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65 character line versus gross lines versus pay by word

Posted By: Wondering MT on 2006-05-01
In Reply to:

I am checking into other options for transcription.  Can anyone tell me how to compare all of these types of lines & also payment per word?  I know companies use different scales, so I wondered how they compare.  I have been paid on a 65 character line with spaces, but I may be making a change in the future - don't want to get burned.

Thank you in advance!

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Question versus gross lines versus 65-character lines....

I have always charged or been paid by 65 or 60 character lines or per letter or space typed, but have never been paid or charged per gross line.

What is the advantage of this?  If I were to charge 11 cents per 65-character line including spaces, what does this figure out to for an average line rate and how do you do this calculation? 

I'm wondering if it is financially beneficial for me to bill by gross line or to keep it the way I have it.  I do know some accounts will only pay per 65-character line, as this was the deal my first own account I recently acquired.  They were adamant on a 65-character line, but didn't specify with or without spaces and I personally would never not charge for spaces.

Thanks for explaining this.  I appreciate it and hope everyone has a speedy day.

Line rates gross versus 65-character

I recently had a call for family practice dictation and I offered 12 cents per line.  Have always charged by the gross line and was charging 14 cents, which I thought was too high, so lowered it to 12 cents.  However, the more I am reading I see that 65 character seems to be the way everything is getting billed.  I also realize at 12 cents per line I lose a lot going to 65 character lines. 

I also realize with family practice that they might have a lot of times where there is one or two words on a line and probably wouldn't be too happy about paying for gross lines. 

I guess I'm looking for advice on charging.  Is charging for gross lines unheard of anymore? I have already quoted the 12 cents, so that will have to be my charge.  But as far as gross or 65 character, I haven't been asked that yet but would need to have that absolutely straight with them before starting.  Any opinions would be greatly appreciated.  I know I'm a little behind the times and am trying to catch up and stay competitive also. 


Gross line versus character line....Sm please

I am thinking of taking a job that pays by the gross line and not a 65-character line.  I have never worked this way.  Does this literally mean if there is one little word on a line you get paid for it?  I have not pinned her down on a line rate but I am just thinking I am going to be comparing apples to oranges and am wondering how to accomplish that. 

Thanks for any help!

Gross lines versus 65-char, etc.
I think the above poster misunderstood me. I was trying to simplify the difference between counting a gross line and counting a line via character - which IS basically blowing out the document to full 65 character lines (with or without spaces)and counting them, versus counting anything on the line as a line.

That is true, though - the best way to compare documents is to look at the gross line count (after changing margins and font to 1" and Courier 12 respectively), then taking the character count and dividing by 65. Many who have never been paid by gross lines or have not really compared the difference would be amazed to see how many less lines you get on a 65-char count.
Gross versus 65 char line
Can someone tell me how a gross line is calculated. Thanks.
byte count versus gross line-sm

Does anyone know how to compare byte count versus gross line pay?

Thank you

what is the .065 cents per gross line equivalent to in 65 character lines?
Would it be about 8 cpl 65 characters or higher?
per word versus per line

I have never been paid by the line before, and I was wondering before I go any further, what would be the minimum requirement of lines per day for most services?  I want to be full time and have benefits.



Aaahhhh, now I get it. Gross lines vs. Character lines. I guess I've just been conditioned to
think in terms of character lines.  One of the perils of working as an IC for somebody who defines what a line is versus owning your own company and defining it yourself.  After working for someone else for 15 years, maybe it's time to bust out on my own.
Are your lines 65-character, gross, or
other? Just curious as I do clinic work and in my area the going rate for gross lines is about 12 cpl, but more like 15-17 cpl for 65-character lines. I have heard (don't really know how reliable it is) that hospitals are charged up to the 22 cpl range. (I assumed that was on 65-character lines.)
$.06 gross line / .70 = approximately $.0857 cents per 65 character line.

A gross line is anything on a line versus 65 gross characters per net line the other way.  You make more money working for the gross line than for the 65 gross character line, as long as the line rate's OK.

