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Serving Over 20,000 US Medical Transcriptionists

Toledo Blade article....let us know on here

Posted By: AVAmq on 2006-05-10
In Reply to: Toledo Blade interview today... - mary k

if it gets published..I'm down in Lima and can pick up a copy..would love to see it..I know I can read it online but I would rather see it in the paper down here.  Good Luck!

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Good luck with that since the article posted from the Toledo blade
The firm had announced it would be getting out of that five-year-old business and took a $7 million accounting charge in the first quarter.
Toledo Blade interview today...
I was interviewed by a reporter from the Toledo Blade and I am hoping this will be published. He did not give me any timeframe, but watch the Toledo Blade for the story. He also said there was a possibility it might make it on to the editorial page in letter form, but he was not in charge of that department, so he could not say that would happen for sure.

He also spoke with someone at Heartland Information Services, although he did not say who it was.

At least someone is listening!

I wrote this email and sent it to the Toledo Blade newspaper.
Dear Mr. Zerbey:

I wanted to make you and your readers aware of the situation that took place at Heartland Information Services (owned by HCR Manor Care-parent company-Toledo based company) today, Monday, May 8, 2006. In a mandatory conference call (for the chosen employees) Kathy Clemmons, VP of the US based operations and Colleen Neidert, HR Manager promptly told all of the US based medical transcriptionists and some Quality Assurance employees and auditors, that we no longer had jobs with Heartland Information Services. Kathy Clemmons stated that over the past 4 to 6 months Heartland had been looking at ways to become profitable for HCR Manor Care by increasing their business through new contracts with hospitals and physician practices. Apparently, according to Kathy Clemmons, VP, that did not happen and the company decided to look at ways to cut costs. Kathy Clemmons, VP stated that it cost Heartland 5 times more to pay the US based medical transcriptionists versus what they pay the medical transcriptionists in India. So, needless to say, here I am typing this email to you as one of the employees given a permanent layoff as per Colleen Neidert's (HR manager) words in the meeting. All US based MTs are employed until July 7, 2006 at 2:00pm, at which time, all computers are to be turned off and work as a Heartland employee ceases. They are offering the computers that employees used to work on from home offices for an astounding deal of $800. They are going to show the $800.00 on the time sheets as income and then deduct the federal taxes and then we will also be responsible for the state and local taxes on the computer. This is the severance package. Of course, we can opt not to take the computer and send it back.

Noticeably absent from this mandatory conference call was Dennis Paulik, President of Heartland Information Services. I thought that was rather professional and courteous of him. He destroys the lives of hundreds of employees and their families and then does not have the courtesy of firing his own employees! Great guy he is!

How many more jobs are we, as United States citizens going to lose to India or China? How much longer are we going to turn the other cheek? What is it going to take to stop this raping of our own country of jobs and lives for that matter? Who will have the nerve and strength to say enough is enough?

What will the hospitals and physicians' think when they learn that all of their dictation (legal documents in a court of law if there were to be a lawsuit) are being transcribed by nonEnglish speaking individuals? What will the patients of these facilities think? How is the HIPPA law being enforced overseas to protect the rights of patients?

The bottom line is money obviously, for Heartland and HCR Manor Care, but if given a choice, I know without a doubt, the American patient and American physician and hospital and healthcare facilities would choose quality and accuracy 100% of the time over an underpaid, nonEnglish speaking, half the world away individual listening to and transcribing their vital information pertaining to their actual lives in some cases.

I am one of those unfortunate individuals fired today. I worked my heart out for this company as did so many. We worked weekends, holidays, overtime, we worked when others were sick or on vacation or to cover shifts when individuals did not call in to work. We worked and worked, always grateful in the most humble of ways, grateful for our jobs with Heartland.

Heartland, the name itself, the heartland of America, not India, but America, all of the great American cities such as Toledo, Ohio; Madison, Wisconsin; Omaha, Nebraska, and Rockford, Michigan. What will happen to us now? Where do we go from here? Sure, we will all find ways to continue on, we have to, but what about the next company, the next American citizen working hard to live the true American dream, what happens when it continues to happen? Where does it end?

God Bless us all. May we be blessed with great, American based jobs.

