Due to the length of this article, it is being split into two parts.
A routine question that I hear when speaking to prospective students is why some programs cost less than others. They see the lower price tag as a better value. But like most things in life you get what you pay for or more precisely, you do not get what you do not pay for. Regrettably, many prospective students simply look at the price and not at what the school is offering. It is time to explain the difference between a premium medical transcription training program and the lower caliber programs. What is really sad is the fact that many subpar programs charge the same or more than a premium program like Med-Line School of Medical Transcription.
A premium medical transcription training program is AHDI/ACCP approved. This is step one in vetting a school. If a school’s program is not ACCP/AHDI approved, it is time to remove them from consideration. Employers know which schools are and are not approved. Although we at Med-Line think the ACCP/AHDI requirements are too simple and have actively pushed to have them strengthened, they are a decent first phase weeding out criteria. This is currently the ONLY objective tool a potential student has to determine a school’s potential and it is purely voluntary. There is no governmental agency mandating a certain standard. This approval process looks at the school’s financing, instructors, curriculum, etc and determines if it is reasonable. Hopefully soon, it will require all the additional tests you will read below. Med-Line is approved and will continue to push to have the bar raised.
Acute Care Training
A premium medical transcription training program teaches to the acute care level. The goal of training is for the student to be employable now and in the future. It is time to face it. The industry is not seeking clinic work MTs. There is little to no demand for them. Acute care-trained MTs, however, are in high demand. Just visit a few job boards, talk to some recruiters, and you will quickly see that acute care MTs are in high demand and many/most companies are not only hiring but have a strong need for these people now. Schools often train to the clinic work level in order to get their students out in 6 months or so. Acute care training is going to take 18 months on average. So that quick program is actually not a bargain after all. Med-Line only trains to the acute care level because that is what the industry needs.
A premium medical transcription training program is at least 12, preferably 18 months. As indicated above, there is no shortage of short programs (under 12 months). If you want to gauge the true cost of their program, divide the cost by the number of months. I had a student who was going to sign with another school that offered a 6-month course at $500 less. When she did the math she realized she would be paying almost 3 times as much per month for training that was not going to take her to the acute care level and, not surprising no textbooks were to be provided. So do not fall for the myth of a short program, train at a program that will prepare you for your career. Med-Line takes, on average, 18 months to complete. That is something we are proud of.
Real, Human Instructors
A premium medical transcription training program has real humans and not computers to instruct their students. Cutting instructors is an excellent way to reduce expenses immediately except that it reduces the time you can spend with students. You can easily find out if the school passes muster by asking how many current students and how many human instructors there are. It is not uncommon for subpar program to have ratios of 1:100 or higher. At Med-Line, you are assigned a real human CMT instructor for every medical transcription course who you can contact for questions.