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AHDI Releases Compensation Toolkit

Compensation policies must be fair and within the reasonable scope of industry trends and practices. It is in the long-term best interest of transcription businesses, the industry, and the health care community that health care documentation specialists (HDSs) and employers embrace compensation best practices principles and support industry integrity.

To aid businesses and the workforce, the Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI) has created a toolkit, Compensation Best Practices, which provides the tools to implement policies and procedures related to transcription pay models, job roles, and transparency. It offers the workforce tips and helpful questions for both new and veteran HDSs to ask in order to understand the basis for their compensation.

The toolkit offers information about the relevance of reviewing and updating compensation models in today's rapidly changing technologies, workflows and processes, and roles and duties that will help promote transparency between health care documentation businesses and the members of its workforce.

"The piecework compensation model for health care documentation specialists is no longer workable in many environments where their services are needed, such as electronic health records," says AHDI President Susan Dooley, MHA, CMT, AHDI-F. "However, the expertise and efficiency that HDSs offer can bring economic savings to organizations willing to modify the current high-priced models of clinician self-documentation and one-to-one scribe data input. The AHDI Compensation Best Practices toolkit will help organizations employ health care documentation specialists in a manner that promotes accurate and affordable documentation."

While health care businesses are reviewing their compensation models, it's extremely important to consider factors that impact those models—to include technological changes, quality assurance, and a medical transcriptionist/HDS' knowledge, experience, skill level, and credentials.

While it has long been touted in the industry that transcriptionists' production will be doubled or tripled when moving to a new platform, this is often not the case and should not be assumed. It is important to evaluate the amount of the increase prior to altering the compensation rate. Consideration needs to be given to providing comprehensive training and adequate time for training in order for the technology benefits to be maximized.

Additionally, credentialing of HDSs can establish the equality of the MT/HDS skill set to that of other credentialed medical documentation professions such as HIM, coding, clinical documentation integrity, and IT systems professionals. "Like these other documentation professionals, HDSs have an important role in patient safety and risk management," says Linda G. Brady, CAE, CEO of AHDI. "Requiring the workforce to be credentialed will ensure their in-depth knowledge of the defined scope of practice in order to be entrusted with the extraordinary responsibility of these roles in patient care delivery."

Source: Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity