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Master scribe

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  • | 1:09 a.m. August 15, 2015
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Ask any doctor: They hate the extra time they spend to type notes for every patient visit.

As a result, medical-transcription services such as MedScribe Information Systems blossomed. The Naples-based company takes recorded dictations from doctors and parcels them out to an army of 190 people aided by voice-recognition software who create written records for busy physicians.

The company suffered a setback in 2012 when the government gave financial incentives to physicians to switch to electronic medical records. “In 2012 we lost about 25% of our revenue because of Obamacare,” says John Langley, the president and CEO of MedScribe. “They really pushed the data entry onto the doctors,” he says.

But the money dried up in 2013. “When the incentive payments ended they forgot all about it and came back,” says Langley.

MedScribe posted $9.85 million in revenues in 2014, a 29% increase over 2013. “We've been on a tear here for the last year and a half,” Langley says.

Fact is, falling government and insurance reimbursements mean doctors have to see more patients to make ends meet. “What they're finding is that doctors sitting at terminals are very unproductive,” Langley says. “The folks that are really in that boat are the surgeons; they are more procedure-driven.”

MedScribe too has had to be more efficient, and big leaps in voice-recognition technology have helped the company do that. Langley says about 70% of MedScribe's transcription work currently involves voice recognition software. “We've really been pushing it hard,” Langley says.

MedScribe doesn't rely solely on voice-recognition technology because a person who is familiar with medical lingo listens to each doctor's dictation to make sure there are no errors.
“We still have to touch every one of them,” Langley says.

But Langley estimates voice-recognition technology boosted employee productivity by 80%. “It takes half as many people do twice as much,” Langley says.

Technology has been a big part of MedScribe from the start. For starters, all but four of MedScribe's 190 employees work remotely, logging into the company's secure system to work. And they're all U.S.-based, a major selling point for MedScribe's security and reliability.

The company charges by the line, which is 65 characters including spaces. Langley says the company charges about 12 cents per line and gives a small discount if the doctor uses voice-recognition software.

To protect against a future downturn, MedScribe contracts with other transcription companies for any overflow work. “It makes us very scalable,” Langley says.

Indeed, for the foreseeable future the outlook is positive. “We've got another real busy six to nine months,” Langley says.

For example, Medscribe has won some large deals with health systems in Alabama, a significant state for medical centers. “We've picked up a lot of hospitals,” he says.

— Jean Gruss


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