I would be most grateful to you if you would place this email on the Editorial page or even the front page of the Toledo Blade. I am a full-blooded American just telling my story and the story of hundreds of others today. May you find it in your heart to hear the cries of the American worker, simply trying to live the American dream, only to be replaced by the Indian worker, trying to destroy the American dream.

Thank you for listening not only to me, but I hope my words expressed what so many of us former employees are feeling tonight here in the Heartland of America.
Toledo Blad

Here is what i found on teh web site this morning.



Started in Toledo?

When my sister was hired, it was mentioned that Heartland began in Toledo. Not sure if that was Dennis Paulik . . .

Rochester Business Journal - August or Sept 2005.   And it wasn't all 15 years ago.... charges still pending in 1999 -- but read the article for accurate information on the convictions and judge for yourself. 
I saw that article too
They pay their MTs the equivalent of about $135/month US, which for the year is more than 3 times their national average of about $500/year US.  My electric bill is over $135/month.
Here is the article


If they delete this link, email me; I have the article saved.

Very interesting article.
Sadly, the wave of the future, I suppose. I'm glad to see some of the transcriptionists spoke up, but unfortunately, people who don't understand transcription are always the ones making the decisions! Thanks again for sharing.
This was a great article.


did any other HISers see this article? sm
I saw the article...AND the CEO's pay. Yowza. nm
Interesting article

 In 2003, Indian employees, who were working on medical records for Ohio’s Heartland Information Services, threatened to release confidential records unless they received a cash payoff from the company.



It's a slightly old article -
Right. That's what the article said, basically.
That all correct English is the same, wherever the country:

English in India may have a British hangover but by no means is it vastly different from American English or any other correct English for that matter.

She expects Indians working for American countries to have excellent English ... like hers. If only our visitor could write like that, we wouldn't be appalled.

what article?.....and why would I be disappointed?
i looked at the article...
and it still does not clear up the line count issue for me at all. : (
Can you link this article?
I am interested in reading this and how they came up with their figures. I QA Indian reports, and maybe 5% of the MTs could pass a quality audit at 98%. I wonder what kind of guidelines they are using to get this 99% figure.
It is definitely going to India....big article
Do you have Link to article? nm
Here is the article - they do offshore

and seem mighty proud about it.  LG states that about 15% of the work is outsourced to India (that was in May, 2008 - number more likely 35% by now), but that the clients are in the U.S.  That was a strange quote, IMO.


If this link disappears, email me.  I saved the article.

Good article.
That's right — the Franchise Tax Board and IRS come after you and, at the very least,
disallow your related business deductions.

Yikes, only one more reason not to work for the companies that treat their ICs like employees.
Link to article


Can't bring up the article - could you cut and paste - sm
it so that we could read it??
What is the storyline title to the article?
According to the article posted, one of the proposed

Am I googling correctly, that Nuance is affiliated with both Dragon (speech recognition) and Focus Infomatics (Indian??). 

So, if Philips sells to Nuance, what are the implications?  Does Focus have American MT's?

I know these are scary questions and purely speculative at this point. 

If I understand the article correctly,

the records were stolen FROM a Transcriptionist who was subcontracting, not BY a transcriptionist, probably as a result of a computer being stolen or a home break-in, although the article did not say.  It seems the only way to prevent this type of records breach would be to keep all transcriptionists in-house.  Or am I missing something? 

Tried to get article about outsourcing from Transcend
today from the newspaper. I have to call back tomorrow, the department closed today. That might be true what you are saying but what do you think about the statement that not enough MTs in the US to do the work. I find that kind of odd because I see people on here saying they are out of work.
I just read the article. Man, those answers sure don't
Like how little MT's are paid. Like how much they expect them to know, how fast the work is expected to be turned around, and how most MTs don't even have health insurance, and have to work 2-3 jobs just to live. They also didnt mention how much editing is involved with SR and offshore work. And I think their US-vs-India ratio is bogus as well. Most MTSOs these days have more work don in India than in the US.
Deception seems to be everywhere. There was an article about a trucking cm

company that set up a dummy office in another state to license its hundreds of vehicles there to avoid paying taxes here where apparently it is higher.  I know it is not MT, just seems like Corporate America (or Corporate India) is packed with liars everywhere. 

