Mayo Clinic's cuts of medical transcriptionist jobs has spread into Wisconsin, with 188 positions going away as part of an outsourcing contract to reduce costs.
Medical transcriptionists convert dictation from health-care providers into written reports. They also review and edit medical documents created by speech recognition technology.
Mayo Clinic Health System notified Wisconsin staff last week that it's contracting with Amphion Medical Solutions to handle all transcription services. The positions will be transitioned over the next few months, and Mayo expects to completely shift the work to Madison, Wis.-based Amphion by Nov. 1.
The change will affect51 transcriptionists from southwest Wisconsin, where La Crosse serves as the hub, and 137 from northwest and southwest Wisconsin, where Eau Claire is the hub.
Amphion has told Mayo Clinic that it would be willing to hire all of its outgoing transcriptionists, though it's unclear if they would have to relocate or take a pay cut. The 13-year-old company is declining to discuss the issue, citing Mayo Clinic Health System's request to field all questions.
Mayo Clinic also says the displaced workers can apply for other positions within the health system that might might fit their skills.
This shift will add up to 40 percent savings in transcription costs, according to Mayo Clinic.
An average medical transcriptionist salary in 2012 was $16.36 per hour or $34,020 per year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
This shift in Wisconsin follows last year's cuts of 82 medical transcriptionist jobs throughout seven southeastern Minnesota communities where Mayo Clinic Health System operates. Those cuts included 26 in Albert Lea, 18 in Austin, 17 in Owatonna, 4 in Faribault, 4 in Cannon Falls, 8 in Lake City and 5 in Red Wing.