Yes if gross line or 65 character line with spaces....Good Deal!!! nm
Curious, do most IC's usually charge by the gross line or 65 character line?
Thank you~
65 gross character line

Could someone please explain to me how this works. I have been an MT for 7 years with the same company and have been paid by # of total bytes divided by 72 x 11 cents per line. I am now moving on to a new job which pays by the 65 gross character line and I'm not sure how to figure this out. Would appreciate any help. Thanks so much.

A gross line IS a gross line regardless if it's 90 characters long or 1 character long... SM

I'm very sorry that your lines are 90 characters line and you get paid by gross lines.  You are cheating yourself - that's not my fault.  You cannot change the definition of a gross line.  So I gues I'm not understanding what you are trying to say.  Now if you are trying to say that your line equals 90 characters and that's how you figure your lines, than you are not using gross lines.  You have defined a line to be 90 characters, whereas most MTSOs define a line as 65 characters.  If that is the case, then I must say again, you are cheating yourself.

So which is it, do you get paid by gross lines or by a 90 character line?

Whatever the word you used versus
what it is supposed to be, apparently it was wrong. Since you will not tell us the word, we have no way of knowing. Maybe the QA person misspoke by telling you not to guess, as they would have no way of knowing, but--did you use the wrong word or not????
line versus report sm
There is just no way of knowing until you're there.  It's crazy.  I used to work for a company that paid by report, but they were all MRIs and specials.  Then I worked at Spheris for a few months being paid by the line and could never get my line count because #1 the platform sucked (copy and paste.. it took longer to save a report than to type it) and #2 I was getting a lot of short reports.  A lot of companies pay by the line on certain accounts and by the report for others. So you just have to try it.  If it's not working out for you after a month or so, it's time to look elsewhere.
Per page versus per line
Does anyone know how to compare a per-page rate versus a per 65-character incl. spaces rate?
Pay by line versus pay by characters; what is
I was referring to gross 65 character per line with spaces, sm
but again, it was very grueling, but possible. Granted, I had no life besides the keyboard.
65-gross line vs.65-gross character line

Can someone explain the difference between these two?  I am assuming that the gross line is better than the gross character line.  How much better is being paid by the gross character line than just by the standard 65-character line?  Does anyone know how much difference it would make in dollars and cents?


There is no such thing as a gross 65 character line! OMG! No wonder MTs are making peanuts SM

Some MTs can't even define a line.

A gross line is a any line with typewritten characters on it no matter how long or how short.

A 65 character line is just that - a line with 65 characters on it.


I agree with Tinks....no such thing as a 65 character GROSS line....unless
you just so happen to type 65 characters during on that particular line. LOL

A gross line can be a full typed line or it can be one word on a line to complete a sentence that began on the prevous line. But it gets counted as an entire line.

pay per dictated minute versus per line
which is better being paid per dictated minute or paid per line? 
...up to you to see if you can make more per line at home versus going
QA Pay Preference -- hourly versus per line? SM

I've been offered two QA jobs; one that pays $15 per hour and one that pays 4 cpl.  I'm told that I can make more than $15 per hour on production because you get credit for all lines in a report, even if you make only one correction.  So I figured that to make the equivalent of $15 per hour, I would have to QA 3000 lines a day.  So here's my question, is 3000 lines of QA in an 8 hour day feasible and is it possible to do more lines than that in an 8 hour day?

Both offer employee status, benefits, etc.  Benefit plans are pretty much exactly the same down to the same health insurance company. 

