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Impact of Fall and Rise of Dollar on Medical Transcription Business
How transcription business works?
Most transcription businesses work with a profit margin that ranges between 10-15 and 30-35 percent. The 30-35 percent are a few in numbers and they achieve this either by having high line rate accounts or by squeezing productivity/overheads/salaries to the hilt. Some others achieve this by integrating technology that reduces manpower cost such as using voice recognition software.
Since 2006 to 2007, I have seen a 12% decline in the dollar against the rupee. That means our Indian expenses remained the same, but the dollar income once converted became less and less.
MT line count salary system explanation
Rationalization of salaries is definitely an issue since there are operations that put out let us say 12000 rupees for an MT with some years of experience who still needs to have his or her work proofread/edited. Assuming a productivity of 300 lines per day for a mix of dictators, that works out to 2 rupees per line, and if the proofreader/editor is doing 35000 lines per month at a salary of say 25000 rupees that goes to about 1.4 rupees per line. Add a conservative 1 rupee per line for other costs like support staff, power, internet, commissions, rent, US ops if any, interest on capital, etc., etc, and it comes to a 5.5 rupees that is approximately 14 cents. Work out the rest of it yourself.
Future of Medical Transcription Explained
This too in the setting that the tax holiday offered to businesses under the STPI expires in a year's time, making income taxable for businesses. Something needs to change.
It is unlikely that salaries will go south, but it is imperative that the industry takes steps to evolve uniform standards of evaluation of compensation. Bitter pill but essential at this juncture if we want to survive.
Loss of jobs in the year 2006 and 2007
Many transcriptionists lost theirs jobs in the year 2006 and 2007 because of a fall in dollar price as compared to Indian rupee. I was very sorry at that to hear about their plight, but as I am a medical transcription professional for the last 10 years, I know that people who have talent and are worthy will always survive. Actually the bonus point to transcription business is that we can get plenty of work doing home based with other companies who seem not to be affected by the change in exchange rates. I had read somewhere that the government is making some subsidiaries to companies in export for their loss in revenue. However, this is all irrelevant for us as we are paid in rupees and not in dollars. As a rule, most companies only pay about 10-15% of revenue generated by employee as salary, so they have plenty of a buffer zone to withstand this drop in rates.
Worrisome impact of dollar falling down
In 2007, MTs began to get worried about this dollar value, which started hitting everyone hard. They got a decent amount of work from someone in US but then with dollar at 39.50 and expected to go to 35 or even less in less than a year time, they were unable to cope up with the work at that rate. Furthermore, they were also losing money in conversion from dollar to rupees here in India.
Medical transcriptionists, proofreaders, and editors started thinking of joining some big companies which were very productive and stable, as they did not see any point in joining some small company for a higher pay because they thought that in a few months' time, the small companies will vanish from the market.
My idea for MTs into medical transcription career According to me, a transcriptionist could look at stability and long-term gain and invest in his/her future by choosing wisely and staying with a company that has a proven track record and spend time acquiring skills and trust and respect. This will also make you better candidate to employ for future employers and increase your value to the company you stay with.
It is never too late to learn from one's mistakes and correct one's course. We either learn from our mistakes or repeat them over and over until we learn. The choice is ours.
If the dollar goes on dipping, it would be better if people stick to a medium-to-big company with a reasonable pay and work on HBT for the same company or another with part-time in the early mornings or evenings to get extra income. This would be one of the better things to do in times of such a crisis.
Rise of dollar since 2008 up until now
Now the dollar rate is stable around 50 for the last one year or so and I feel the comfort level that the dollar at 50 brings should be capitalized on to consolidate on operational efficiency, technology and training. Typically, these get pushed to the back when there is a liquidity squeeze. I think we all should look at investing in these now rather than go overboard at the extra money.
Similarly, 12 months have seen the dollar swing between 39 and 50. This should serve as a reminder that we will need to innovate and create a better strategy on an ongoing basis to deal with all possible scenarios.
But now, the dollar also cannot be trusted that it would stay around 50. If the global recession does not hit India so badly, the rupee would stay stronger and the dollar would again go down.
Also of note, surprisingly, the inflation has come down last week!
Until then, let us bask in the 50-rupee dollar.
What do you think will be the condition of dollar in rupee one year from now
Medical Transcription resources and links from a professional in MT
- Acusis India Home Based Medical Transcription
Quality driven Medical Transcription service provider. We deliver transcription with fast turnaround, 99%+ accuracy, HIPAA compliance, and very competitive rates.
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British medical transcription work may go to India
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- Transcription Errors. Bloopers and Blunders
such errors are committed every day at almost every center but there are few blunders, which can make you laugh and few grave errors that can make an utter confusion.