As far as the MT part goes, I would be tempted to contact the clients and ask if they knew their work was going to India, but then I suppose that could set you up for a bunch of lawsuits.  Still, it would not hurt my feelings if they somehow ended up losing their accounts because of all of this deceit.

Ab article below that says Proscript lost a lot of their accounts. Can someone tell me about this as
I am interested in this company or at least I was.
how can i find mary K article that everyone is talkign about?
Do not believe that article about Spheris. You'll be disappointed.
Is this an article somewhere? I thought MD-IT merged with SOAP in
Just read article about health crisis sm
for the MT workers in India. Study says workers are getting stressed working long hours and developing health issues. Check out the amount of lines they put out and with 99% accuracy compared to AAMT's accuracy of 98% Oh please!
article in For the Record - iPhone dictation
get current with the industry or it will run you down - MModal is pitching doctors to dictate and edit their own reports on iPhones...Obama's plan is to get electronic medical records rolling - and all those technology saavy students, residents, interns etc may just pick up their iPhone to dictate - they probably already have one....lol. As far as dictaphone/Nuance - the extext system is very short on being anywhere near self-sustainable as a VR - they ought to worry about their competition and quit the prediction games.
Article- could Indian Outsourcing Be in Trouble?

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.
They did say that, with the added "foreseeable future." Right in their own article about the
acquisition it says something about moving some of those jobs onto their VR platform, as well as stating that they plan to offshore more and more work.  So they are concerned about making lots of moola, not the MTs having jobs.  Somewhere in there it even stated something to the effect of they can make more $ by using FEWER MTs with their VR platform.  See the thread above about how the current people have no work on the NIGHT SHIFT, watch it disappear at 10 p.m. every night, even tho they said they only offshore BECAUSE nobody will work the night shift.  And yet the poor night shift worker sits there with no work and watches it go to India.  That's a travesty, especially in our current economy with astronomical unemployment rates.
There is an article in Radiology Today that MQ just got all of Christus Health, more than 40 sm
hospitals.  I suppose that means that more work will be available very soon, which might be why they are recruiting and keeping so many transcriptionists hanging on.  Has anyone heard a start date?  Are they losing accounts too or just adding?  Trying to make a decision and this just made it more confusing for me.
Article is from 12/04/05 edition of Nashville Medical News

I found an article stating they have already spent over 6 months
already in place to take over immediately. I found it on their website if I'm not mistaken.
CBAY is Indian owned - article in Baltimore
Business Journal went on and on about how successful the Indian owner was and how he flies to India every other week to go to the office in India. I was really appalled and disgusted by the article because our American writers made it seem like Americans could not handle the work and therefore, had to be offshored and therefore, made this Indian owners a huge success in the US.
Thank you. That is a great, factual article. I hope the others read it.
I read the article, it states exactly what the company always tells us...
that they offshore a small percentage of their work, and that it will never take the place of their domestic MLS. I love working at Transcend.

For someone that doesn't work at Transcend, you sure have gone to a lot of trouble to find the article and continue posting about it. Any other issues?
The Transcend article has to be accurate as it is part of their SEC filing. sm
Unless of course they are pulling a Medquist!
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.
Should Dennis Paulik and Kathy Clemmons read the article?
Should they know we will not be silent? Our voices need to be heard.
Wall Street Journal article, October 2004
A friend sent this to me. UCSF heard from an overseas MT who had not been paid that if she did not receive the $$ owed her she would publish the reports on the internet. There was a lot of followup to this which I will not go into here, but why wouldn't this sort of thing still be possible.

Later that year there was a report of a group of MTs in Bangladesh who tried to force a change in their local management by threatening to make transcribed documents public.

After that California was supposedly looking at a bill to disallow sending confidential medical reports overseas as they are not bound by HIPPA. Never heard what came of that.

I still tell these stories to anyone considering sending work abroad. I just wish some of them overseas would be stupid enough to actually pull a few stunts like that and then see how much work we lose.
Atlanta Journal Constitutional Article - this link works

May 22, 2008 - Atlanta Journal Constitution article: