Tight on Cash? Pay Your Taxes First

The accounts receivable factoring specialists at PRN Funding, LLC came across an interesting article on TaftLaw.com last week discussing how the economic downturn has left some business owners picking and choosing when and how much to pay their creditors.

The article, Cash Sqeezed? Best to Pay Taxes,  zoned in specifically on a company’s, and in most cases, an individual’s ever-present obligation to pay federal payroll taxes and state and local taxes.

The article specifically said, “The federal tax laws impose personal liability…upon those officers and employees…who have responsibility for filing payroll tax returns (primarily Form 941) and seeing to it that these taxes are paid.” These individuals are called “responsible persons.” In other words, if the IRS determines that payroll taxes have fallen behind, it will place liens on the property of “responsible persons,” garnish their wages and levy on their bank accounts. This same principle holds true in most states when companies fail to remit sales and use taxes to the state government.

Long story short, business owners don’t usually think of themselves as having personal liability for the debts of their business, but federal payroll taxes and sales and use taxes are the exceptions to the rule.

Philippines Gaining Ground in Outsourced Transcription

According to an article in the Sunday edition of the Los Angeles Times, “The business of transcribing American medical files employed 34,000 Filipinos and generated $476 million in revenue last year,” and it’s been predicted that the number of medical transcriptionists will triple, and revenue will jump to more than $1.7 billion by the end of next year.

To date, India has held the largest share of outsourced U.S. medical transcription work, but it’s facing growing competition from Philippines, Pakistan and Caribbean countries.

Ernesto Herrara, a former senator who heads the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines, mentioned in the article that Filipinos have an important advantage over Indians when it comes to outsourced medical transcription–Because the Philippines is a former American colony, its citizens are more familiar with American accents. He also explained that the country has a “vast pool of jobless medical workers who need little additional training to take dictation from American doctors.”

Not to mention that the fact still remains that it’s more pricey to have things transcribed in the States as opposed to overseas. American medical transcriptionists make $31,250 a year compared to a $6,000 annual salary for a Filipino medical transcriptionist.

Click here to read the entire article: American’ medical files go digital, by way of Asia.

Recession Hurts Health Care Job Growth

The health care sector added half a million new jobs added since December 2007, while the rest of the economy saw 5.1 million job losses. The pace of new health care jobs has drastically reduced since the beginning of 2009, adding a mere 17,000 jobs per month for the first quarter (less than half of last year’s pace).

The notion that the health care industry is recession-proof is no longer valid. Health care facilities across the nation are registering losses in investment portfolios, seeing an increasing number of uninsured patients, getting less takers for elective procedures, and watching as state programs continue to cut back on funds.

According to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, “Health care usually weathers downturns better than many other industries because consumers tend to cut spending on cars or clothes before they forgo trips to the emergency room or pharmacy. But this recession is the deepest in a generation.”

The Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and Akron General Health System in Ohio have all had to make hard decisions as part of the economic decline.

Click here to read the entire story: Recession Now Hits in Health Care.

Cloud Lifted on MedQuist Lawsuit

In January, we gave our medical transcription blog readers an update on the MedQuist Class Action Settlement. Four months later, we have a new update… In short, the litigation cloud that had been looming over MedQuist has finally been lifted because the Company recently announced entry of final judgment approving settlement and started dismissing the consolidated medical transcriptionist class action lawsuit.

As a refresher, Medquist originally reported in 2004 that certain individual medical transcriptionists began class action litigation against MedQuist, alleging that the medical transcription service systematically and wrongfully underpaid medical transcriptionists.

As part of the settlement, MedQuist agreed to implement certain measures to ensure transparency in medical transcription pay. In addition, MedQuist agreed to pay $1.5 million (approximately $1.1 million will be given to the Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity). The funds are to be used to develop programming for the general benefit of medical transcriptionists and the medical transcription industry. AHDI also agreed to offer certain programs for free to class members outlined in the settlement documentation.

Click here for additional information on the MedQuist Lawsuit.

