Medical Transcription Buyer's Guide
Transcription service pricing
Table of Contents
Medical transcription services usually charge per line of text. The industry standard is 65 characters to a line, including spaces, but not every transcription service adheres to that standard. Some may define lines with fewer characters or count each hard line break as a new line, so be sure to get the details from each provider you talk to. Check out what other BuyerZone users have paid for medical transcription services.
Prices ranges from $0.07 to $0.25 per line, but average around $0.12 to $0.14 per line. To get a sense of how much you'd be paying, open some typical patient notes in a word processing program and use the "character count" feature. Divide that by 65 to get the number of lines of text, then multiply by the cost per line you're quoted.
In some cases, pricing can be set up on a per report basis, instead of per line. This is mostly done for doctors who submit a high number of very short reports, such as radiologists, but you may be able to negotiate it in other situations if you prefer it.
Pricing varies according to several factors. You'll get better rates with a higher volume of transcription. You'll have to pay more for STAT transcriptions. And because MTs who can handle niche specialties are less common, you may have to pay a higher rate if you're a specialty practice.
Generally, you won't be required to commit to a long-term contract or minimum volumes, but you may be able to get better rates if you commit to using a service for all of your transcription needs.
Be sure you ask prospective providers about any additional fees too, such as set up fees (generally this would be a nominal charge of $10 or so), tech support fees, and monthly subscription fees.
If you decide to use a handheld digital recorder, you can find them for as little as $75. While almost any audio format is acceptable, MP3 is the preferred format because if offers the best combination of quality and small file sizes. Before buying a recorder, ask the transcription service for their recommendations and requirements. They may offer to sell you the recorder directly, but you can usually get a better deal on your own.