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Paper Chase

Is working from home as a medical transcriptionist still a profitable business? Our experts weigh in.

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This story appears in the October 2005 issue of Start Up.

Question: I'm a nurse who wants to leave the stress and strain of nursing. I believe I could do medical transcription from home, but I've heard a lot of medical-transcription work is being offshored, which keeps American workers' pay rates down. Is this still a good business?

Answer: Medical transcription, like most tasks that can be done on a computer, is being offshored, particularly to India, Pakistan and the Philippines. However, the demand for medical transcription work in the United States remains strong, and legislation is pending in some states to prevent the sharing or disclosing of personal health and financial data outside the U.S. In fact, California passed such a law last year, but it was vetoed by the governor. The pressure for protective legislation has been fed by cases in which Indian and Pakistani transcriptionists threatened to make the medical records they had worked on public on the internet because they had not been paid.

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