PRN Funding Talks on Recession and Medical Staffing

The editors of Recruiting & Staffing Solutions Magazine assembled a prestigious round table of funding and lending experts and asked them a series of questions concerning the recession and how it has affected their clients. The responses to the survey was included in a special feature in the March/April issue of RSSM. PRN Funding’s CEO, Phil Cohen, was one of the factoring experts who participated in the survey.

A summary of the questions asked and Mr. Cohen’s responses are included below:

In your opinion, what is the biggest impact on the staffing industry by the present credit crunch?
Credit worthy staffing agencies are finding it increasingly difficult to either receive or renew working capital lines from banks. In addition, alternative financing vehicles traditionally utilized by smaller firms, such as home equity lines and credit cards, are also becoming more difficult to obtain. Reduced access to capital is compounded by an industry wide slow down in the payment of invoices by customers.

What do you believe will be the biggest opportunity staffing firms will have because of the present recession?
I believe the biggest opportunity staffing firms have right now is to help fill in the gaps for employers who have had to lay-off full-time employees. Staffing firms can use this recession to provide temporary workers to companies who don’t necessarily have the financial resources available to perform the necessary background checks or offer benefits packages. By utilizing staffing firms, these companies can maintain a business-as-usual atmosphere on a more affordable level.

If a staffing firm wanted to research funding and lending companies, what are the two biggest factors that separate your company from others in the industry?

  1. Medical Staffing Industry Expertise – PRN Funding, LLC understands the unique characteristics of the medical staffing industry. PRN Funding is very familiar with traditional payment terms, industry jargon and day-to-day procedures associated with the medical staffing industry.
  1. Extremely Flexible Factoring Terms – PRN Funding offers the utmost in flexibility to medical staffing companies. Our clients choose when, who, how much and how long to factor their invoices.

Which industries have been influenced the most by the downturn?
As a very focused factor, we are only qualified to comment on the medical staffing industry.  Unlike other downturns, even the medical staffing industry has been affected as facilities have had significantly less difficulty filling open shifts.

In your opinion, which industries have been the least affected by the current economic situation?
Once again, I am only qualified to comment on the medial staffing industry.  While virtually all segments have been affected, those agencies providing home health care services have been less affected than other specialties as demand for their services is less discretionary and their clients (governmental institutions) don’t have any staff of their own.

Phil Cohen to Speak at IFA Conference

If you are planning on attending the 2009 International Factoring Association’s Conference in Orlando, Fl next week, there’s a panel discussion worth attending!

Philip Cohen, the president of PRN Funding, LLC, was invited to speak on a panel of an entrepreneurial factors on Friday, April 24 at 2:00pm EST. Looking back on his ten years of founding and owning PRN Funding, Mr. Cohen will discuss various “tricks of the factoring trade” with the other panel members and the seminar’s attendees.

Click here to read the official press release: Phil Cohen Chosen as Guest Speaker on IFA Panel.

Some Nurses Struggle to Find Jobs

The current shape of the economy has led some nurses to push off retirement and led others to resume their full-time careers for financial reasons. In the short run, it looks as though the nursing shortage has been haulted. Take a deeper look into the situation, and you’ll find that the opposite is actually occurring…What an article in The Washington Post calls it a “Band-Aid” solution.

“After more than a decada when hospitals struggled to maintain sufficient staffing and when nurses could have their pick of jobs, the want ads have virtually disappeared, and only acute-care and emergency-room nurses remain in great demand,” according to The Washington Post.

Click here to read the entire article: Jobs Scarce, Even for Nurses.

PRN Funding Headed to Louisville for MTIA Meeting

If you are an MTSO interested in increasing your company’s cash flow, and you are planning on attending the 2009 MTIA Conference April 22-25, be sure to stop by booth #26 to learn about PRN Funding’s medical transcription factoring program.

Click here to read the official PRN Funding press release: PRN Funding Set to Exhibit at 2009 MTIA Meeting.