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Serving Over 20,000 US Medical Transcriptionists

need help with the math !!!

Posted By: flakehead on 2007-01-30
In Reply to:

I just charged a POSSIBLE new client 11 cents a line - now here is my dilemma - I suck at math. 

If the client should ask me, is that 11 cents per 65 characters with spaces or without spaces - what should I say.

Second, how do I figure out the math  I have Microsoft Word and it has a line count and character count with spaces and without spaces.  How does one figure out the math?

Oooohhhh what was I thinking....




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Let's do the math.

MTSOs are paid by hospitals and/or huge ugly conglomerates who exist to attempt to try to help the hospital turn a profit, or at least less of a loss. MTSOs are desperate to get business, so all too often they sell their soul for a pittance (what a decently paid IC would make per line).

The MTSO has to pay the piper:  You, copy paper, management, technicians, equipment, QA, trainers, lawyers (yikes!), accounting firms, rent, and on and on.

Yes, many MTSOs make a boat-load of money, many spend money badly and the MTs pay the price, but many are barely hanging on by their toenails.

It's the trickle-down theory in real life. People use the medical system dishonestly (people we know, might even be you), insurance companies want to pay as little as possible because they have mouths to feed, hospitals want to be able to pay their people and improve equipment and be able to save lives, so they try to cut down on what they pay to THEIR overhead, the MTSO. The MTSO is making less so (hopefully) try to cut down on their overhead so they don't affect us, but I know for a fact that too often the MT pays the price long before the CEO and his/her close friends have to cut down on their spending. But, that's the story at every level. The little guy pays but, in truth, we are also the crux of the problem.

Life goes on. Let's all move to a socialist country!

Try this math

1,000 words x 5.5 char per word = 5,500 characters total

5,500 characters /65 standard characters per line = 85 lines

$5/85 lines = $.059 per line, which is less than 6 cents per line.  Not a very good deal unless you're a total newbie or it's a really easy report to type. 

never did like math

But everything else I said is correct.  (GD&W)  

Thanks for doing the math (sm)

So that would be based on 8 cents per line, she must make at least 24 cents per line?


See the math SM

Ok, let's say you're a speedy Transcriptionist and can do 2000 lines a day.  You would earn:

15.50 x 8 = 124.00 (base pay) plus

$40 extra for extra lines plus

employee status with bennies (value? a lot!)

but based solely on pay, you would earn $20.50 an hour!  Not too shabby!


thank you too for doing the math!!...sm
20% from 9 cpl for reg = 7.2 CPL for ASR.  Thanks again for DOING THE MATH !! 
I did the math sm

on one of my word documents, and they were almost exactly the same.

1545 characters without spaces divided by 55 = 28.09 lines

(same report) 1851 characters with spaces divided by 65 =28.47 lines

so, I would say it is almost exactly the same as 9 cents per 65-character line with spaces.


Let's Do the Math!!!

Okay, here and on other boards there are many questions as to "which school to attend" and "best schools" and "only three schools matter" and so on and so forth.

There are at least 100,000 MTs working in the U.S., according to the BLS stats.


Not even 1/10 of the working MTs could have possibly gone to those schools.

That leaves 90,000 MTs trained elsewhere, for those of you following along at home.

And yet, the constant refrain is "Andrews, M-Tec, and CS."

And they are good schools, certainly, especially the first two. But they aren't the ONLY schools and people who are spreading the hysteria that "you won't ever work unless you attend on of those three schools" are not helping the profession. Some of the message boards on other forums (fora) are so obviously biased that it's laughable, yet the newcomer to the field might not pick up on that.

A challenge: Tell where YOU went to school.

I went to Meditec and I'm working, folks. And doing well. And enjoying it! I have several "online buddies" who attended MT Advantage. They are working, too!

And to those who will say it was "mere luck:" 90,000 people gettin' lucky -- I like those odds!!!


Let's Do The Math
I didn't go to school at all.  Been working for a major national since 1997. 
let's do the math
Back in 1973, I had on-the-job training at a local government hospital in the "transcription pool."   I was so interested in medical terminology, I took the medical dictionary home with me every night and on weekends.   I then took a medical terminology course at this same hospital, beginner's and advanced and learned more medical terminology.   Those were the days.......  It was all free too....
Do the math...
1 to 3 cpl (friggin highway robbery).... if you edit 200 lines and hour...is 2 dollars per hour, at the top tier of 3 cpl.. is 6 dollars an hour...  I have no idea how these companies get away with this.  If you are really good at editing and quick...and can edit 400-500 lph (and believe me that is top of your game)....range if 4/hr to 12/hr.  Medical editing takes a highly experienced Transcriptionist because so much little stuff would get passed over...and I am sure it is because they are putting extremely inexperienced MTs or all the ESL in India on editing thinking any monkey can do it.  The gross erros will catch up and either the hospitals will not care or the proverial Sh#t will hit the fan and they will have to start paying professional MTs what they are worth. 
the math

To make $15 an hour, one must edit 500 lines an hour.  That is a furious pace and cannot be kept up except by the exceptional MT, one who is that coordinated and focused. Perhaps one can do that for four hours, but eight hours?  Unless there was a break in the middle, maybe.  And every day?  And is the dictation that good that one can fly through the reports?  Every day? I think not. 