It is not MT versus MTSO we have a bottom line too, & right now it is -
Word 2002 versus 2003
I use 2003, is there a huge difference?  Is 2002 more user friendly or is that just the one you are required to have?
But that's a GROSS line, not a 65 character line.
So a newbie would have no problem at all hitting 150 lines per hour.  A gross line is any line with a printed character on it.
Which is better? Gross line or 65 character line? It's
gross line and character line
I am an IC currently doing one doctor who pays me by the hour but I will be starting another doctor soon and he will be dictating differently so I was going to charge him per line.  What is the difference of charging gross lines or per 65 character line?
C-Phone +word versus software progam
I need opinions please.  On which can you get a better line count?  Thinking about switching companies.  TIA
C-phone + Word versus software program
What I'm trying to say is that it seems more time consuming to use a C-Phone and Word rather than a software program because everything is just a click away with a program, whereas with a C-phone and Word you have to dial in, do paperwork, send work through e-mail, create templates, etc, etc.  Seems much more efficient to use a program thereby saving time and making more $$$.  (You can probably tell I'm still fairly to this). TIA
Gross line, also including blank lines because my line rate is so low. It all works out in the wash.
Gross line = each line on page counts as a line, even if it's only 1 word. nm
Gross line is actual lines. sm
9 cpl if count is by 65 chars is not too much, IMO, for an experienced MT. If counting by gross lines, 7.5 c on a gross line equals about 9 cpl on a 65-char line, so if they use gross lines, it might sound low per line but it equals out in the end. A gross line is any line on the page. In other words, you can use your finger and count each line on the page that has words on it, and that's your line count. Most don't count blank lines. However, a lot depends on what they are including in that line, regardless. Are spaces included if 65-char line? Does the line count software count formatting changes (such as bold, underline, etc) If so, that will increase total line count. If not, it will decrease it. Gross line is usually a better deal unless the company is using a size 9 font or something or decrease the side margins. 11-12 size font with 1" margins is good with gross lines. The only thing that affects gross lines is the side margins or the font size. With 65-char line, font and margins don't affect it, which is why most go with that now. You take total characters (incl spaces if they pay for them, as someone else said) and divide by 65 to get total lines. Another thing to ask, if they use templates or normals, are the lines in those included? If not, that decreases total line count, too.

It's really hard for someone to say "this is the rate you should ask for" though, because there can be so much variability from company to company as far as what they count as a line. Also, is it clinic or acute care work? If clinic, generally easier and same docs all the time, so even at a lower line rate, you might make more in the end if you use expander, normals, templates, etc. Is there a platform or can you use Word and your own expander? If acute care where you have different docs all the time, a lot of ESLs, clunky platform, no Expander program, etc., it might slow you down so even with a higher line rate, you might not make as much in the long run. Therefore, you have to take all of that into consideration to arrive at what line rate you should charge or ask for ... almost have to adjust to each different company or client, really. For clinic work, 8-9 cents per 65-char line can net some good pay. For acute care, you might want more like 10-11 to get the same pay. Hope this all makes sense!
Courier 10 in Word is a 72 character line.
I was offered a position for the same as you mentioned and declined. I found a position that pays 10 cents a gross line with Courier 12, 65 character line.

You do need to remember, a line is a line when paid by gross line. So, if you initials are the only characters on a line, you are paid for that full line.

Chars aren't counted in gross lines. If you have a 4-line paragraph...sm
you have 4 gross lines, no matter how long or short the sentences are. A heading on it's own line is 1 gross line. A signature on it's own line is 1 gross line. The date at the top of a document on it's own line is 1 gross line. Anything on a line going from margin to margin is 1 gross line, no matter how few or many characters, or if there are spaces or not, even if there's only 1 character on that line like 'A' for instance. Does this  help? :)
gross-anything on line counts as line,even one word
Two companies, both 65 char lines including spaces, one pays 0.10/l and the other 8.5/gross line. n
Quick question! Is 10 cpl with benefits at 74 character line better than 9 cpl at 65 character line?
PPD versus ppd

Ok - maybe I am having a brain fart - the dictation says the guy smokes 1 "ppd"  (pack per day) should i do ppd or PPD??  It is verbatim.


x versus X
I need to know if it should be x or X.  IE  8 mm X 7 mm.
CMA versus CNA
Medical Assistants ARE allowed to give medications and injections, and have been taught properly by their MA schooling how to do this. CNA is all patient care, changing beds, changing clothes, bathing, taking vitals (maybe), but no giving of medications. They were not schooled in this and legally should not be doing it...and that is probably universal through all states. That was what I was taught when taking my MA courses. LPNs can, FNPs can, RNs can, PAs can, but not CNAs. Totally different area of care.
RMT versus CMT - sm

The RMT (Registered Medical Transcriptionist) credential that is for those MTs who have just recently graduated or have been working but do not have the required 2 years of acute care experience to write the CMT (Certified Medical Transcriptionst) exam. 

You can find information about the CMT and RMT exams and credentials at http://www.aamt.org/scriptcontent/creddesig.cfm.

