Mayo Clinic offers buyout packages to 400 transcriptionists as Epic EHR implementation nears

Rochester, Minn.-based Mayo Clinic reportedly offered "voluntary separation packages" to at least 400 medical transcriptionists, according to the Post Bulletin.

"This is part of a national trend in health care. New tools are reducing the need for transcription services. As a result, the need for medical transcriptionists to convert dictation into written reports is also declining," Roshy Didehban, chair of practice administration at Mayo Clinic, told Becker's Hospital Review April 6. "We've had honest, ongoing conversations with our staff about this change and are taking steps to help reduce the effect of this change on our staff, including offering individuals considering alternative career paths the option to receive a voluntary separation package."

Mayo Clinic offered separation packages to staff at all three of its main campuses. Officials reportedly told transcriptionists during a mandatory Skype meeting they had until May 19 to decide whether to take the buyout offer, the report states.

The staff changes come as the health system prepares to transition to Epic's EHR, which includes a voice-transcribing feature created by M*Modal. Mayo Clinic's facilities in Rochester are scheduled to transition to Epic May 5.

"The reduction in transcription volumes is a national industry trend not specific to Epic. In response to this trend, Mayo Clinic is looking at ways to manage the transcription workforce, which is why we offered this voluntary separation package to transcription staff who may be interested in leaving Mayo Clinic and/or pursuing other opportunities," A Mayo Clinic spokesperson told the Post Bulletin.

To aid those affected by the staff changes, the spokesperson told the publication Mayo Clinic offered select remote employees the chance to pursue other job opportunities at its various locations.

The health system previously cut or outsourced 188 transcriptionists in Wisconsin in 2014, and 82 transcriptionists in 2013, the report states.

To access the Post Bulletin report, click here.

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