Home     Contact Us    
Main Board Job Seeker's Board Job Wanted Board Resume Bank Company Board Word Help Medquist New MTs Classifieds Offshore Concerns VR/Speech Recognition Tech Help Coding/Medical Billing
Gab Board Politics Comedy Stop Health Issues
ADVERTISEMENT




Serving Over 20,000 US Medical Transcriptionists

Govt contracts... been there

Posted By: sm on 2006-02-08
In Reply to: Government contracts - nn

done that.  I wouldn't do another one in a million years.  Most are one-year contracts with 4 one-year renewals (their discretion, no guarantee).  Their systems are mostly Dictaphone, some with VPN for voice.  Most of the cost is on you for anything connected to account such as C-phones.  The amount of paperwork and reports they wanted daily was overwhelming.  They call you every 10 minutes 24/7 with "need it right now" stuff.  The 2 facilities I did had about 75% ESL doctors that rotated in/out every few months -- especially if a military hospital.  Then, because it's posted on the web site who was awarded the bid, I started getting a lot of calls from offshore companies wanting to work on the accounts, asking me not to tell the contractor.  I also got a few calls from offshore companies asking if I would "front" for them and bid on contracts cuz they needed an American company to actually have the contract.  As of just a few months ago, you needed evaluation from D&B (your cost $250) and their required liablity insurance limits (varies with accounts).  You don't just go in and bid -- it's a process of applying to be a vendor first and filling out LOTS of tedious paperwork.  (My last contract was about 80 pages long to fill out).  If you miss one little thing in this paperwork, your bid gets bounced.  They do call all of the required references, and if you haven't done the VA contract volume before, it's not likely they will award you contract.  Getting paid took literally months - I was about broke and had borrowed money before I got my first check.   (We didn't do anything incorrectly for billing, just took that long cuz it sat on somebody's desk)  I'm sure others have had better luck - this was just our experience with these contracts.   I wish you better luck!


Complete Discussion Below: marks the location of current message within thread

The messages you are viewing are archived/old.
To view latest messages and participate in discussions, select the boards given in left menu


Other related messages found in our database

Fed govt should have been prepared.
Yahoo! My Yahoo! Mail Search the web
Yahoo! News Sign In
New User? Sign Up
News Home - Help
Primary Navigation

*
News Home
*
U.S.
*
Business
*
World
*
Entertainment
*
Sports
*
Tech
*
Politics
*
Science
*
Health
*
Most Popular
*
Index

Secondary Navigation

* Photos
* Opinion
* Local News
* Odd News
* Comics
* Weather
* Full Coverage
* Audio/Video

Search: Advanced
Los Angeles Times
Despite Warnings, Washington Failed to Fund Levee Projects

By Richard A. Serrano and Nicole Gaouette Times Staff Writers Sun Sep 4, 7:55 AM ET

WASHINGTON For years, Washington had been warned that doom lurked just beyond the levees. And for years, the White House and Congress had dickered over how much money to put into shoring up century-old dikes and carrying out newer flood control projects to protect the city of New Orleans.
ADVERTISEMENT

As recently as three months ago, the alarms were sounding and being brushed aside.

In late May, the New Orleans district of the Army Corps of Engineers formally notified Washington that hurricane storm surges could knock out two of the big pumping stations that must operate night and day even under normal conditions to keep the city dry.

Also, the Corps said, several levees had settled and would soon need to be raised. And it reminded Washington that an ambitious flood-control study proposed four years before remained just that a written proposal never put into action for lack of funding.

What a powerful hurricane could do to New Orleans and the area's critical transportation, energy and petrochemical facilities had been well understood. So now, nearly a week into the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina, hard questions are being raised about Washington officials who crossed their fingers and counted on luck once too often. The reasons the city's defenses were not strengthened enough to handle such a storm are deeply rooted in the politics and bureaucracy of Washington.

With the advantage of hindsight, the miscues seem even broader. Construction proposals were often underfunded or not completed. Washington officials could never agree on how much money would be needed to protect New Orleans. And there hung in the air a false sense of security that a storm like Katrina was a long shot anyway.

As a result, when the immediate crisis eases and inquiries into what went wrong begin, there is likely to be responsibility and blame enough for almost every institution in Washington, including the White House, Congress, the Army Corps of Engineers and a host of other federal agencies.

For example, Lt. Gen. Carl Strock, the Corps commander, conceded Friday that the government had known the New Orleans levees could never withstand a hurricane higher than a Category 3. Corps officials shuddered, he said, when they realized that Katrina was barreling down on the Gulf Coast with the vastly greater destructive force of a Category 5 the strongest type of hurricane.

Washington, he said, had rolled the dice.

Rather than come up with the extra millions of dollars needed to make the city safer, officials believed that such a devastating storm was a small probability and that, with the level of protection that had been funded, "99.5% of the time this would work."

Unfortunately, Strock said, "we did not address the 0.5%."

Corps officials said the floodwaters breached at two spots: the 17th Street Canal Levee and the London Avenue Canal Levee. Connie Gillette, a Corps spokeswoman, said Saturday there never had been any plans or funds allocated to shore up those spots another sign the government expected them to hold.

Nevertheless, the Corps hardly was alone in failing to address what it meant to have a major metropolitan area situated mostly below sea level, sitting squarely in the middle of the Gulf Coast's Hurricane Alley.

Many federal, state and local flood improvement officials kept asking for more dollars for more ambitious protection projects. But the White House kept scaling down those requests. And each time, although congressional leaders were more generous with funding than the White House, the House and Senate never got anywhere near to approving the amounts that experts had said was needed.

What happened this year was typical: Local levee and flood prevention officials, along with Sen. Mary L. Landrieu (D-La.), asked for $78 million in project funds.
President Bush offered them less than half that $30 million. Congress ended up authorizing $36.5 million.

Since Bush took office in 2001, local experts and Landrieu have asked for just short of $500 million. Altogether, Bush in his yearly budgets asked for $166 million, and Congress approved about $250 million.

These budget decisions reflect a reality in Washington: to act with an eye toward short-term political rewards instead of making long-term investments to deal with problems.

Vincent Gawronski, an assistant professor at Birmingham Southern College in Alabama who studies the political impact of natural disasters, said the lost chances to shore up the levees were a classic example of government leaders who, although meaning well, clashed over priorities.

"Elected politicians are in office for a limited amount of time and with a limited amount of money, and they don't really have a long-term vision for spending it," he said.

"So you spend your pot of money where you feel you're going to get the most political support so you can get reelected. It's very difficult to think long-term. If you invest in these levees, is that going to show an immediate return or does it take away from anything else?"

Gawronski said flood control projects do not have the appeal of other endeavors, such as cancer research and police protection. At the same time, Congress habitually approves billions of dollars for highways and bridges and other infrastructure that politically benefits individual congressmen.

Gawronski called it inexcusable for the United States to have been "gambling so long" that the old levee system in New Orleans would hold.

"Disasters are often low probability, high consequence events, so there's a gamble there," he said. "It's not going to happen on my watch, there's the potential it might, but I'll bet it won't."

In the case of New Orleans and flood control, another factor was at work: the reputation of the Corps of Engineers. Over the years, many in Washington had come to regard the Corps as an out-of-control agency that championed huge projects and sometimes exaggerated need and benefits.

The Corps began as a tiny regiment during the Revolutionary War era; it now employs about 35,000 people to build dams, deepen harbors, dig ditches and erect seawalls, among other things. But critics say some projects are make-work boondoggles.

In 2000, Corps leaders were found to have manipulated an economic study to justify a Mississippi River project that would have cost billions. The agency also launched a secret growth initiative to boost its budget by 50%. And the
Pentagon found in 2000 that the Corps' cost-benefit analyses were systematically skewed to warrant large-scale construction projects.

As a result, said a senior staffer with the Senate Appropriations Committee who spoke on condition of anonymity, requests by the Corps for flood control money were especially vulnerable to budget cutting. "A lot of people just look at it as pork," said the staffer.

The Bush administration's former budget director, Mitch Daniels, was known as an aggressive advocate for Corps reform who cast a skeptical eye on its budget requests.

"The Army Corps of Engineers has a very large budget, and it has grown a lot over recent years," Daniels, now the governor of Indiana, said. "To the extent there's been any limitation of [the Corps'] budget, it has to do with previous tendencies to build marinas and things that don't have much to do with preparing us for disaster."

The Bush White House maintains it never ignored the security needs of the Gulf Coast. "Flood control has been a priority of this administration from Day One," said White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan.

He said hundreds of millions of dollars were spent in the New Orleans area in recent years for flood prevention, and he said the failure of the levees was not a matter of money so much as a problem with drawing the right plans for the dike work and other improvements.

"It's been more of a design issue with the levees," he said.

Other administration officials said there were not enough construction companies and equipment to handle all the work that had been proposed.

John Paul Woodley Jr., assistant secretary of the Army for Civil Works, who has responsibility for the Corps of Engineers, said: "It's true, we cannot accomplish all of our projects at full funding all the time. I think that's true of any agency, particularly any public works agency, but we had a lot of work underway in New Orleans, and I was personally supportive of it.

"As a native of Louisiana," Woodley said, "I understand the problems associated with flooding in New Orleans. I don't think there's any lack of support for flood control projects in New Orleans, particularly within the context of other projects around the country."

On Capitol Hill in recent years, several Democrats warned that more money should be marked for the protection of New Orleans. For instance, in September 2004, Landrieu said she was tired of hearing there was no money to do more work on levees.

"We're told, can't do it this year. Don't have enough money. It's not a high enough priority," she said in a Senate speech. "Well, I know when it's going to get to be a high enough priority."

She then told of a New Orleans emergency worker who had collected several thousand body bags in the event of a major flood. "Let's hope that never happens," she said.

But in May 2004, then Senate Minority Whip Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said he had visited the levees as a guest of Landrieu and believed them adequate.

He praised the ancient water pumps for keeping the waters from cascading into the city, proclaiming them "these old, old pumps that hadn't been changed since before the turn of the century, that still keep New Orleans dry."

"It was as clean as a restaurant," he added. "These big old pumps work."

Today, eight of those 22 pumps are underwater and inoperable.

Over the years, several projects either were short-changed or never got started. The Southeast Louisiana Urban Flood Control Project was authorized by Congress after a rainstorm killed six people in May 1995. It was to be finished in 10 years, but funding reductions prevented its completion before Katrina struck.

The Army Corps of Engineers did spend $430 million to renovate pumping stations and shore up the levees. But experts said the project fell behind schedule after funding was reduced in 2003 and 2004.

The Lake Pontchartrain Project was a $750-million Corps operation for new levees and beefed-up pumping stations. Because of funding cuts, it was only 80% complete when the hurricane hit.

The project that never was started was an examination of storm surges from large hurricanes. Congress approved the study but did not allocate the funds for it.

In May, AL Naomi, the Corps' senior project manager for the New Orleans district, reminded political and business leaders and emergency management officials that a Category 4 or 5 hurricane was always possible. After that meeting, Walter Brooks, the regional planning commission director, came away shaking his head.

"We've learned that we're not as safe as we thought we were," he told the local newspaper, the Times-Picayune.

Last week, Corps commander Strock defended past work, saying, it was his "personal and professional assessment" that work in New Orleans was never underfunded. What he meant by that, he explained, was that no one expected such a large disaster before all the renovations and other improvements could be completed.

"That was as good as it was going to get," he said. " We knew that it would protect from a Category 3 hurricane. In fact, it has been through a number of Category 3 hurricanes."

But, he said, Katrina's intensity "simply exceeded the design capacity of the levee."

Asked whether in hindsight he wished more had been done, Strock said: "I really don't express surprise in my business. We don't sit around and say 'Gee whiz.' "

Times staff writer Mary Curtius contributed to this report.

* Email Story
* IM Story
* Discuss
* Printable View

RECOMMEND THIS STORY

Recommend It:

Average (899 votes)
4 stars
Recommended Stories
Full Coverage: Hurricanes & Tropical Storms

Off the Wires
* 59 dead in first official New Orleans hurricane toll AFP, 14 minutes ago
* Louisiana says 59 confirmed deaths from Katrina Reuters, 15 minutes ago

Feature Articles
* Despite Warnings, Washington Failed to Fund Levee Projects at The Los Angeles Times (reg. req'd), Sep 04
* The Prologue, and Maybe the Coda at The New York Times (reg. req'd), Sep 04

News Stories
* Military, Civilian Satellite Tools Help In Hurricane Response SPACE.com/LiveScience.com via Yahoo! News, Sep 04
* NASA Facility Struggles in Wake of Hurricane Katrina SPACE.com/LiveScience.com via Yahoo! News, Sep 04

Opinion & Editorials
* An open letter to the President at New Orleans Times-Picayune, Sep 04
* Falluja Floods the Superdome at The New York Times (reg. req'd), Sep 04

Top Stories
* New Orleans Begins Counting Its Dead AP
* Lawmakers Scramble to Replace Rehnquist AP
* Texas to Airlift Some Katrina Refugees AP
* White House Ramps Up Katrina Response AP
* Saddam to go on trial October 19, faces hanging Reuters

