QUESTION ON Starting a Medical Transcription Business
I have been doing medical transcription for 2 years out of my home and I am now ready to expand. I’ve only worked for 1 doctor so far and am not sure what to charge for my services. I have also begun typing bankruptcies. I don’t have a business license yet or even a business name. What should I be doing before expanding?
Advice by Tammy Harrison
The first thing you should do is to determine your business structure and follow your local/county/state/federal regulations about setting up your business. Most small business owners start out as sole practitioners using a d/b/a (doing business as) name. It is best if you retain an attorney to find out what would be in your best interest. The attorney could also help you out with getting the correct forms and filings in your area. The process of setting up the business will depend on the business structure you choose, and the requirements of the state you are forming your business. I always recommend setting the business up first, so that you do not have to back-track down the road…do it right the first time!
You may also want to take this opportunity to improve your credentials and develop your network. Get certifications from industry associations such as the Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI), formerly the American Association for Medical Transcription. Having stronger credentials — that includes certifications, courses completed — will help set you apart from other medical transcriptionists, as well as provide a signal to potential clients that you are in keeping with the latest compliance rules and regulations in healthcare documentation.
As far as what to charge, it really depends on where you live. I know some medical transcriptionists who charge by the page and others who charge by the hour. Since I type 120 wpm, it is most advantageous for my clients that I charge by the hour….but, if you are not as fast at transcription, you may want to quote a rate by the page. Take some time to call other data processors, transcriptionists and home-based workers in your area (just pretend you are looking for prices) to find out a competitive rate. Additionally, remember that you are charging for the use of your home-office and not just your services. By hiring you, the client is not having to pay for your employee expenses or overhead, so be sure to adjust your prices accordingly.
Best of luck!
Recommended Resources on How To Start a Medical Transcription Business
- Medical Transcription Fundamentals: Where Success Takes Root
- Start Your Own Medical Claims & Transcription Business
- Medical Transcription: Techniques and Procedures, 7e
- The Independent Medical Transcriptionist, Fifth Edition: The Comprehensive Guidebook for Career Success in a Medical Transcription Business
Article originally published in January 2001. Updated February 22, 2012
Tammy Harrison is a successful home-based working mom for over five years. She holds a degree from Mizzou in Consumer Economics. Her business focuses on Marketing and Creativity for Small Businesses as well as numerous other small businesses.
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