RE: cc versus ml
We were told cc was on the "Do not use" list, according to
Joint Commission for a couple of years now.
CVA versus CVA
One is an infarct in the heart, the other is an infract in the brain, but I agree with other posts. Many times it will be dictated in the body of the report and you can determine the exact differentiation between the two. However, if you absolutely cannot do this, you cannot guess in a diagnosis and have to simply leave it as CVA, or possibly defer it to QA, in which they probably cannot determine it any more than you can, and they would probably leave it as CVA.
MT versus MLS
How about the MTSO Company who now refers to their MTs as Medical Language Specialists.  Does anybody believe they get more money for being an MLS instead of just a plain ole MT?
MT versus becoming RN

Hi all.

I did a search in my area to look at RN salaries.  I know working from home I can make $52,000 with some effort.  The having to pay my own taxes is offset by not having to drive to/from work.  Just curious of any of you have decided to go to school to be an R.N.  My husband thinks it would be a good idea, but since I have been at home for over 10 years, it would take some convincing!


Base Salary $59,036 70.4%
Bonuses $150 0.2%
Social Security $4,528 5.4%
401k / 403b $3,670 4.4%
Disability $947 1.1%
Healthcare $5,328 6.4%
Pension $2,486 3.0%
Time Off $7,740 9.2%
Total $83,883 100%

Well, I'm not sure that you really want an answer of HOW to do it versus
just defending yourself, which is fine, by the way.  Well, if you want an opinion on your situation, you see the problem yourself. You admit that you didn't discipline them and let them always have their way, which you feel is responsible for today's behavioral problems. Chances are they would have the same problems were they not with you 24/7 cause its your parenting skills that are at issue. Know what I mean?  No, being an MT at home and raising your kids is NOT equivalent to what you, yourself, admit you did.  You can't sit and type and let children run the house free will. You have to use your head and multitask, as the other poster said! Plan your days, plan activities, have a schedule for them, etc. Not trying to be mean, but that's really obvious, isn't it? You realize it now.  Why not say something encouraging, like, Gee, I'm sure it can be done, but not the way I did it. I messed up.  Rather, you post your negative experience which YOU caused and act like it can have no other outcome. It can.  I have 3 kids, and all 3 different personalities.  My oldest and first was the most demanding.  I basically set up a Little Tykes playground for her in my office, and STILL she didn't want me to "type", as she grew to call it. Constant battle of wills, but guess who prevailed? Me! I'm the parent! She grew to understand that she would have her fun time AFTER my work - i.e. going to the park, movies, etc. My second child was an angel and would just sit on the floor playing with fuzz if that's all there was.  My third child was a boy, and enough said there!  I had no help whatsoever - unless you can include a bunch of negative relatives who mocked me rather than offer a hand in help, but it CAN BE DONE, and we were SO happy together.  It is SO worth the effort - these are your children - your legacy - your LIFE.  If they aren't your life, then my words are falling on deaf ears.  I work around the clock - still do - typing hours here and there to have MY FAMILY as my #1 Priority.  All my employers have always understood that and been more than willing to work with me.  Also, I had stayed away from working for some companies that demand a set schedule because I refuse to work a set 8 hours shift with kids.  Know what? Every single company said they would let me do "my own thing" on hiring, so while everyone else complains about having to work a straight 8 hour shift, I didn't have to! It can be done, even with the strictest companies! They respect where our hearts are, if its with our kids!  Again, sorry for what sounds like a horrible experience for you and your kids, but you, yourself, admit it was your own fault.  You are not the majority, though, again, the posters on this board are definitely anti-kids, so you've found your niche in that regard, so to speak!  And, also, now that your kids have behavioral problems, severe, I believe, per YOUR words -- is the solution going to come from an outside source? From a stranger? Or from you?  It doesn't sound to me like its working now.  Only YOU can really fix your mistake and change your kids. As long as they're still with you, no matter how old, there is hope.  But passing them off to the school system, or counsellors, or some "expert" is probably not gonna be too successful. Ground Zero is Mom, good or bad, positive or negative.
melena versus whatever
You are correct - and heaven help us all (including the patients) if that's the kind of QA you're getting on your job.  Just to get more confused, check out "melanosis coli"  which refers to dark pigmented lesion in the colon - NOT to bleeding or melena.