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Serving Over 20,000 US Medical Transcriptionists

Do be aware . . . paper checks only! (sm)

Posted By: JustSayNo on 2005-12-28
In Reply to: New England Medical Transcription pays weekly. nm - LTMT

They don't offer direct deposit, just mailed, typed, handsigned checks, which can be  very hard to cash.

They don't communicate very well -- hard to get someone after 3pm EST if you have a problem.

At least one of their major accounts still uses a DOS platform and requires you to have this weird token thing that changes passwords every few minutes to log in.  You also have to get their footpedal and software.  So, if you're using their tools, their token, etc., how can you be an IC (since part of the definition of an IC is that you provide your own tools)?  Another company the IRS needs to look into, IMHO.

The DOS platform is so slow you can't make any kind of lines.  Instant Text works, but there is no way to save normals.

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Any Spheris employees get paper checks?
Just had my direct deposit changed to a paper check.  Since payday is tomorrow, am wondering how long it will take to get my check--I am only two states away from HQ.  Thanks!
Any Spheris employees get paper checks
Wow, I was expecting it Monday.  That's good to hear!
From time to time those paper checks aren't good!
those bonus checks aren't extra money...you would just get tw bigger checks rather than 3 checks

don't kid yourself

A few days ago, there were messages they were bouncing checks, writing bad checks, etc. Search the A
I dont mind background checks, but why credit checks!!!! nm
I was IC w/them and checks came on time. First checks were FedX'd to me on time! I left due to an
The paper says 45 days.
I hope it isn't 45 working days.
paper work

I currently work for Phoenix and the paper work they send is for your use.  It explains the doctors accounts and also has examples of the doctor work, so when or if you have a question, you can refer to these files. It is your choice to print them out or not.

I believe they have both, DD and paper check.
Extext and Escription, in my opinion, are the best platforms out there.  Extext is a little more difficult, but Escript is totally awesome and very user friendly.  TTS has had pay issues in the past (which you will find a lot of negative posts on here regarding that).  I have worked here for almost a year now and have never had a single issue with my paycheck.  Always on time!  Feel free to email me if I can help further.
I haven't seen an MT job in the paper since the mid-80s!
carbon paper... sm
Not just onionskin but erasable onionskin... oh, yay!

Pale green eraser pencil with brush on the other end for boo-boos.

I'm going to bet that most dictators under the age of 40 have absolutely NO idea what they mean when they say CC to Dr. Jones...
If you are an IC, the printer, ink and paper are tax
First check will probably be paper
I think the first one is paper check. nm
and .... that is no different than with paper records, so ...
No. The paper they make you sign

says $125 (I guess to reimburse them for sending it to you in the first place) and for returning it.

My son was about 17 when he asked me what carbon paper was! nm
That's funny didn't know they had it in the paper
I was told they recently moved somebody from another dept within the company to fill that position. She is definitely entry level, completely different field. Just goes to show.....
We may not have had to type on sticky paper
but MTs breaking into this business have their own set of challenges. I am a little tired being looked down on as a new MT, only 5 years, because it is so much easier. I beg to differ.

I went to school to be an MT. I have under my belt a 2-year Associates degree in Medical Transcription and a CareerStep class. I was hired by a national company who promised me a constant account with 2 backups, and I did not lie about my experience. I was at goal my first day of traning and have always had QA scores above the required average.

In return, I went to work and printed sample after sample after sample as we had over 100 doctors in my primary account alone. I learned new voices, new ways of pronouncing medications, and that some people still use kilograms as a unit of measurement. I faithfully made note of every blank I left and its correction so it would not be a blank again. I studied not only transcription but the other doctors names, specialties, area hospitals, local physicians, nursing homes, lakes and recreational facilities, highway and route numbers, and pretty much every possible place a person could work in the area.

My secondary account did not get as much attention initially, but 6 months after I started, my account was yanked and sent to India (where they no doubt know more about US geography than I do), so I repeated the process over again. So far I had made it a year and learned clinic notes, routine procedures (sometimes called OP notes), consultations, and ER transcription.

