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Serving Over 20,000 US Medical Transcriptionists

Condition of the Industry Opinions Needed!!

Posted By: MTtoQAtoMT? on 2006-07-21
In Reply to:

A question for the old timers! Only because the newer MTs might not honestly know. I have been in QA for a few years, and I hate it. I love transcribing - its my gift and where my heart is. That said, I so want to return to MTing, but am very afraid. When I QA, I get nothing but absolutely garbage ESLs. Horrible. Should be deported-type of dictations. I used to be great at ESLs when an MT, but only got occasional dictator who could bring me to tears. So, I am thinking that perhaps I just get constant garbage thru QA because that's what QA is - the garbage depository for ESLs!! But when I read these boards, MTs are complaining all the time about how horrible the dictators are these days, and how they can't keep up their line counts, etc. Has it changed that much these last few years since I've been QAing? Are most MTs simply getting the junk dictators? If so, I'd just rather stay put in QA and pass the time til I retire. Or, do you think this is just a result of my being in QA and just seeing the pits of dictators?? I know its not an absolute answer, but I would love opinions. I make a decent living getting paid hourly at QA, and am so uncertain of the waters out there right now. Thanks!

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Opinions needed
My son (18) works for a professional tree service.  He travels daily to the boss's house to load up and travel to the work site.  He's been doing this for a little over 2 months.  He goes on the clock to be paid (I didn't know this until yesterday) from the time they reach the destination where they work.  I just found this out and looked up the state's labor law concerning being paid for travel time.  I find that since he is required to meet at the boss's location to load up that his time for payment should start when he starts there and he should be paid for the travel time as well.  Okay, now we know this.  How would you handle this?  I know what I would do, but am looking for other opinions to share the whole picture with my son.  Thanks.
New spell check. Opinions needed.
Hey, I'm trying to buy a new speller.  I've found Spellex, Medispell, Stedman's (obviously), etc.  Does it really matter which one I buy?  I'd like to download it. 
Honest opinions on Diskriter needed please - sm

ESLs are no big deal to me.  I am working right now but I have been running out of work every day now for over two months.  Time to consider a change. 

I have checked the archives but nothing more recent than November 2005 is coming up.

No flames please, just honest opinions.

Thanks in advance.



Opinions needed on medical spellcheckers.. sm

Are there any free ones to download?  If not, I would like opinions on the best one to purchase.  TIA! 

I'm sorry, but I believe that is the worst condition possible :(
Worse than critical.

So sorry.
I have a chronic pain condition as well
It is giving me a break right now so I won't talk too much about it so I don't wake it up.:) This is my first relief in 10 years from severe RA which seems to have been in every joint at one time or another. So, totally understand your emotions on needing to feel like a useful member of society and take care of your responsibilities. Before RA, I worked for 17 years. I did try the disability route and was denied 5 years ago 5 times! Never tried again. I didn't want to then but to help the husband with the bills, I thought it was best and it would have been good for the marriage as well.

The hips keep me from sitting long periods, but you have MT companies who will work with you. One I work for now wants at least 800/lines per day but prefers 1000+. However, mentioned it was okay to break frequently as long as when the MT is on that the MT is very productive. So you might have a longer work day than the other MTs. However, there is hope. I would say even with your nursing background and good grasp of medical terminology and anatomy/physiology, you should still find a program in transcription or a good mentor or both. My heart goes out to you. I thought of nursing and my condition is the only reason I didn't go for it, but it is in demand, that and technology jobs are in demand also. I try to stick with the jobs that are in high demand.

I am going to try to leave a web site for you to take a look around that will give you an idea of what companies expect an MT to know:


You will have to cut and paste the address in the address box, but there is a lot of information there. Other posters may have more information for you. Best wishes.
The big thing with them seems to be that it MUST BE in the EXACT same CONDITION as
purchase. I was on the end of returning and did get a timely refund.
This is not considered a disabling condition...sm
There are wrist supports that you can wear that will prevent this. I use one called a "thumb-wrist support." The web site to get it is:

Since I work more the usual 2 jobs, I wear this starting about 2 hours in and don't experience any pain whatsoever. I use mostly the one on my right hand but if I work more or through my usual days off, I use the left one as well.

You'll find out that temporary Work Comp is available for this condition, but never a condition that would afford you disability.
My cocker spaniel has a skin condition.
Her claws are brittle and long, her paw pads are thickened, she's itchy and smelly, and she has dead skin cells built up in the same areas you described.  We did the antibiotics, steroids, allergy meds, and everything else without good results.  I put a stop to it when the vet wanted to do $1,000 worth of tests and biopsies.  (And switched vets!)  The first vet called it allergies, seborrhea, keratinitis, and a bunch of other guesses.  She also has mattery eyes and frequent ear infections.  We rescued her from the pound 10 years ago, so she's an old girl.  I have to keep her shaved and wash her with either a prescription shampoo or Neutrogena T-gel.
Having the assault taken off his record was a condition of his probation. SM

So, I'm not sure if at the end of his probation if he had to contact anyone or follow it up in anyway.  We know it's not on there anymore because he's going to nursing school now and had to get his CNA license as a prerequisite for the prgram and they did a background check for that.

I'll ask him.  He's not here now.  While I'm working, he and my son are at the boat show figuring out how to spend my paycheck! 

Health insurance preexisting condition
That is correct. However, if you decide to get your own policy that is if you were an IC, be careful, and ask questions. When I became an IC, we got a policy from United Healthcare Golden Rule, and after we started paying, got the policy and did not cover any preexisting conditions. So, it ended up being a major medical policy. However, when working for an employer, and getting that insurance, preexisting would be covered and probably proof of continuous coverage or a wait period may be requested. Definitely check with HR.
not only the MT industry
making changes with insurance.  DH works for one of the large telephone companies.  We now have to pay for a larger portion of our Rxs when previously they cost us nothing, plus office visit copays also increased.  It's still better than not having insurance at all.  But, the rich keep getting richer and the poor keep getting poorer!
What does this mean for the MT industry? sm

I saw this *** and wanted to share this with other MTs. What is your interpretation of this? Are we going to be out of work for good because I'm thinking electronic medical records are going to replace us, or am I misinterpreting this statement?   What is your take on this?

"...President Obama has also talked about the need to computerize all medical records in five years, creating a huge opportunity for information technology jobs and data entry jobs."

It's the same as any industry...
You have the bottom, the top, and the in between.  I happen to be closer to the top, but there are so many others who are not at the bottom.  And if you knew me, you would know that I do not have the 'screw everybody else' mentality... and it's not really fair to accuse me of that based on my post, which did not mention anything even close to that mentality.  I just do not believe that we have it so bad in this industry, that's all.  I think we should spend some time looking at the positives versus the negatives.  There are so many people out there who have it way worse than majority of the MTs here.
State of the MT industry

Obviously, you work some place that pays very well and you might even have secure employment. If so, that's great.  Some of us worked for companies that were sold or sent all their work offshore and we had to take jobs where we could get them.  Don't be so quick to judge other peoples' choices.  It's true that in some companies, wages are lousy, but do you really think you'd be a fry cook at the clown's over working from a home office?  If you are earning great wages and have a good job, I sure hope you're able to help other MTs find something as good as what you've got.



If this industry has become amoral it's because:

MTs for the most part have always been treated poorly, no respect and low pay.  We have to stand up for ourselves and not back down from our line rates because no one is going to look out for us but us.  No, not even the docs and/or the OMs, surprise, surprise!  I say she should go for the full monty.  They get to see more patients and therefore have a higher income.  Why should she have to settle for a lower income because they're smart and use time-saving macros?? 

Men make more than we do in any industry.
Sucks, but that's the way it is.
What is the industry standard...sm
Tried to post this on Wednesday, will try again...I need to know what is the industry standard conversion for minutes dictated to minutes typed?  Not how much do you do - but what is average for one hour dictation - how many hours typed.  Bosses think we're taking too long but we do not get automatic demographics and need to look on log sheets (if they arrive and if they're correct) for everything from patient name to referring doctors, addresses, patient #'s, etc. So I need to give him an "average" number of hours dictated equal "X" amount of hours typed taking into consideration the lack of information, the searching we must do and the various typing speeds.  I'm not going to "judge" anyone's advice  - just need some input from those that have been there.  Thanks for sharing.
I agree - as with almost any industry (sm)
you have to find your niche and the place you can call home.  IMO and experience, you can make $60,000-$120,000/year in MT if you find the right hospital, your own accounts, MTSO and/or area of transcription and increase your skills constantly.  After say 4-8 different gigs and nothing works out, then MT work is probably not for you.  Same for any job, whether it is tech support rep (my former career), mortgage broker, service tech.
Industry Standard for VR Pay?
What is the industry standard for VR pay? Specifically for someone just starting out.
Industry pay is sinking.
With 9 years experience, I was offered 5cpl for straight typing.  Nuts if you ask me.  Yet the company filled the positions with that pay. 
The going industry rates are....sm
Around 14 cpl, 65 character line for transcription, 6-7 cpl for editing.

You can "thank" overseas competition for these pricing because they actually will quote around 8-10 cpl for transcription and 3-4 cpl for editing.

Stinks, doesn't it?

I remember when we used to be able to get 18-20 cpl, gross line and could pay the MT 10-12 cpl and all were happy. Gone are those days - I wish they were back!
You could mention where the industry is going
at all because it may offend someone.  The funny thing is that some of the course outlines on line may give you some great material to go by as it explains it pretty well on some of those sites. I think it is a great career, so I may be biased.  
Please do this industry a favor sm

I mean it. The last person I talked to about this has her own company. Clinics she charges 14 to 18 cents a line, depending on the difficulty and the logistics of the office. Nope, does not include printing or tapes, they have to call in, period.

For hospitals, she charges 22 to 26 cents a line and she gets it. She usually types as many of the OP notes as she has time for and doesn't sub them out because she likes that. Any lines she does herself goes into the corporation at 100% and she pays herself a salary for all her work, not by the line for MTing she does. She has 20 yrs of experience, all of it in acute care.

She says, DO NOT sell your skills short. Don't try to undercut someone to get the job. Remind these people that they get what they pay for and deliver on every promise, but don't make promises you can't deliver on 99.5% of the time. Incorporating is good, better than not and I know all of the reasons behind that too.

I wish you every luck.
yea but it is industry standard!
and also as i put in my email to my doc... the templates and macros BENEFIT YOU!
What is the future of IC in this industry?
Wide-spread IC, I mean, such as we've had in the past? Sorry for your situation, Blondie. The reason I ask is that the company I'm working for is making it a real priority to make employee MTs work their agreed-upon hours so the work can be kept in TAT and the clients will be happy and not break off blocks of work to send elsewhere. I'm wondering how you think the end of the work-whenever-and-as-much-as-you-feel-like era would affect the large numbers of IT workers. ??
More industry lies...
1200 lines per day at 8 cpl is only $96.00 per day. At that rate, if you worked eight hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, you would earn just over $35K. Who does that? Anyone working full-time for an MTSO can expect to earn less than $25K and you will rarely, if ever, see a raise. This survey is, as they say, in no way scientific. It is all designed to make people think it pays to be certified, which it does not.
Do you have any connections in the industry?
If not, you might as well forget it.  The people/companies that land accounts are the ones that know people and have connections at the hospitals, offices, etc.  If no one knows you from Adam, then they aren't going to give you the time of day.
Try the Department of Labor and Industry.
You can turn them into the State Attorney General's office, BBB, FTC, as well.  And small claims court.  I would send a certified letter demanding payment first with the threat that if they do not pay by XX date, you will pursue further legal action against them.
Heartland - the heart of the industry!
Heartland is the best company I've ever worked for in the transcription business.

Check out mtjobs.com, find a post for them, you'll be really glad you did. They are fair, always there to help you. They have great benefits, and one of the few companies where you are not just a number at the other end putting out reports. When I call them, they answer. No automated lines. When I have a problem? They fix it, right now. It doesn't get much better than that. :0)

Men appear to be making more income in this industry

I have worked with a guy here and there.  It amazes me that they are able to make more.  In one position, there was a guy in a position to distribute work who funneled the canned op reports (vasectomies primarily) to one guy on my account.  Another is one I am working with now who somehow convinced those hiring him that he required a certain amount of money to raise a family.  And he gets it.  Seems to me that this is favortism.  The "it's a man's world" frame of mind.

Has anyone else experienced this? 

They've done nothing in the entertainment industry
Time to double your dosage and take a nap, dear. Sounds like you've gone over the deep end and are taking this way too personally.

You need to get out more.
Tell that to the cruise ship industry.
The industry is changing and as it stands

now I would not recommend this field to anyone, but I am not worried about not having a job, at least not in the next 5 years.  I am good at what I do and can do any work type, can do ESLs with little problem, have done QA, so I feel like there will always be a job as long as I want it.  The pay may never get any better though. 

There aren't that many jobs available, but there are so many people looking for work that a lot of companies don't feel like they need to pay to advertise.   Check with employment agencies or temporary agencies.  I worked for  temporary agency years ago and got offered full-time positions with every place I worked.

Not sure what your career of choice is in, but you can get just about any degree on-line, or at least do all the basic courses. 

Not sure of your financial situation, but if still paying for technical school, going part-time probably won't work for you so you could go to school or get in some type of internship for whatever you wanted to do.   

You can sit back and wait for someone to knock on your door and offer you your dream job, but you'll most likely die waiting, or you can get your goal and work towards it.  If you aren't willing to do that, then you are stuck where you are. 

Article? As in one? This is an entire industry, and
has been going on for decades - I believe it was the 1960s when the food processors and dog food conglomerates figured out their partnership would profit them both. Its not an article, and to think so is honestly just ignorant. Also most huge dog food producers are actually other companies that have no interest in dogs at all - Del Monte and Heinz are in the dog food biz. Have you seen labels lately of the name brands that now claim to have some tomato enzyme in them? I can't recall the name, but it is literally a tomato enzyme that they claim is a new discovery for being great for dog joints. Its literally the tomato swill that Heinz and Del Monte use to have to throw out as its the slop that lands on the floor after Ketchup production, etc. Now, they just hose it into vats and throw it in the kibble ooze with a fancy label that most consumers fall for- tomato enzyme. I only wish I was making this up!! And its not a scam industry nor are we extremists. Most of us don't promote any brand at all - best thing for Spot and Fido is boring old meat, marrow bones and a few veggies steamed, and brown rice. The leftovers that our parents and grandparents and great-grandparents used to feed their dogs - table scraps - were fine! Again, do the research. Decades ago, dogs used to have an average life span of 20 to 25 years  - now its 10. Cats used to live longer - 30 years - now its 15. And our parents and their parents would have laughed hysterically at the thought of spending good $ on Gravy Train or Alpo. We have been "had" as American consumers, and you are actually gonna argue about it! Your vets - bet they support Pedigree, too, which is absolutely garbage - dead animals and loads of corn filler, which, by the way, most dogs are intolerant of. They don't digest corn well. But its cheap for the manufacturers!  Pedigree is well known for keeping lots of vets on its payroll to praise its products - gee, ya think they might like the $$. There are thousands more vets who know Pedigree and the like is garbage and are finally getting the courage to speak up about it. They are getting sick and tired of treating the animals who are NOT benefitting from this dog food. Nope, sorry, but way more than 1 article - its knowledge, and knowledge is wisdom, and wisdom is priceless.
I'd love any advice also. I'm new to the industry...
... and anything that will help me up my productivity is greatly appreciated.  I love this board and the ability it provides to get advice from those with more experience.  THANKS!
No, we who have worked in this industry don't have a good

we've been sold up the river!  Can anyone say OFFSHORE?! That is the very reason our rates of pay have gone down the tubes. How COULD anyone maintain a good attitude? What I post to newbies here is just fair warning. No one can make any kind of living on 5 cents a line. Newbies are also fodder for crappy MTSOs.  It may sound negative, but it's the absolute truth.  It's pretty sick when offshore companies are now training US MTs.  My suggestion to anyone thinking about going into MT....don't.  Find another line of work.  There are other things out there you can do.

And the healthcare industry DOES have integrity?
I believe the goings on in the industry affect us as MTs?
If US wipes out its MT industry, it better be prepared to
I know I'm at an age where, if US MT disappears entirely, I'm too far from Soc. Sec. or retirement to be able to take advantage of that, and too old to go back to school for the length of time it would take to learn a new skill that would pay the rent/groceries/gas/etc. So most likely I'd be on the government dole. Multiply that x tens of thousands, (hundreds of thousands if you add in all the OTHER US workers in other industries, but in the same boat age & skill-wise, and you've got a whole 'nother Katrina going on.
The industry imposed this platform on me.
I have to stop and wait on the st*pid platform to catch up to me. Type, pause, type pause. It ain't me, it's the software. That's what I was talking about.
You get a pin now? To stick in your eye out of disgust at the industry? :-)
i'd minimize the 'where the industry
is headed. I'd start with what 'transcription' means, the various ways it is done, technology, talents needed and challenges (spelling, grammar, anatomy, medical interest, typing, investigative skills, persistence through trials, accents, rules/regulations etc), recommended education, how to find schools/information, ways you can perform the job (in office, in hospital, at home incl. mobility with laptops), how our work relates to patient care...i could go on and on. Tailor your talk to basics and what the school is trying to do for the students as well as future courses they might offer. I'd also include some work-related humor. Good luck!!
The reason I said suck it up, is because you are new to the industry...
and have to put your dues in...we all have had to do that...I care about my work also and obviously not in it just for the money..
That's the medical transcription industry
Which is probably why, when someone with 15+ years of experience applies with these companies, they get a big song-and-dance about being 'not quite what they were looking for'. That is, if they even hear back from them at all.

and you know all of the newbies in this industry to speak for them???
I have been in this industry for 10 years and I love it just the same as when I started...
Not naive at all. Been in this industry for 25+ years and SM
I know honest from crooked. These companies are falsely advertising (failing to give the client the correct information) to obtain them as part of their client base who has a regular contact administrative personnel in the U.S. to snag them, hype the company up with the low line rates, and be sending our citizens' medical records overseas in a sweat shop setting and wage equivalent. Please, you are being quite gullible, and until we as a profession make the necessary parties aware, things will only continue to decline in this profession.
Industry standard also means no pay sm
for headers or footers and no pay for spaces.  Make sure you know exactly what they are no longer paying for.  It probably will be those 2 items, which is why you are having trouble reaching incentive.
Eventually, VR will be the industry standard.
The way I see it, the options are:
A. Learn it now; find a platform and a company where you can make decent money.
B. Keep job hopping for the next few years as straight transcription is phased out bit by bit, company by company.
C. Find another profession.

Eventually, the straight transcription will only be available when creating speech models for new dictators.
The industry does not require QUALITY because
there is no reimbursement to the hospital or the physician for the actual transcribed report. The insurance companies are requesting written documentation but do not pay anything for it. This is why the hospitals are willing to settle for the cheapest rates.
And I hope it isn't just the healthcare industry, but -(sm)-
ALL sectors of American business where any personal information at all leaves our shores.

The same with customer service departments. I'm so sick of trying to decipher what the dot-heads are saying in the transription I do -- do they really think I want to try to figure out what they're saying when I call customer service about a glitch in my computer? Or a question about my checking account balance? No, I want to speak to someone with a better knowledge of my own native language. If every other person in this country can 'press 2' for Korean, Vietnamese, Spanish, Portugese, Chinese, Hindi, Mandarin, or Czech, then why can't I 'press 1' for ENGLISH?