Most Viewed: Top Stories
* Louisiana official haunted by drowned woman Reuters
* New Orleans collects its dead in 'ugly' search Reuters
* US accepts offer of UN help in Katrina aftermath Reuters
* Saddam to go on trial October 19, faces hanging Reuters
* Kuwait donates $500 mln oil products for Katrina Reuters

Los Angeles Times

* RESCUE ME: A Dog's Journey Through the Canine Underground Railroad
* WAL-MART COUTURE: Retailer Aims Upmarket
* HBO's "Rome" Wasn't Built in a Day
* Web Mystery Sensation "Piano Man" Debunked

Los Angeles Times

Add headlines to your personalized My Yahoo! page
* (About My Yahoo! and RSS)
Top Stories - Los Angeles Times
Add to My Yahoo!

More News Feeds
NEWS ALERTS
alerts

Get an alert when there are new stories about:

* President Bush
* Pentagon

More Alerts
Full Coverage
hurricane coverage
Hurricane Katrina

Latest news, features, photos, video and more.
More Full Coverage
Full Coverage
supreme court
Supreme Court

News and more on Chief Justice Rehnquist's death, and John Roberts' nomination.
All Court Coverage
ALSO IN Y! NEWS
Tech Tuesday
Opinion and Editorials

Diverse views on news from the right, left, and center.
All Opinion
MOST POPULAR
most popular
Popular Photos

The most popular photos and slideshows.
All Most Popular
YAHOO! SEARCH
More News in Yahoo! Search

Premium subscription news content now in Yahoo! Search.
Learn More

Yahoo! - My Yahoo! - Mail
Search: Advanced
Primary Navigation

* News Home
* U.S
* Business
* World
* Entertainment
* Sports
* Tech
* Politics
* Science
* Health
* Most Popular
* Odd News
* Opinion

Copyright 2005 Los Angeles Times
Copyright 2005 Yahoo! Inc. All rights reserved.
Questions or Comments
Privacy Policy -Terms of Service - Copyright/IP Policy - Ad Feedback
http://news.yahoo.com/s/latimests/20050904/ts_latimes/despitewarningswashingtonfailedtofundleveeprojects
they deserve the 2,000 from govt
Do you keep track what is happening to our tax money for Iraq?  Halliburton?  FEMA?  Homeland Security Dept?  How much do we pay each politician and do they work 8 hours or more a day?  Did they check with the tax payer when they went on a months paid vacation?  Our taxes also pay for politicians health plans.  Dont worry you wont feel it, you will continue to pay the same taxes.  These people were displaced, due to a major screw up, either local, state or federal govt..The investigation will tell.  In the meantime, they no longer have jobs, escaped with the clothes on their bodies, they have no money.  The govt is now their employer until they can get new jobs and homes.  Do you tell your employer what you do with each paycheck?  Well, they shouldnt have to either.  They werent asking for hand outs, then the hurricane and levee broke.  It is not their fault, they are victims..It is the govts fault, either local, state or federal.  Buy alcohol?  LOL, I think I would buy them a beer after all they have gone through and still are going through.  Our tax money is wasted every day by the govt, give aways, pay offs, pork, mismanagement.  At least I know my tax money is going to human beings that are in dire need.  God help them all to get over this preventable tragedy.
Govt responsibility
Totally agree with you.  I dont care if some were not prepared..what I care about is now they are hungry, thirsty, homeless..It is the responsibility of our government and the brothers and sisters of America to help other Americans when they need help.  I am from NY and I have been through quite a few hurricanes..nothing like what Florida goes through but I do know hurricanes hit sometimes when you are a day or two from your paycheck and really dont have any money to go shopping or rent out a hotel room.  It scares me that so many Americans blame the victim and turn a blind eye and deaf ear to Americans in need. 
Too dependent on the govt?
Too dependent on the govt?  Then what the heck is the govt for?  Where is my tax dollars going?  Lets just get rid of the govt and have a free for all..Why depend on the govt to repair our bridges, pave our roads, conduct school?  Lets just do it ourselves..Ridiculous..The govt is there to care for this country and its people when the people cant do it themselves.
good ole' govt
I was shocked to find that Pres. Bush states that offshoring helps our economy. Was all over the news last week. Was going to take some time out to read more online about his thoughts, but realize, I have too much work to do and would prefer to read up on who is running next year, so why give him anymore of my time. I am one of many hardworking Americans trying to raise my family and provide for them, I do not need him or anyone else telling the US that outsourcing is good for anyone.
Exactly! If the govt was not using the money for --sm
everything else in its brother, there would be enough for all of us who are paying into the system, and I really do not believe that the original system was designed to help only those who fell on hard times, or that it is a handout. It was supposed to be used as an "account" for those who wish to retire. and to the person who said that SS disability money came from the same account, sooo wrong. entirely different program, entirely different funds. SSI and SS are two different entities.
Quit the job and let the govt pay. sm
The way I look at it, 49% of the people in this country voted to have the govt take care of them, so go for it. It's what they want.

My whole outlook on this country and its people has changed since the election. I've worked for 36 years, since the age of 16, have always supported myself, but paid taxes upon taxes to support others because they were too lazy or too entitled to support themselves, and now they have voted to have more of my hard work be THEIR reward. Screw 'em all.

My husband's job is going to Mexico soon. His prospects will be dim for anything other than a minimum wage job (age and lack of degree), so you can bet I will now take advantage of everything our wonderful govt has to offer; food stamps, healthcare, unemployment pay, paid job training, assistance with utilies. You name it. I'm taking it. Maybe I'll even be able to qualify for (un)Earned Income Tax credits. Woohoo!

I'm going to quit smoking (no support for SCHIP), quit consuming (no sales tax), drive an older model car (less personal property tax in the till), earn only what we need to stay under the income guidelines. Yeah, let's have some more of that redistribution of wealth as it sure won't be dollars earned with my blood, sweat, and tears they redistribute. Not anymore.
why are you allowing the govt to keep your money

Federal Govt program (sm)
I am going to ask my tax person about this. I am currently working for a company as an IC, but now I'm thinking it should actually be called SE status, since they withhold, what looks like, about 7% of my income for OASDI and medicare. I also worked for MQ as an SE and they took out FICA, so I think I'm okay for now. However, if I switch jobs, I will need to make sure this is taken care.
I don't want the govt telling businesses how
That is MY privilege to negotiate with my employer!

Too much interference by governments already by forcing minimum wage, etc.

You'll have businesses closing down if you put too much mandatory regulation in the mix. It's a free enterprise, you know.


Maybe the govt will give them a bailout
x
No, she does not.She will be asking us "the govt" to supply her necessities
and we will do it.  You and I, who carry Wal-Mart purses (speaking for myself, of course).  Makes me mad too.  I also noticed the Budweiser can.  Jaundiced eye?  I think not.
Govt should help the citizens in natural disasters
I disagree 100%.  If you dont have the govt to turn to, who can you turn to?  What are we paying taxes for..to continue a never ending war around the world?  What is FEMA for..to pay big salaries to Bush's cronies?  My gosh..if families didnt get water and food in time, I say government get your stuff together you need to help the citizens of America. 
as long as the govt continually refuses to

Our kids will be at risk.  I am one who pushed for public schools, thinking if a kid can get through public schools they end up being able to deal with all types/cultures of people.  The govt puts *security guards* in most public schools and the incidents have escalated in the past 20 years!!!  Until the govt cares about our kids, IN ALL AREAS, we are not safe.  I just read today that the US is not checking prisoner mail all across this country regarding terrorists....it's like it's a HALF-ARSED job is being done....they are only going to START checking all the cargo on airplanes, did you know that?  Yep, the cargo underneath where we all sit on a plane is JUST NOW going to commence getting screened/checked.


It's, unfortunately, been evident to me for way too long a time in this country that they don't TRULY CARE about our children, and our children ARE THE FUTURE.  Really galls me and my child is now 25.  *tsk tsk on all of them.......


I agree with "Snow Bunny" Federal govt. sm
Everyone new that New Orleans was pooooooooooooooooooooor
While you're questioning qualifications for govt' office
How about Nagin, who had no updated disaster plan in place and blamed the federal government for his lack of expertise and experience?

How about Blanco who was told by none other than the Bush administration to start evacuation proceedings days before she ever did?

Tunnel vision, anyone?
That has already been brought up by the govt.They asked Carnival cruise lines sm
to bring a ship into port and allow some residents to board the ship. Carnival says they will "consider" it. Carnival is owned by a Florida company...I can try to find the link for you where I read this.

I am irritated because "they have to think about it." If I owned the ship I would be more than happy to let the homeless use it for a while - at least a month - until they can get on their feet - get insurance stuff together, etc.

Carnival is taking WAYYYY too much time "thinking" about it as people lay dying in the streets of New Orleans
Pakistani govt will take care of it. They just arrest union leaders
x
Govt is promoting EMR to reduce health care costs.
Major cuts taking place in Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement. See Bush's Deficit Reduction Act of 2005, billions of dollars being cut. Word is that private insurance will follow suit, with higher deductibles among other things. You can thank the
I am going to have my son present this on Thursday for his position paper in Govt class.
One way to get people, even though they're seniors in high school besides the teacher, to become aware of this situation.  Because it's not just the VA, it's every record that goes overseas, and Mr. Messiah Obama, et. al., fail to understand that or address it.
Good point. Welfare abusers, govt program misuse gets PR,
p
Not to mention you're letting the govt use your money INTEREST FREE
Ack!

Now that said, I usually have them withhold a little too much simply because we can't take a payment hit.
Contracts
Does anyone have copies of Independent Contractor contract, Non-compete contract and confidentiality agreement.  My hard drive crashed awhile back and all my contracts were on there.  I run a small business and can't seem to find these anywhere on the Web.  Any contracts e-mailed to me would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks in advance, Robin
Contracts out
To Medquist and OSI.  From what I remember, they do not transcribe all that well -- a lot of mistakes.
Contracts
It is true. The only thing is depending on the contract some guidelines are really strict. They usually ask for a 70-character line count, but it is definitely worth bidding for because if you do a good job it is a 5 year contract in most cases?

Contracts
I haven't used a written one for years but I basically just outlined what services I would be providing at what price, TAT, and what I expected from the account.  There is usually a 30 day cancellation clause unless it is due to poor quality or not meeting TAT.  My accounts now have been on a handshake and a verbal agreement and have lasted for over 15 years.  
contracts
Well..that is a subject all right! I bill on the 1st and 15th. On my invoice, it states, "due and payable upon receipt." That way there is no denying they know I want to be paid now. I actually discuss with the Transcription Coordinator at the time of the contract that I expect to be paid promptly, that I am a small business and that I cannot float paying my MTs and that I must pay them or they will not work for me...MTs are sort of like that, if we don't get paid promptly, we don't work. I hope that helps you and good luck with your new contract.
I have no contracts
When I first started out I had contracts wtih some accouints -- I did the work as spcified, they paid as specified and either count cancel with 30 days notice.  It worked.  I now have 5 accounts, no signed contracts, verbal only.  I do the work as promised, I follow HIPAA rules, they pay on time - no bounced checks, I raise my rates when I need to -- they have been with me for 16 to 6 years.  No difference.  Works for me.  You can cancel the service at any time either side, if they don't pay with or without a contract you can go to court.  I do the job as promised, they do their part as promised.  Works for me.
I do not do contracts
I have worked both ways, as an IC and the MTSO and I do not do contracts but I do try to pay prior to the doctor paying me.  But most of the time I do know the IC's quite well as it is a small circle here in Portland and we just work on trust I guess.  I  have never had anyone try to take my accounts but then I have always been up front and fair with my help.  I would ask though when you might expect payment prior to the big project.   But like I said, we are all pretty local and if the word ever got out that you either took someone's account or you did not pay, it would be all over and could easily ruin your business.    But again, nothing hurt in asking, as a small MTSO I would not have a problem with someone asking me when they might expect payment.    Good luck.   Patti 
need contracts

In hindsight, it would seem a good idea in such a situation would be to have a notarized agreement between yourself and the person you get to fill in for you.  This agreement would stipulate that they are only to fill in for you in your absence when requested by YOU and they are not permitted to seek or accept employment with this client as long as you are their transcriptionist, even if it's your best friend.  This is business, not a Saturday lunch together. 


Then you could also get the facility to sign a notarized agreement with you stating they will not offer employment to your fill-in.  They are to understand that this person is only a fill-in for you and is not permitted to solicit your clients because he/she has a legal agreement with you to not do so.  Should they violate this, you will pursue legal means, etc.  You must protect your job as well as you can.     


You can also put in a contract that you have the first right of refusal to turn down work if the workload increases and the facility wishes to hire more staff.  Then they can't go behind your back and hire others without offering you the work first.  You have yourself covered at both ends this way.  I've done such contracts and they befuddle the client so much that they willingly agree to sign because it sounds like I know a whole lot more than they do.  Get a lawyer to draw something up so all your bases are covered. 


Being nice, honest--that has to do with character and it's wonderful if the people for whom you work are that way.  But in business, it's money that comes first.  The two are not incompatible but it seems these days they aren't often found together anymore.  Do a bullet-proof contract and give it to your clients in a very cordial but professional manner.  They will respect you for it.  Your business and income are every bit as valuable to you as theirs are to them and explain that to them as you hand over the contract for them to sign.  If they can't see that, you don't need to deal with them and move on.  Make the playing field level here and protect yourself.  You are a professional too!


Contracts
Your information regarding contracts is just what I need.  I never thought I would need to get so "formal" but just when you think you are in a comfort zone, you're not. Much appreciated!!!
IC Contracts - sm
I've got a question for those of you who service your own personal accounts.  I currently work as an IC for another company and I am getting ready to take on a bunch of radiology reports from one doctor.  (I'll work both places) I'm going to be paid by the page.  Have any of you asked for a contract for a guarantee of work, i.e. he will guarantee a certain number of reports a week?  What about contracts? Is there any place where I can download a contract and use it as a template for a foundation? Thanks guys.
contracts are all different SM
I've had contracts that span from year to year and then new ones are signed (if invited to stay on, sometimes they don't need the same amount of workers from year to year).

All of my contracts have stated some type of notice to be given as this could affect accounts if left short-handed. I give the MTSO forwarning, why not, it's called repect.

Also - contracts can be negotiated, you know. If there is something in there you don't agree with, call and discuss it. Ask questions.

and contracts...works for me 20+ yrs..nm
x
Government contracts

Has anyone out there heard or looked into government contracts transcribing for VA hospitals - a friend called me today with this proposition - she said there were two places to look for work - one is called rsp.com and the other is fedbizops.com.  She put in a bid for a radiology account with 600,000 lines a month and said that she thought that would take two people.  I'm just trying to find out if this is legit or not.  I'm not wanting any extra work for myself, but this just sounds too good to be true.


 



Sample Contracts

I found this the below link quite helpful, particularly sample contract 2.


HTH


Best wishes.


noncompete contracts
I emailed you back.
noncompete contracts

Yes the papers have been served. Seeking legal advice soon.  I don't really fear anything as I know we have done nothing wrong. It's just maddening that this person doesn't have anything better to do than to make other people miserable. She doesn't want to make her own money, she tries so hard to take other people's money. I swear, she works harder at trying NOT to work than she would actually have to work if she would just get a job! Get a job lady!


Noncompete contracts
Has anyone ever been sued for breaching a noncompete contract? Do you know what legal steps are involved? How do these things usually turn out? FYI: The contract was never actually breached.....but this former employer BELIEVES it has been and is suing several of her former employees. She owes one of us money (over $3,000.00) for back transcription. We HAD to quit...she wouldn't pay any of us. But the contract was not breached by any of us (probably by her - dirty hands clause - shady business practices, etc.) Any info would be greatly appreciated!
How many companies or contracts does everyone have.
It seems most Transcriptionist have to have more than one job.  I want to work for just one company but have always worked for two and three to make sure I had work if one was low.  Does anyone work for just one company ?
There are some sample contracts on
www.medword.com.  Google "Transcription contracts".  You can cut and paste into a word document.  You are probably better off charging per line.  Going rate is anywhere from 13-17 cpl depending on where you are located.    
contracts and mergers

This can be tricky.  You need to have a lawyer look at the contract you made with the physician and see if you made a contract with him as an individual or the contract was made with his business and then see what can be done.  If it was made with his business, then you may be covered and be able to fight this more easily. 


I think you also need to know what the new contract for the merger covers -- are all previous services used by that physician automatically transferred over to the merged group?  If not, you may have been cut out of the deal.  OR, you may be included and they are not telling you.  Also, if you are not covered under the new arrangement, you may be able to go after him for expected income based on what your existing contract states with that physician.  You may be able to go after him personally for money owed. 


We're talking 6 months of income here as I see it.  Get a lawyer and go get what you deserve if there is any possible way--either by being retained by the new group or bringing charges of some sort.  Make sure the lawyer stipulates that THEY pay all legal costs involved.  They may be more willing to settle with you, give you what you want, rather than go through all this.  Stand your ground.  You are a business and don't let them cheat you.  There are a lot of things in contracts that a non-lawyer can't see but can very well be to your advantage. 


