Ethical Best Practices

Just in case you didn’t know, we are in the “healthcare documentation sector.” We still do medical transcription and we’re still called medical transcriptionists, but only because there’s no organized group <ahem> that’s been able to either decide what else to call us and/or make it stick.

However, medical transcriptionists everywhere can rejoice, knowing that AHDI now has a manual of ethical best practices available for us healthcare documentation sector workers.

And signaling that yes indeed, the practitioner member is once again not as important as the practitioner MTs themselves would like to think, there is no special pricing for practitioner members. Should you decide you can’t live without knowing why there’s a section for AHDI Code of Ethics and another for MTIA Code of Ethics, this baby will cost you a whopping $4,000.

Which is, I’m sure, just the start of the confusion.

After stating (very convincingly, I might add) that this is much, much less expensive than you’d pay if you put this together yourself or pay someone to do it for you (can you put a price tag on the AHDI Code of Ethics or the MTIA Code of Ethics? I think not), then setting you back on your heels with the $4,000 price tag – they soothe your ruffled feathers by letting you know that everybody except practitioner members can get this for less than $1,000.

Damn – I sure hope practitioners don’t actually need this for anything because at a reported average annual income of $30,000/year, the cost of this is just over 13% of an MT’s annual pay.

The pricing on this package (and possibly even the package itself) signals that not only is AHDI still floundering when it comes to offering anything of value to this membership group, they also don’t mind spitting in their faces. Because just in case you missed the part where you’re paying more than anyone else, there’s this friendly reminder:

It’s comforting to know that Gold Members of MTIA – which I’m sure includes companies that could actually afford to develop this information inhouse – don’t have to pay a dime. I’m sure this contributes mightily to the credibility of the claims that the relationship between AHDI and MTIA is good for both. I wonder how many Gold level members are on the MTIA Board. Just wonderin’, that’s all.

Isn’t it nice to know that AHDI knows which side its bread is buttered on? I’m looking on their web site and trying to find some indication as to who they think is going to pay the dues to keep the organization afloat if they piss off enough practitioner members, which still constitutes the largest membership group. Maybe AHDI has given up trying to find something of value to offer to the practitioner members.

Since I’m never going to pay $4,000 (or, let’s face it, $250, $750 or $950) to actually take a look at this manual of ethics and best practices, I really shouldn’t can’t say much about the package itself. I am, however, going to latch onto the term production location transparency. It’s a whole lot catchier – and easier – than “where is this work being transcribed?” I guess I’m just going to have to wither away with curiousity as to the difference between AHDI’s code of ethics and MTIA’s code of ethics.

California tax withholding for ICs

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2 thoughts on “Ethical Best Practices”

  1. This is just another nail in the AHDI coffin, as far as I’m concerned. It’s insulting.

    On another somewhat related topic, I’ve had 2 people tell me that big HIPAA changes take effect this month. What’s the scoop on that?

  2. As of February 17, 2010, medical transcription businesses are subject to heightened HIPAA privacy and security obligations and possible civil and criminal penalties for violations. (For more information, see the article titled “HIPAA Targets” in the December 21, 2009, issue of For the Record or http://www.fortherecordmag.com) Among its contents, the AHDI-MTIA Manual of Ethical Best Practices for the Healthcare Documentation Sector includes detailed sample HIPAA policies and procedures, a sample business associate agreement, and guidelines for establishing a HIPAA-compliant home-based office to assist businesses with meeting their new obligations. The price of $4000 is without the significant MTIA or AHDI corporate member discounts. In addition, the associations plan to release a resource guide for medical transcriptionists, which will include the guidelines for establishing a HIPAA-compliant home-based office. The member price for the resource guide will be $40. To get the full details on the manual, visit the AHDI website.

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