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Serving Over 20,000 US Medical Transcriptionists

you should be setting your rates according to what the market will bear...

Posted By: MTSO on 2006-05-02
In Reply to: Fair enough. I see what you mean. - sm

not what you feel like getting. If you like the account, you're familiar with it and able to make good money off of it, you might want to stay at the rate you are at. As a service owner, I used to plan to hire at 7 but bring everyone eventually up to 10 cpl by 0.5 increases every six months. I also used to be able to raise the rates from the hospital, clinic or physician office every 2 years. Nowadays if I bid on a new account, I am regularly outbid at 11 cpl, with 24 TAT. I have discussed it with my IC MT's. If they want a raise, I can try to negotiate a raise from the hospital...but it jeopardizes our account. Every time you raise your rates, it's a signal for them to start shopping around. So I would say, based on what the market will bear, don't expect to be getting raises. Ever.

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So what? 8 cpl is what the market will bear. If you don't want 8, don't take a job that pays
the market will pay what the market will bear...sm

just the fact that jobs are posted for this pay means people are taking it. You have to remember - we are in a global marketplace now. We are competing against people from India, Thailand, Cambodia for these jobs. If the Mexicans could figure it out, we would be competing against them too. It's like washing dishes. Washing dishes isn't easy. Why does washing dishes only pay $5.50 an hour? Because they can find people to wash dishes for $5.50 an hour. Not only that, but MT work was getting cost prohibitive for a lot of people. That's why some other really, really smart people said, "let's find a way to make computers do this! Then we can sell the programs so docs can buy programs instead of paying MT's." Then some other really really smart people said, "let's not even have docs dictate. Let's have them point and click!" And so MT's are also competing against VR and EMR.

You may say ..."If a company offers me 7 to 9 cpl, I let them know that it is an insult to expect an experienced, highly skilled Transcriptionist to be offered such low pay and I refuse to work for them." But if your current job goes bye-bye, and you're scrambling out in the market and that's all that's out there....well, you get the picture. If you want the job, you take the job for that pay. Otherwise, yes, it's get a job at WallyWorld. Your choice.


As an IC you should be setting your OWN rates
And then you inform the clients of the increase--period. You don't "ask" for an increase. That would make you an employee.
Has anyone kept a list of line rates, report rates, benefits, etc for sm

the different companies out there?  I feel lost and confused.  It seems like everything is changing daily, and I am not being organized enough to keep up.  I am about to actively look for full time employment again but if there was a list, I would be able to sort through a lot more quickly. 

Can anyone help?  I am going to start keeping a chart myself in case anyone needs this in the future.

Line rates in the Northeast - can anyone advise as to what the going rates are in the NE part of the
country? Specifically Connecticut. I want to make sure I am on target here. Thanks.
off topic, but bear with me here
would you be upset if your husband had been somewhat unfaithful in the past, but the two of you worked through your problems and sought counseling and now had a stronger marriage than ever?  except you didn't know for certain about the somewhat unfaithful part until after you had reconciled and renewed your vows?  but then you find out that your mother-in-law knew about the infidelity and preached to you about marriage and family without telling you the whole story?  because it was her son's place to tell me, not hers.  and now you find out that she is friends with this other woman and calls and emails her on a regular basis, which is more than she does with you?  do I have the right to feel angry and betrayed here?  or am I seriously just overreacting and freaking out about something that's in the past?
mama bear
it reminds me of the simpsons. Homer makes a good papa bear..
Smarter than the average bear :-)
May have to grin and bear it. Another option . .
Keep documentation for a while. It's a good CYA move if/when they use it against you in QA audits.

As you noted, you are aware a lot of us have been there. Personally, I think commas are the most subjective points of punctuation. Maybe it depends on the QA's mood or the phase of the moon! ;)

You're right. I can't bear children! BWAHAHA!!! nm
Okay, now I am goign to type this verbatim so bear with me.....

If you have tried unplugging the back of the unit and it still won't let you re-program but you hear a dial tone OR after you press PROGRAM KEY and SEC# comes in the window instead of KEYS window THEN try to push calc/clear and hold down until window clears OR push pund key first and then calc/clear and hold down together until the window clears THEN press PROGRAM then KEYS, etc following instrcutions to re-program each work type number and bottom row.


Let me know it this works at all!


My tips (and I can't type tonight so bear with me) (sm)

Also if you're serious about starting out on your own, here are my recommendations  (been there, did that last year).

1.  Be patient ... realize that unless you hit the offices at just the right time when they're looking for a transcriptionist, you won't get a billion calls just because you "opened your doors" (I was sadly optimistic for quite a while).

