MedQuist medical transcriptionists’ class action settlement

A couple of MTs have shared this with me. The class action suit brought by a group of medical transcriptionists against MedQuist.

…lawsuit that was brought as a class action on behalf of current and former medical transcriptionist employees of MedQuist Inc. and MedQuist Transcription Ltd. (“MedQuist”). The suite alleges that MedQuist manipulated its company systems to underpay medical transcriptionists for transcription work that was compensated on a per-line basis. Defendants deny that they did anything wrong. The parties have agreed to settle the lawsuit.

So that’s the basics of the lawsuit. The class includes medical transcriptionists who transcribed for MedQuist from November 29, 1998 to August 11, 2008 and were paid on a per-line basis.

That’s all I know about the class action that was brought, so don’t ask for details. I don’t know how long it’s been pending or who originally filed it. If you were an employee of MQ, you received one of these.

What you also know is that the $1.5 million settlement went to AHDI. If you weren’t part of the class action, this may come as a surprise.

…the settlement fund, less Court-approved expenses, shall be distributed to the Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (“AHDI”), an association of medical transcription professionals, to fund programs for the general benefit of medical transcriptionists and the medical transcription industry.

I guess nobody told them AHDI’s practitioner membership has shrunk to a mere couple thousand people.

…Qualifying class members will also be eligible to participate in certain AHDI programs free of charge. No payments will be made directly to any individuals.

I can hear all of you charging to send e-mail to AHDI and ask if you’re a qualifying member and what programs you qualify for. Can’t I?

OK, when you find out would you please come back here and say what it is? And while you have them on the line, ask them how they got their fingers in this particular pie.

Oy vey.

Who is behind the USMLSU Initiative?

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61 thoughts on “MedQuist medical transcriptionists’ class action settlement”

  1. I know for an absolute fact that Your Office Genie overbilled hospitals GROSSLY. I worked for the company for a long time until they sold to Medquist. In the early 1990s, they told us we would no longer be paid for headers and footers, even though we had to enter them in. Then then went from gross lines to 65 character. My sister worked in the office and I worked at home. She said she started seeing the QA sheets from MTs coming in and she noticed that the line counts in the office were different from her line counts. She started looking into things and asking around in the office and found out that they had software that recounted the lines when they came in and added the headers and footers back in and also were counting on the gross line. They were billing the hospitals on gross lines even though she was telling them they were billing them on 65 character lines. A lot of the MTs got onto it because when they received their work back from QA, the recounted line sheets were attached to the corrections. They looked on their logs and found out that the line counts were way off. No one did anything, but I did hear that a couple of the hospitals caught on to what was going on. It’s pure greed and such a disservice to the MTs. And now with EMR and VR and SR, it’s hard to make a decent living.

    1. Celia, it’s quite possible Office Genie was billing per the contract. IMO, there’s nothing wrong with paying MTs by one criteria and billing the client by another. It’s only overbilling if lines are added in without the client’s knowledge and/or if billing to the client isn’t consistent with the contract.

  2. I was part of the Medquist Class Action lawsuit; I worked for Medquist for approximately 3 years when I finally quit in 2003 because as hard and as long as I worked, even keeping METICULOUS records of every single job and line count, I made less and less every pay period. Even after I quit the job, Medquist called me for 6 more months to work, apparently oblivious I no longer worked there! A month or so after I quit the job, I received a letter and a check for a little over $100. The letter explained that Medquist had “accidentally” miscounted my lines and the check was to cover the “error.” That letter and check were the first concrete evidence I had that confirmed my suspicion that my (and probably other MTs) lines were being miscounted. Little did I realize that Medquist was PURPOSELY miscounting lines; Medquist wrote the software they used to count lines and had been miscounting lines for years! I sent all of my records to the lawyers who were handling the civil action against Medquist and time passed. I was NEVER told that any settlement would be GIVEN to AHDI in the amount of $1.5M! We MTs who were CHEATED by Medquist were again cheated out of OUR settlement by AHDI! We were offered 6 months of FREE educational courses instead of the money that had been stolen from us TWICE! This is typical of the cynical attitude fostered by the Medical Transcription industry as it remains to this very day! How utterly pathetic!

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