Good luck! 


contracts and security

Yes, the only real "comfort zone" is what is covered in a legal document.  There's your security to a certain extent.  That's not to say that will eliminate all problems, but it gives people an idea you're serious and professional about your servies and you don't expect to be taken advantage of.  Demand all that you want.   Then decide down the road how strictly you want to hold the other party to those demands. 


Think of how business people operate -- they argue at the conference table over clauses in contracts and then go play golf together the next weekend.  It's expected.  It's part of running a business.  Business is business, social is social.  Draw a line here between the two.  Be nice when you type a term paper for your neighbor's kid.  Be strict when you deal with clients. 


Anyone can challenge a contract or agreement, and sometimes you will lose or it won't be worth the fight to pursue it. Every situation is different.  That's why it's best to get the best attorney you can afford, the most experienced in this, to draw up that contract to begin with.  Obviously the clients for whom we work have their own lawyers and the money to pursue things.  But looking at the overall picture, it's just easier to give into your demands as a Transcriptionist than fight, especially if they really want to keep you which seems to be the case here.  If there is a disagreement and you walk, their work is going to get backed up until someone else is trained and up to speed (in most situations).  Who wants that hassle?  It's easier to give into your demands.  Lawyers aren't cheap for anyone, either side.


I'd sit down with these people and explain what they have done to you because they really may not realize how it is affecting you.  Be pleasant about it but firm.  Then have that contract ready and re-negotiate.  Tell them your lawyer has advised you to do this with every client you have and you are changing your way of doing things to protect your business.  Who can fault you for that?  It makes perfect sense.  Then you'll know where you really stand with them and you can make your decision to stay or move on.  And when you deal with anyone else, present the contract to them and make sure all parties understand what they are signing before you do one bit of paid work for them.   


One other tip:  This is not meant in any way to offend you, as I'm sure your sklls are good, especially if they asked YOU to find a replacement.  They assumed they would get someone just as good as you.  Don't do it.  Don't ever hire a fill-in who is equal to or better than you.  You want them to be exceedingly glad upon your return!!!  Doing this even puts you in a better bargaining position as far as rate increases in the future.  If you want to help out a friend, get her/him an account you don't want.  OR, hire them as a subcontractor for you so that they do not deal one-on-one with the client except to do the work.  They are not to be involved in any negotiations whatsoever.  But I still prefer hiring below your level of expertise.  It's better for you that way. 


Company Contracts

For those of you who work for MT companies, do you have to sign a contract regarding working for other companies as well?


Since supplemental income seems to be a big part for many, I am wondering if there is ever any problem with that.


Internship contracts
I am wondering if anyone has experience with companies requiring an internship contract that states that if the intern quits anytime within 2 years of signing that she will be charged $25 per hour in logged QA fees that could "potentially amount to thousands of dollars" (per contract). The starting line rate is decent, but there is no guaranteed increase, and advancement is at the discretion of the employer/mentor. Is this legal?
question about gov contracts.
Is it standard practice for a VA to 'sanitize' hard drives before paying up?
Getting MT contracts/subcontracting
Are there any MTs on this board who get their own contracts or subcontract directly from the MTSO that individual practices, hospitals, clinics, etc. contract with that would be willing to give me some pointers about getting my own accounts?  You may feel free to email me privately if you want.  Thank you in advance.
Contracts...wouldn't you think...sm
a contract signed between the MTSO and hospital or private practice would involve more legalities and red tape than a contract between an MTSO and your remote MT? I've worked for private practices and from what I've seen,they don't sign or do anything without involving an attorney. I also worked for one small MT company owned by someone I knew that didn't involve much more than a verbal agreement. Fortunately it worked out. Just a thought.
Giving out SS# for new contracts

Is there anyone else, besides me, who's very hesitant on giving out your social security # to new contracts?    Am I better off trying to get a Federal Tax ID # and using that instead?   


I know other IC's who make it part of their contracts that if they are being let go, sm
they require XX notice; fill in the X's. I know one friend, who puts in her contracts that if they no longer need her services, she wants at least a 2 month notice and they signed it. This may protect you for this happening again in the future. If there is no signed contract between the two of you stating that she has to give you notice or vice versa, then it is an "at will" agreement and either party can end it at any time!
There are no long-term contracts
I've rented from them several times, both paying off items and giving some items back when I got something to replace it. You can expect to pay two to three times the price (if not more) for an item then if you just went and bought the item outright which to many sounds outrageous, but some of us don't have the money to fork over for more expensive items. I had a good experience with them each time I rented from them whether I kept something for the whole time or I turned the item back in.