The article "Trail of words, numbers" (Oct. 11, p. 8) includes a quote from stock analyst Paul Meeks of the firm of Meeks & York suggesting that MedQuist has plans to lay off transcriptionists. We would like your readers to know that MedQuist has no such plans.
On the contrary, as we look to grow our business, we believe that the retention of qualified medical transcriptionists-currently in short supply-is critical to maintaining our leadership position in the industry.
The base of qualified medical transcriptionists is getting older, and as they retire, they are not being replaced at a rate fast enough to meet the demand for services. At MedQuist, we are moving aggressively on several fronts to address the resulting shortfall. For example, we are increasing our recruitment efforts and have enhanced our benefits package in an effort to attract new candidates.
Chief executive officer
Whither the third parties ...
I am disappointed that you chose to ignore third-party presidential candidates in your election wrap-up ("Both ends of the spectrum," Oct. 25, p. 6).
Including Bush and Kerry, there were six candidates on enough state ballots to win the Electoral College vote. Regardless of the viability of these candidates, they raise important issues that need to be part of the national debate; as a leading industry publication, Modern Healthcare has a responsibility to present these additional views and voices in our political marketplace of ideas.
Neither Bush nor Kerry was talking about single-payer universal healthcare, like David Cobb, the Green Party candidate, or complete deregulation, like Michael Badnarik, the Libertarian Party candidate.
Director of information technology
Forest Park, Ill.
... beauty in simplicity
Thank you for the cover story on the campaign. With so much information coming at us from all the debates and talk shows and political advertisements, the Kerry vs. Bush chart was especially helpful because it was so short and simple.
Barrow Community Hospital
A question of style
In your cover story "Healthcare's minority report" (Sept. 27, p. 6) you write: "In 2000, nearly one in three Americans belonged to a racial or ethnic minority-Alaska Native, American Indian, Asian, black, Hispanic or Pacific Islanders." The word "black" in this reference is misused.
As an African-American, that caught my attention. Black is a color, not an ethnic group. The term African-American helps readers to define cultural distinctions among Alaska Natives, American Indians, Asians, Hispanics or Pacific Islanders. The word black without the word "white" could be construed as offensive.
Calvin Thomas IV
Los Robles Hospital & Medical Center
Thousand Oaks, Calif.
Editor's note: In this instance Modern Healthcare follows Associated Press style, which prefers using the term black to African-American.
Clarifying a comment
In reading the article, "Hospitals on winning streak" (Oct. 25, p. 8), I was dismayed to find that you inferred that I "acknowledged the problem of uninsured patients getting billed too much." In fact, the problem I acknowledged was the problem of providing and paying for the care of the uninsured.
I am sure that the misinterpretation was not intentional, but the distinction is quite important and bears clarification.