my comments on Obamacare, ICD-10 and the future of medical transcription. He makes some very salient points. I would be very interested in others opinions from the HIM arena.
“I think the angle that you briefly mentioned is the compelling justification for preserving the dictation/ transcription model and service. There are a few approaches that physicians in a physicians’ office setting (and perhaps other settings) can take in terms of medical record documentation. I’d like to make a few points about full EMR data entry and the dictation/ transcription model.
#1 Physician’s time:
If a full EMR is established within the office setting, is there a significant degree of time it takes for documentation entry into the EMR. This cuts into interacting and treating patients? The dictation/ transcription model likely frees up some of the physician’s time, even if dictation/ transcription is only used for select report types (office notes, H&P, etc.) This particular health care setting is still volume driven.
#2 Organization’s decision:
Each organization has a decision to make in terms of whether they want physicians taking on all of the physician documentation entry duties (at an increased cost and decreased revenue due to potentially seeing less patients), or if they want to pay an established transcription entity to perform transcription services at a lesser cost.
#3 ICD-10 – Increased specificity
ICD-10 demands that medical record documentation become more specific (examples: laterality, initial vs. subsequent episode, anatomy specificity). Point #2 gets even more exacerbated with the physician documentation requirements of ICD-10. The alternative to appropriate documentation under the ICD-10 model is the organization (physician’s office, hospital, etc.) does not get paid for services rendered.”
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