I had not lied about my experience, but it really didn't matter because one day I woke up, went to work, and was getting discharge summaries from a teaching hospital that I have never heard of. I was told that since I am doing so well that it was time to move on. LOL...it was more like no other team in the company could type that account so we got it. I typed it, cried, and typed it some more. Pretty soon, I was literally not making enough money to pay my bills after I paid my health insurance. I was not making my quota, which I had always regularly exceeded, and I was worried that I was going to lose my job for not producing. By the way, I am at a whopping 6.5 cents a line at this point.

I went looking for a job. I was recruited by a smaller MTSO by their president. He said that they were very supportive, like one big happy family, and they jump on a conference every month just to hash out any issues they have. I even got a 1 cpl raise. WOW...but, I am 3 months short of your 2-year minimum exeperience requirement. (I didn't lie).

I got the job anyway, and after 3-1/2 years, I have never jumped on a big ole conference call or had the opportunity to hash out any issues. Since being there, I have learned 10 accounts (repeat above learning process times 10), and I am still one of the highest producing MTs they have.

Again, I was handed a gift by my MTSO. I was given the opportunity to work on their self-described second hardest account because I was doing so well. Again, the message was sent by waking up one day and seeing it in my queue. I decided to be a team player because the company line is if you can do this, you can do anything. You will make bank.

Eventually, I was given another opportunity to help out on an account. This soon became my primary account because no one they trained on it could do it, and the account I was hired to do (and loved) was given to someone else. I figured if I was doing harder work (and the hardest they had),after 3 years I should get a raise.

No, I couldn't have a raise because they still had my primary account related to my pay scale. It didn't matter that even if I begged, I couldn't get that work. I was still what they considered a Level 1 MT. Shame on me, I went looking for another job.

I held that job for 1-1/2 weeks. I spent 3 days in training after waiting 2-1/2 months for my computer to arrive. It then took me another week to track down my production supervisor to be able to start working and get samples for my account. In our phone call, she apologized for taking so long (insert baby crying), but she was very busy as they had taken away her assistant and not replaced her (insert long pause as she IMs someone else). She was very hard to get a hold of now (insert baby crying again) but she would do what she could to get me started. I typed for 5 days and had 3 unanswered questions that were critical to me doing my work. I came back after a 2-day break to an e-mail that she was going to be gone for a week at a production supervisor meeting. Yes, I quit and without notice.

I was wise enough now to have not given up my current contract, and I decided to accept that they were going to pay me when they felt like it, but I was not going to take Level 1 pay for doing Level 3 work. I assumed that account full-time in June. I was off almost $800 that month even with the increased line rate (so much for making bank). By September I was back up to the production that was normal for me and raised my contract to 14,000 lines. Then last week, my boss tells me that we are backed up in OPs in this account.

I said that I would take them on as I had been practicing on them for quite some time. As I expected, my production dipped again. I knew I was not going to make 7000 lines, and I IM'd my supervisor that if I was going to be set for all OPs, I would need to readjust my contract back down.

The tizzy fit that she threw defies description, and I am back wishing for a new job. I told her simply that either we are in trouble for not meeting production or we are in trouble for not being a team player. I cannot produce 7000 lines of OP notes in a week, and I am not being terminated for not meeting my contract goals.

Is it fair that you have a single priority report that needs to be typed, and all I have to do is read the account notes (all xxx pages) and type it, BUT you are going to bash me if my production is off.

It is really easy for the MTSO
or management or whoever does it to complain that the quality isn't there or line counts aren't being met but wouldn't consider paying an ounce of training time to compensate you.

My husband is also self-employed. If I said to him, I know you regularly make xxx dollars an hour, but this is an emergency, and you are the only one who could do it, so would you mind spending 20 or 30 minutes learning how to do this. I know you may never have to do it again, and I won't pay you any more than what I normally would no matter how long it takes you, but would you do it to be a team player? I would STILL be taking that flying leap.

When you were back typing on sticky paper, did you regularly worry that you were going to have to stay an extra hour in the evening because the report you were on was taking too long? Did you spend your evenings researching doctors in Bullhead City, Arizona, and Columbus, Ohio, and in some little known town in Louisiana that has a clinic but barely even a zip code? Did you have to use Mapquest as one of your transcription tools so you could figure out where this guy on this account is from? Did your boss come to you and say there is a clinic 300 miles away that is behind, and I volunteered you to do their work? Don't leave, now, until you have 1000 lines in. And don't WHINE.

PS...how do you know they don't whine in India.
so, it wasn't put on paper that you are terminated
Saw on paper that pay was only 6 - 8.5 cpl. Is that what you guys will be starting at, or staying
On the front page of my morning paper
I see a big ad in my paper for Heartland IS, many bad reviews on this board.

Stuff about them being sold and on their website is a big picture of....India? I am sort of new to the business, one of the MQ SE in the middle of the shuffle.  Are there any companies that are stable? I am tired of stress.  


I don't think so. What you see on paper or on the screen in black and white.
If it were me, I certainly would ask specifically the HR person or MTSO. Pick up the phone, dial their number, and ask. Never take a job, unless you know how and what you are getting paid for.

I do believe it means without spaces, but I could be wrong. Things change so fast in this industry, what it means one day, does not necessarily have the same definition tomorrow.
Tradeoff between paper use and system speed (sm).
If I have too many reference lists up in Excel and Wordpad, my system bogs down; Microsoft products are such memory hogs.
I DID type on sticky paper and an IBM Selectric
Yes, I did stay an extra hour because a report was too long. The difference was I got paid for it and appreciated for it.

I agree with you. The cheap exploitation of the third world has driven a high percentage of this field into filthy trash and many of those managing it into slumlords. It went from MTs working from home to fill a need to just dirty bloodsucking middlemen looking for a place to weasel into and make a buck off the backs of others.

What do you mean that you have Thanksgiving with your family? What do you mean that your arms or back hurt after no time off for months? What do you mean that you need time off for a mammogram? Geeze. It's sick. It's just disgusting. I'm in it only because I've done it so long I'm not quite sure what else to do. I'm back at a hospital so I can be a PERSON again. The difference is night and day. I'm finding the hospitals are grossing-out on it, too, and outsourced MTs are thought of as those poor things and somewhat pitiful. Like a necessary evil they are trying to figure a way around.

LOL .. I'll bet you are write. UGH on the carbon paper ... sm
We typed in triplicate, so had to correct 3 documents each time I made a mistake.   Forget the good old days in this case ... I am going to give my PC a big hug right now! 
Webmedx first pay date DD or paper check?
Just wondering.  I know every place does something different.  I asked my STM, and she is trying to find out for me, but i thought this might be faster. 
mean black character on white paper
also called virtual black character or VBC. Spaces not paid for. Never do it. This is just horrible.
I wish I had kept the article out of the paper on Transcend outsourcing
The home office located (as you might know) close to Atlanta and it was listed as a top company for Georgia but was I surprised when the person speaking made no bones about their outsourcing and the reason they STATED for it, lack of American MTs. Well, ladies, who do you feel about that? I am sure someone posting on MTstars has this article because they did last time. Hopefully they can quote word for word.
I'll check paper tomorrow, but not sure about Broward,
12/cpl, hsi, no travel time, no paper/products. Small town.
Article in local paper about Spheris and outsourcing to India
Franklin-based Spheris Near Top of Medical Transcription Business

In today’s world of Palm Pilots and voice-recognition software, you might think the need for medical transcriptionists is waning. You would be wrong. Franklin-based Spheris employs more than 5,000 medical transcriptionists worldwide and is looking to hire more as its service to more than 200,000 physicians at health systems, hospitals and doctor groups continues to grow.

The world is changing because the demand for electronic medical records … is very high. Certainly there are some technologies being tried and adopted, such as speech-recognition technology or systems where the physician is required to key in his or her own information. Those are still in their infancy and hold some promise in the distant future. But for right now the work-flow habits of physicians and hospitals and the need to see many more patients and process them more efficiently is driving the demand for what we do to its highest levels, explains Harry Shaw, Spheris investor relations.

In July, Spheris was named No. 7 among the nation’s fastest-growing healthcare information technology companies. The designation was by the publication Healthcare Informatics, which also ranked Spheris 28th for total revenue. The company is the second largest in the medical transcription industry.

Spheris’ growth is in no small measure due to its December 2004 acquisition of HealthScribe (also known briefly as Avicis), which was No. 3 in the field. While terms of the deal were not disclosed, Spheris gained a workforce of more than 1,800 transcriptionists. About 1,500 of those employees work at a centralized facility in Bangalore, India. Thus, says Shaw, the transaction gave Spheris a much-needed global perspective.

To service this increased demand that’s out there, having enough medical transcriptionists to do the work is a real challenge to the industry in general. One way to tackle that increased demand is to tap the resources that are available globally, he says. One of the neat things about having an operation based in India is that a lot of dictation is done at the end of the day after hours. So we get a lot of volume that comes in late in the evening, and if you follow the sun, that’s the morning time for India. They’re just starting their business day, so we can route a lot of volume that we get late in the day to India when transcriptionists are just coming to work.

Shaw says the fact that Spheris owns its international facility and employs its workers rather than subcontracting differentiates the company from similar businesses. In addition, all Spheris’ medical transcriptionists in the United States are either full-time or part-time employees of the company.

With more than 3,500 employees and additional sites in St. Petersburg, Fla., and Sterling, Va., Spheris depends on high-tech global systems to quickly turnaround client transcription. Here’s how the technology works: Spheris provides clients with a server and whatever voice-capture system the client prefers. That might be a hand-held device or it might be a phone number the client calls. Shaw says fulfillment shops ensure that the client — as well as transcriptionists — have the hardware and software necessary to do the job. Following a patient encounter, physicians and other healthcare providers dictate details such as patient history, diagnosis and medications prescribed. The voice files are sent to a data center in either Franklin, St. Petersburg or Sterling, then passed out to transcriptionists.

The technology play is critical for a company of our size, and it’s one of the advantages that we offer in terms of cost savings, he says. He acknowledges, however, the continued existence of sneaker net, with some physicians continuing to speak into a tape recorder; then tapes are picked up at the office for delivery to Spheris.

Most of Spheris’ U.S. transcriptionists work out of their homes, where they usually receive digitized voice files over the Internet. Spheris offers the client a variety of templates, or the client may have its own format. Turnaround time is 12 to 24 hours, Shaw says, although stat service is available.

As it is known today, Spheris is the result of a small Franklin company called Total eMed, which purchased the much larger EDiX from IDX Systems in June 2003. The resulting company was branded as Spheris. In November 2004, the company completed a recapitalization in which two private equity investors, Warburg Pincus and Soros Private Equity (now known as TowerBrook Capital Partners), acquired ownership. The management team, led by President and CEO Steven E. Simpson, also invested and continues to lead company operations.

Asked if an IPO is in Spheris’ future, Shaw says the company will take a cautious approach to that. We want to make sure that we stay disciplined around the acquisition of HealthScribe, making sure that we’re fully integrating all aspects of that. … We do have a growth strategy in mind, and that certainly is an option down the road.
Yes, I am aware of it. sm
I struggled and struggled when I first discovered my company was offshoring, but then I realized that I have bills to pay and a family to feed; which comes first for me. I cannot afford to just give up 5 years with a company and start over with new docs, new accounts, etc. It was taken a little while, but in all honesty, the work that I edit from India is pretty good. There are a few things that still throw them for a loop, but for the most part, they are not as bad as you would think! I actually do way better doing editing/QA than I did transcribing, so this is where I stay.
(from above), as they must be aware of them by now.
I'm an IC with DSG - now aware they do this.
sorry - s/b noT aware they do this.
I was not aware FN had VR
do you mean Voice Recognition or were you doing QA???
I am aware of them
because I almost took a job with them, and I'm glad I didn't. What I hear is never good. If you Google I'm sure you will see discussions about them from this site.
no VR at all as far as I'm aware (nm)
Please be aware that...
they have more VR editing jobs than straight transcription, for which you will not earn enough to buy groceries...the pay for editing is very low no matter where you work.
Yes, I'm well aware of that...
If you took the time to read my post, I said that there are others who make more.  You are the one who has such a difficult time believing it, not me.
Yes, I am aware
That's why I was hoping to find someplace that kinda paid as you go. Someday when I've hit the lotto it might be an intriguing business concept- a true on-call perdiem type service. Until then, though, I guess I'll just have to learn to drink my coffee black and thrive on Cocoa Wheats and Ramen Noodles.
Are you not aware of the

unemployment numbers climbing as we speak?  Getting into a new field even if you have the right education is no piece of cake in this job market.  You are damned if you do and damned if you don't. 

The reason people try to stay with MT is because if you have years of experience and the education, the health care field is one that is relatively recession/depression proof.  To go out on a limb at this time and try to get into a new field/job is highly risky. Who is to say even if you do manage to get the right education that you would be able to get your foot in the door with no experience under your belt?  Then, how are you going to pay off your education debt?  That is what a lot of college grads are facing today.

A lot of the MTSOs are highly mismanaged these days.  The left arm does not know what the right arm is doing and in many instances very talented MTs with years of experience, dedication and devotion to this industry are finding it a sticky mess and are jumping ship early lest they get mired into madness.  That does not mean they are not looking elsewhere and darn well should.

So please let's not knock our fellow brethern when they complain about what they are going through making a living in this industry.  Let's all be empathetic and listen and try to empower rather than put down.  There is no job in America these days that is a anything to right home about.  If people say they love their jobs and are making gobs of money, you might ask them what planet they are living on.  We don't need to hear the tough love approach at this time.  This is a serious business and it is being seriously mismanaged and a lot of MTs are unduly suffering due to the callous and thoughtless approach of the powers that be.



No, we got a small Valentine's gift that looks like a paper weight/ memo holder??
Thank you. We do not pay for spaces, and we are aware of all the
very very good arguments about it. We feel our line is a true 65 char line, unlike some other services, we pay for headers, footers and everything on the page, and we have volume bonuses, we reimburse for flat rate phone plans, have bonus days off for volume, have given a raise, some small, some better, every year since we began 7+ years ago, and always have work. We try to fit people to the type of work they like, ops, discharges, internet, lanier, acute care, etc. We give high volume producers a few accounts daily so they don't run out of work, and lower producers just one, or perhaps two if they wish for insurance. We don't jerk you around acct to acct daily like I've read on this board of other services, we have a wonderful QA staff and support for all new people, growing every year so no one is cut short. We have almost all the original MTs who came with us when we started, and we hope that speaks volumes. SOmetimes it's not how much per line but how much can you make per hr, or per day, day in and day out with a service, and be treated with respect. We are not for everyone, but we hope we are not dismissed offhand because of the space issue without one really knowing us as a company.
And besides, they are already aware of the problem
I just wonder how they are going to resolve the issue.  I don't suppose they can unhire the recently hired MTs?  I wonder if they hired them at a lower rate than the oldtimers and just figure if the long time MDIers quit then they are paying less? 
Please be aware that Transcend is
accounts in the near future, so if you like VR that is for you.  But they are only paying half, so if you get 8 cpl for MT, you only get 4 CPL for VR.  Also, no incentives or shift differentials and they require you to work on weekends.  I don't know about the other one.
Are their clients aware?
If I were a client of theirs, I would look for someone else to do my transcription. If I were a patient of this client and if I found out that the client knowingly supports this sort of crap, I'd look for healthcare elsewhere. Heck, docs come a dime a dozen!!!

It all comes down to the customers--that's US!!! The American citizens who trust that our medical records are (1) kept confidential and (2) are done correctly IN THE USA!!!

There should be a way to inform the customers of HIS's clients. First and foremost, we, as customers, as Americans, need to boycott the physicians first--the ones who are sending American money overseas!!! There are PLENTY of other docs out there who support the USA and want to keep the work at home. They'll gladly take my money!

Persnonally, I don't want my medical record entrusted to overseas folks who, for the most part, hate us to begin with. They barely speak a word of English and they certainly do a pathetic job at trascribing. I've seen the damage these folks can do to medical records.

I think that we should boycott MDs who are paying HIS to transcribe for them.

If we don't stand up for ourselves now, what's next????

Just be aware that all accounts

on VR and they only pay you half your line rate - so if you are making 8 CPL, you would be paid only 4 CPL, and also no incentive for production, no shift differential, nothing extra, just 4 CPL.  Also it is very, very hard to double your production to make up for the half pay.  I felt I was mislead when I was hired about eventually having to go to VR (not given a choice) and what it entailed, low pay, etc.