I make roughly $20 an hour straight typing now, so VR is out of the picture for me.  I just do not want to do VR and will get out before demoting myself to those insulting wages.  We are worth a decent wage.  The MTSOs need to realize that our knowledge is worth something.  We are not just typists. 

Math homework
To the best of my recollection...24 would be the LCD, so something like this?

2/3 - 1/8 = B
16/24 - 3/24 = B
13/24 = B
quick math
3,000 characters divided by 65 = 46.15 lines x .09 = $4.15.

3,000/74 cpl = 40.54 x .10 = $4.05.
Simple -- do the math
Pull up one of your old documents and figure out your gross line count and then divide characters by 70.   See how the totals compare.  Do not know what your margins are in your gross line, if they are longer  with margins at .5 and .5 versus then you could come out ahead but if they are at 1. and 1. then you will be close to even  with an increase of 1.5.   But again would be simple to figure out from one of your old documents.   Just me 2 cents worth.  Patti
According to my math, you actually need a raise to 13 cpl. sm
It seems that when you cut your pay by 1/3, you need to raise the line pay by almost 1/2 to keep even. Checked it out on 100 lines at 9 cpl ($9), dropped to 68.5 lines, had to go to just over 13 cpl to get the same pay. Am I missing something?
math people, please help me--sm

Current pay  0.1122 cpl    $18.54 vacation/holiday pay.

Company bought.  Am now being offered 0.095 cpl and $13.50.  What is the percentage of my loss?  Am so upset about this cannot think.


fuzzy math
332 lines at .08 line is $26.56 an hour not $19. If you are the same stumped as above, you said you make $35 to $40 an hour for 350-400 lines which would be 10 cpl. I am confused??!!??
not fuzzy math...
I make 10 CPL, but I was figuring on those people who make less than me - and you are right about the 8 cpl being $26.56, but at 6 CPL, which is what somebody said they made, it would be about $19 an hour - I just made a typo - Sorry.
Me too and I have to take a math class, but I need to do something else, sm
cant outsource eating LOL
get a load of this math

ST:  250 lines an hour at 8 cents a line is $20.00.  (I can do 250 an hour if I concentrate).  If I can only do 200 lines an hour, that is still $16.00 an hour.

Now for the VR:

VR:  400 lines (roughly 60% more than straight typing 250 lines an hour) at 3 cents a line is $12.00.

How is that more money?  It's a 25% cut!   

How many of you spent years perfecting your macros and shortcuts and Expanders just to have it taken away from you so you can't make a decent living? 

I won't be doing any VR work.  I think they wasted their money with this new technology.  They could have given us raises with that money and had happy employees cranking out the lines.  Win-win.

Too bad for us.  Shafted, once again! 

Math teacher is correct - and if
you'll work for .0725 cents a line, you're hired! 
please help a math-dummy calculate

trying to figure cell phone plans (pay as you go type)....do i divide minutes by dollars, or dollars by minutes to get the cents per minute...

and more so, how does one know which way to divide other things of similar nature (not necessarily dollars vs minutes).

mega thanks .

math.com is another great website
I did the math for you. It comes out to an average of $0.067/line...sm
30 lines x 0.067 = $2.01

It all depends on the length of the reports, the software they're using and also if they pay for links.

Be very careful if the reports are really long on average, you won't make much at all.
Sounds like "FUZZY MATH" to me! ;D (nm)
Hey thanks.. I never did do well in Math in school haha

Heck, there is math and chemistry
and even surgical procedures. If these courses are any good at all, they could really help a person prepare to go back to school, even test out of certain classes.

Thank you so much for the link.
bad with math is no problem anymore -
there are always calculators and computers!

To quote my business math teacher, "Is the head of the department going to come tell you to put your calculator up or they are going to dock your pay."

Not talking down to you by any means - just saying don't let that stop you from doing something you might want to do.

I feel your pain about ADHD and sitting at a desk - It is killing me. I am so bored with it and cannot keep my mind on the task at hand anymore (which should be making money, but actually ends up chatting on this board for some variety).