2.  Market yourself as a professional ... meaning no email addresses such as "ilovemykitties@catsrus.com".  Have a business name or simply YOURNAME transcription service but have something to print on those business cards and flyers and brochures you're going to create!

3.  Get business cards.  If you go with vista print's free ones, pay the $3.99 to have a BLANK back side.  I didn't at first and had to redo mine because they all said "free business cards at vista print" which looked like ca-ca.

4.  Create a flyer or a brochure advertising what you have to offer.  You can do this in MS Word (we all have it) and there are free templates you can down load or just use the column function.

5.  Decide WHAT market you want to target and go for it.  I didn't want acute care/hospital work so I only targetted clinics.

6.  Send out introduction letters (do a search for client getting letter on the internet, there's one out there that I found but I didn't like it so created my own but it's some place to start) ... enclose a business card and a flyer or brochure advertising your services.  Ask them to please keep your information handy in case they need transcription help.

7.  Get a website (if you like that kind of thing ... I did).  Also you can advertise on craigslist (all I got was spam from it though) or on freeyellow, kijiji, etc.  I took advantage of all the free resources there were to get my name out there and I did get calls from people that had to have found me on the internet.

8.  IF you live near a big town, it might be worth it to pound the pavement and go directly to offices to drop off your information.  For me, I found it more economical to send out letters to every single doctor in the phone books in several nearby towns/cities. 

9.  Be patient and realize that once you get your own clients, you will feel amazing ... it will revitalize your career when you can say good bye to the middle man and know that every single line you type is YOUR money!!

Feel free to email me if you have any questions.  :)

New giveaway! $50 Build A Bear Bucks, see sticky post above.
Elaine Johnson of Boise, Idaho, you won the Build A Bear Bucks!
Email to admin@mtstars.com with your full mailing address and we will send you your gift.
Agreed -- Bear is pretty much THE authority on accreditation and distance learning (NM)
Now you know the local job market and my
home situation better than I do.  For your information, I make more working parttime at home doing MT than I would working fulltime for any of the local advertising agencies.  Plus, I don't have to travel or put my kids in daycare.   Thank you so much for your concern about my employment situation, though.  And please, get off your
In the market for a new computer -

I will not buy MS Vista - I hear it's a nightmare. TIA


When you market your services with a
business name and a business license, it shows the doctors or hospitals that you are representing yourself as a professional business and are not just a homemaker or housewife trying to make a few extra bucks. They will treat you with more respect and take you more seriously, and in turn will be willing to pay you a fair rate as a respectable businesswoman. Think about any business in your community or town. They all first procure a business name and a business license before they open their doors. You may be working from home, but you can will present yourself in this fashion. I would also suggest obtaining a P.O. Box to use as your business address instead of using your home address. Believe me, this works. I have been running a successful small MT business from home for over 20 years now, and I support my entire family on my earnings.
job market update
If your skills are excellent and your experience and references speak well of you, then I believe the job market is pretty good.


You have to look carefully at the prospective jobs.

Please, I beg of you, for the good of ALL OF US, please please please do not take a job for less than 8.5 cpl! Please!
It's a very tough market right now...sm.
I have 8 years experience and have been testing left and right for the last 3 months. I have passed several tests only to hear about the company being put on a hiring freeze and I am added to their waiting list. I have also tested and done very well and not heard anything back. I finally made the decision that I am going to go to nursing school but right now is not a good time either (my husband has been out of work since April of 2008). He finished his degree and STILL cannot find a job.

Keep faith..it will come through. Maybe instead of having to drive into town, you could send your resume to all the local doctors, dentists, veterinarians, eye doctors, anyone who maybe has been thinking they are too busy to do their own notes. I have heard that this has worked for many people. It is always worth the effort. If you are a good general Transcriptionist too, don't just stop at medical. Send you resume to insurance businesses, lawyers, whatever might be there.

Good Luck and God Bless.
Money Market accounts
MM accounts do have checks, but you are limited to the number of checks that you can write per month - no more than 3 checks to a third party. Rates are usually tiered based on your balance - the more you have deposited, the more interest you will earn.

