Medical transcription jobs at home are currently becoming more and more popular as they provide tremendous benefits to both the physician or medical institution as well as to the medical transcriptionist. Since many of these positions are contracted or outsourced, the intent of this article is to focus on some of the aspects of setting up a medical transcription business at home.
If this is the first time setting shop at home, you must be conscious that the mindset is entirely different than working at a job in an office setting. Two characteristics, when entertaining medical transcription jobs at home which must be engrained are discipline and structure.
Setting aside a work area such as a spare bedroom or a space in the basement to be treated as “the office” will assist with structure. The area should house everything related to the business such as the computer, filing cabinet, transcription recording equipment, fax machine, and telephone, and should be off limits to children, spouses, and pets when you are working. This will help alleviate distractions and allow you to focus on the task at hand. The environment should be decorated in such a way that you enjoy being there.
When beginning medical transcription jobs at home it often take some time to develop a balance of work, family, and personal life. It is not uncommon to find an individual either working extremely long hours, or at the other end of the spectrum working very few hours and creating situations where they have to “pull an all nighter” in order to meet deadlines. The purpose of operating your own business is to reduce stress not to increase stress, therefore it is important that you develop a concrete plan, loosely structured routine, and try as much as possible to adhere to it.
Related to mindset, and whether you are doing it part time or as a full fledged business, it is important to view yourself as a business owner, providing professional services to the medical community. Your time equates to money, and you must set your fee structure accordingly. Make sure you do some research in your geographic area in order to ensure that you have a good grasp on the current going rates are.
If just getting started, it may be prudent to set your line rate a little lower than some of your competitors, but still strive to provide top notch service in terms of accuracy and meeting or beating deadlines. Over time, gradually increase your price as quality work will always prevail, and price will become less of an issue. Always charge by the line not by the character or page, as it is a fact that a per line rate will always be more profitable. Further, use a good line counting software program such www.count-lines.com which will allow you to easily keep track of lines for billing purposes, and print out an accurate log.
Finally, an area which can have a huge impact on profitability but is often overlooked, when operating medical transcription jobs from home, are additional services. These include things such as urgent requests often referred to as stat work, photocopying, faxing, sending couriers, special deliveries, and so on. Nothing is carved in stone with respect to the fee structure for these types of services, and as a result, you can be somewhat creative in setting these prices.
A good rule of thumb is to determine what your hourly rate is based on the total revenue divided by the approximate number of hours you spent to generate that revenue. For example, if it equates to $38 per hour, and it takes you 1 hour to drive to and from the courier depot, you would charge $38 plus the cost to send the courier and a 10- 20% surcharge. Again use your own discretion, but faxes and photocopies will likely generate $.50 – $2.00 per page.
In summary, medical transcription jobs at home provide a tremendous opportunity for anyone wishing to start their own home based business. It provides the flexibility to balance work and family life, and allows you to start small and scale it up to a full time venture.