A PA would be a great job. They are going to be in high demand in the coming years. I just don't want to be in the medical field anymore or I would do that. I always wanted to be a doctor, but alas I fell in love at 15 and got pregnant and had a baby and had to give up a lot of what I wanted. Started nursing school at one point, and ended up transcribing and have been doing it now for almost 17 years. It has been good to me, but it is time to put it to rest!
You're math is correct. It is obvious
the new plan is designed to reward high producers. There's no away around that fact. If you currently do 1200 lines a day and you want to earn incentive on the new plan, you will have to either get faster for the same hours you work now or restructure your work days to be longer and get more production.

I think everyone has the idea that a new plan means that everyone is going to benefit and that everything is going to automatically be better and improved for all. Not true.

MQ has changed their pay and benefits plan to better increase their revenue. They were not making changes to harm nor help MTs, necessarily. These are business decisions. This is now what they are offering for pay and benefits and we can take it or leave it.

Personally, I believe they want fewer employees, all high producers, and it would be cheaper for MQ to have a smaller workforce of high-producing MTs and pay them overtime than an abundance of low to mid-range producers. This plan will help ensure some of that.

Regardless of what some of the mealy mouths say on this board about me, I am not happy with the way this plan impacts all MTs. Not at all. I'm just not going to be upset about it because every single one of us do have options and those who feel uneasy about this plan should heed their intuition and explore other options.

I think this is the beginning of a slow attrition among the MT workforce.

This is strictly my opinion.
Totally off topic. Math homework help..please

Son is out of school due to chickenpox and teachers are sending home the homework w/o samples. They learned a new thing in math and it's been a LONG time since I did this stuff. The sample in the book is really no help. Is there a website I can visit too?

He needs to write out the equation and then solve the problem. How would this be written out. There are 25 more questions like this and I'm lost. After he gets the answer he needs to put it in the equation and see if is the correct answer.

B + 1/8 = 2/3.

THanks for any help.

Wait, I did the math for you. I make 7.7 as a VR editor. nm
Bad...I'll show you the math inside SM

Where I used to work, they said a minute of transcription more or less equals 11.5 lines (average dictator).  So, 60 minutes would equal 690 lines.  If you divide $40 by 690, you would end up earning 5.8 cents per line.  As an employee that is terrible...as an IC (independent contractor) that is even worse.  You would need to earn at least twice that much to make it worth your while.


Maybe the kids just weren't good in math period. No

matter where they go to school there are going to be kids that just struggle in a subject.   Not having family support could be a major issue too.  I never understood not having family support and why it mattered to a parent whether they had it or not because they are the parent.  It would be nice if the family was supportive though.  I have known people whose parents were so against it, but later saw that they were missing so much and bought into it and actually enjoyed helping them learn and explore.   It doesn't take an education to be able to educate your child, it just takes love, time, and patience.  Not all parents can provide that, but most can and do.  I have 1 year of college and my just turned 11-YO is so far ahead that we went to a local college bookstore today to get him books because he has pretty much mastered everything else.   I spend my free time reading his books trying to stay one step ahead of him and in the process getting a better education than I ever got when I was in school and I went to pubic and private schools and was also in advanced classes. 

Homeschooling is not for everyone, but it is an option and those who choose to do it should be allowed to do it without being degraded for it.  There are a tremendous amount of resources available to homeschoolers, the bigger the city the more options.  Lack of socialization is one of the first issues that a non-homeschooler brings up.  Our children still play with neighborhood children, participate in community sporting activities, scouts, 4-H, etc. so there are plenty of times for socialization.  My youngest son has never met a stranger and everyone wants to be around him from ages 1 to 100.  My oldest isn't as social and most of his friends are public school kids, but when he was in public school he didn't have but 1 friend, mainly because he was so advanced and the things he would talk about where things way over the other kid's heads and they thought he was lying.

Okay, I'll get off my soapbox now. 


Do the math. I am figuring on a 65 character line with spaces. SM

Getting credit for headers and footers or not, doesn't make much difference in the math.  It's simply not possible.  Even if you figure she gets 10 free lines per report for headers and footers, she still would have to type 300 lph for 10 hours a day and her hands would virtually never have to leave the keyboard!

Her pants are on fire!

Math whiz needed on hosp/clinic board
I'm horrible with math myself but was told several years back by a pretty reliable source
that w/o spaces is about a 17% reduction in pay - and I would say the figures you gave pretty much leads me to believe this may be true.
Word Board=Help Board. NOT a do the math = figure it out yourself=GOOGLE IT!