Start here:

Are you worried about possible MT job market glut then? I am...
My family went to a flea market that is mostly run and
attended by Hispanics.  There were several vendors selling leather goods, such as wallets, belts, shoes, etc.  DH needed a new wallet so he picked one he liked and opened it up only to find a tag that said "MADE IN INDIA."   (He didn't buy it.)  We didn't look at any of the other leather goods, but found it very ironic that the Hispanics are now importing their "handmade" goods from India.  
yeah, in today's job market, the
middle class is supposed to be happy we even have a job.  Forget any idea of getting any appreciation for hardwork, reliability, knowledge, or any of that good stuff, just be "happy" to be working... in my next life, maybe!
Instead, if I had $345, I'd put it in a money-market acct. - sm
and watch it grow, rather than putting it towards a bunch of fake 'certification' letters after my name, and seeing that money fly away and earn me nothing.
Sixe of MTSO Market
Does anyone know the size of the MTSO market (how many service providers, how many software co's etc. or a good source for this info?
Going back on the market -- any advice?

Hi y'all,

Three weeks ago I began a new job doing acute care at a local hospital (part of CHS). On Friday they told us that our work would be outsourced beginning in April.... Previously I worked at another local hospital for 9 years transcribing Rad and ER notes, echos, etc. I left there because I need expensive orthognathic surgery and their insurance plan has a blanket exclusion against it. Plus I wanted to brush up on my "big four" skills.

Now I am looking for work. Boy have things changed!  I really prefer to work for a hospital or start up my own company again but would work for a service as a last resort. After reading the informative posts here, I have begun compiling a list of "good" and "bad" services so I can avoid certain ones.

Does anyone here have any advice for me? Not general advice about job hunting, but more specific advice about the services -- what to watch out for, etc. I have never done editing/VRT, but apparently that pays less anyway so I don't think I will be doing that.


Really? Hmmmm...you wouldn't know the stock market if it bit you.
Run a stock analysis on MQ under any search engine.  Yahoo stock analysts are the ones I use personally.  There are advisories and analyses of MQ and Philips in the data base EVERY DAY.  There have been "hold" advisories, "sell" advisories, and "buy" advisories any given day.  Sorry to disappoint your disillusioned mind. Obviously NASDAQ and regular trade is better, but they are STILL in the ball game, sorry to disappoint you. And you SHOULD be happy at that if you care about the 1000s of MQ employees who have stocks, etc.  But, gee, sounds like you're just a disgruntled werker!
Does anyone know any basics on money market accounts?
If you're an overseas vendor here's how to market....sm

Go by medical offices and talk to them in your native tongue.  They just LOVE hearing it.   When visiting in places like Florida be sure to ask about the last snow storm they had last winter - that's very impressive!   In the northern states talk about the warm sunny 70 degrees in February in their state and ask if they're ready for that this year.  

Be sure to take brochures showing the fabulous quality of work you do.   Be sure you include impressive sentences such as:  "Dr. Jones said he would eat ketchup with the patient to review his lab work."   After all they don't find it cute to type it like it was dictated.... "Dr. Jones said he would catch up with the patient to review his lab work." 

Lastly don't forget to give them laminated card including all 25 digits they will have to use to call your native country.  Be sure they're aware that all of your employees in your native country have new names.... Ben, Mary, Thomas and Amy are of course popular choices.   Potential clients like getting a warm fuzzy feeling by talking to "Mary" who has a very heavy accent to the point that they can't understand her talking.  But hey - she has an American name (woo-hoo!) so all is forgiven!

Be sure to investigate the housing market in your area
In my area as well as most of the U.S., the housing prices are SKY HIGH! Some say there is sure to be an 'adjustment' (downward) of housing prices in the near future. If the prices have skyrocketed in your area also, you might want to take a wait and see attitude for a year or two and see what happens? Just a thought.

I don't know your circumstances, and there may be reasons you need to buy a house right now, but a waiting period would also give you a chance to straighten up or clean up whatever is wrong with the credit.

I feel sad for my two sons, (one of whom is a store manager, but single income), as I don't see any possibility of either of them being able to buy a house at the outrageous prices nowdays.

My husband and I got lucky (MANY years ago) and bought our first house from an elderly fellow who carried the contract himself and gave us a STEAL of a price! He assumed we would default like all the other renters had and he would repossess the house. Ha Ha, not so with us!

Hey, maybe you could try advertising for a house with owner financing. Might be easier to qualify. Good luck!
This is not a new market. Is being done with all offshore companies I have ever worked for. nm
Never heard of RMT. In my experience, CMT is worthless in the job market.
It's called competition in a buyer's market (sm)
 or vendor's (hospital's) market, not low-balling. 
Here are two free market listings. You can google search for
freelance writing or editing market/job listings, too.

Writers Write market database

Writers Weekly market listing
Yeah, but are these other companies trying to put stores in every market in the country?
I think that is what makes Wal-Mart so "evil" and scares me so badly.  Soon we won't have ANYONE left to buy our goods from because they force all the other competitors out of business (particularly the small business owners) and then we are FORCED to buy everything from overseas countries/Wal-Mart. 
Various analysts are predicting the housing market will collapse soon. sm
Cannot be sustained at the level it is presently at.
No I don't think so. Everytime I see postings about the MT market failing it gets pegged as "n
that's what I think OP is referring to, postings about the dismal future of MT.
You are in a global market now Darlene. If she doesn't do it, someone overseas will.
You're asking for part of their market! It'll be a competition
You go ahead though. Keep us all informed.

In the market for a new ergonomic keyboard. I would love some suggestions!!! What are you using??
Right now I'm looking at the Comfort Keyboard ($289) and Ergoflex ($179) that are on e-bay. If you haven't seen them, they basically look like a regular keyboard, just in two halves. I've also been looking at the Microsoft Curve Comfort and the Logitech Wave. I HATE the big, bulky ergonomic split keyboards like the Microsoft Elite. I cannot use them at all. I also tried the Kinesis Classic and after a month, couldn't get used to it either.

Right now I'm using the A-tech AntiRSI keyboard. It's okay, nothing great.

I would appreciate ANY suggestions. Price really is a factor even though the ones I listed are outrageous. I'd rather not spend a ton, but will if I have to.

Does anyone have any good ideas for back and hip pain from sitting all day? Anything on the market?
There is a setting
to fix that and I can't remember what it is. But I complained about it and our IT guys told me how to fix it. There is something that you have to "allow" to get it to work.
Need some ideas/suggestions for setting up a very tight QA program. I have no idea where to start with this one. Any help is appreciated.
I have no idea, but there is a way of setting - sm
in up in WP5.1 so it backs up your work every few minutes, and is saves a back up copy as well. Also if you have to shut down then you just go to your backup folder (you make one up) and there it is under a different name, and you bring that up and resave it and you generally have lost very little work. Email me if you want and I will dig out the instructions on how to set up the backup feature. The problem I have is sometimes I hit something, no idea which 2 keys and I delete my whole report, so the backup feature for me is a lifesaver. Thouhg I have learned the hard way not to save the report after I delete by accident, otherwise the only thing that is in the backup file is a blank file. Luckily I don't make a habit of doing that!
Aha. So it is a setting they could change.
I think they just haven't noticed or haven't had time to do it, but it's good to know it is possible to have it not spellcheck demographics. There is no reason for it since they wouldn't want us to change anything in the demographics.

You are setting yourself up to most likely fail...

if you try to start an MT business right out of school.  Unfortunately, people take the college courses for MT just to find out that most employers do require experience.  There are companies that do hire newbies, but one must have attended an "approved" school.  It's not too late for you though.  I see you as having 3 options:

1. You attend an "approved" MT course/start over with schooling.

2. You apply everywhere, check your newspaper, keep looking.

3. You attempt to start up your own business and learn as you go, although I highly don't recommend this route. 


Good luck!

Setting up Lanier LX-219?

I'm at a loss - I cannot find a manual anywere about how to set up my Lanier LX-219 equipment.  I have the terminal block, module and the unit.  two phone plugs on the grey box, one phone plug on the back of the unit.  Does anyone know where I can find a manual on how to set up the equipment? Thanks in advance

I am in our bedroom now, but am setting up - sm
an area in our dining room slowly. Will still work in the BR (I think) during the day; but will move out to the DR when DH wants to go to bed so my typing does not keep him up. That has been a running battle for years and finally bought a new CPU as a backup and now am loading all my programs, etc. which I don't have the time to do of course. Just need to finish doing that and get a new monitor as I am using an ancient one right now that is probably around 12 years old now, huge bugger. If I like it out there more I may work out there during the day too.
Are you setting your own rate?

If so, find out what others in your area are charging. If you think you should be paid more because you're doing pathology, then charge more.

If you're being offered a rate, then do you consider it to be enough? No one else can really answer those questions but you.

Setting up your own accounts

I've been doing some research on here and checking out various links and such regarding setting up my own accounts but am finding myself more confused than ever!   I've noticed some talking about things like mydocsonline, bytescribe, wav player, Olympus, etc., but how exactly do these work?  I'm assuming there is a system in their office or on their end and then I use some sort of system or connect with that to get jobs? How does this all work?

I've been looking into this and trying to understand how it works, as when I recently went to the ENT office they asked if might be looking for some work .  I didn't feel comfortable talking about it in depth because of my lack of understanding.  They are a mid-sized practice with 2 offices and probably less than 10 physicians.  Any info or advice anyone could offer would be greatly appreciated.  Please feel free to email me also if you'd like.