Professional Development for Healthcare Professions Blog

Coding: Preparing for Change…or Delay

Posted by Chad Sines on Thu, Jun 25, 2015 @ 08:11 PM

Medical CodingHealthcare documentation professionals received a serious wakeup call when the implementation of ICD-10 was delayed by another year. The once touted impossibility became a quick reality with very little obvious pushback in congress. And after that chaos ensued. 

Testing bodies had already begun to move away from ICD-9 testing in favor of the ICD-10. Most schools had dropped ICD-9 education even though students might graduate before the implementation date. Even vendors went all out for the change. What was most interesting is that few actually seemed to be prepared for the inevitable delay. When word of the congressional vote came up, there was a panicked effort to change the unavoidable outcome. 

It almost seemed as if many moved burned the bridge for ICD-9. I heard a few mention that if they make it so that they cannot easily go back or they are totally committed to ICD-10, there would be no way anyone would dare to change the implementation date. This line of thinking and planning should have been a major red flag. 

There are very legitimate reasons on both sides of the delay argument. There are even some wanting to wait and move to ICD-11. Physicians, vendors, and healthcare documentation specialists all sit on different sides for various reasons. We could endlessly write on either side of the argument. The intent here is not to take a side, but to be prepared regardless of the outcome. 

The biggest take away from this experience is simple….. Make plans both for a change and also make plans should that change not happen. The stakes are too high for businesses, schools, and professionals to not prepare for multiple outcomes. Hopefully other schools will take note of Med-Line’s strategic planning. Giving students a strong education that focuses on now and the future is the key to success. 

Med-Line's Medical Coding Bridge Course was one of the few courses that continued teaching ICD-9 alongside ICD-10 so graduates would be ready if the ICD-10 implementation was delayed. As expected, ICD-10 was delayed leaving graduates of many programs unprepared to work since their education did not include ICD-9. Our students were ready for this delay. When we let them know about the delay, their response from one was telling “Well, everyone knew that was coming. Good thing we know both.”

Would you like to be ready for whatever changes come in the future? If so, choose Med-Line.

Prepare for Your Future

New Years Resolution for the MT- Learn Medical Coding

Posted by Chad Sines on Mon, Jan 05, 2015 @ 01:42 PM

Med-Line School of Medical TranscriptionThe most common question I am asked by many MTs who are responding to Med-Line’s medical coding bridge program is why. Medical transcription is not going away contrary to what some vendors say. The demand for highly-trained acute care MTs is very high. It is only the clinic work MT who is really struggling. Fortunately there are ways for click work MTs to uptrain to the acute care level. The reason I am asking MTs to learn coding is that there is no denying three fundamental facts:

  • The healthcare documentation industry is changing at lightning speed. New technology, more opportunities, a chance to reshape the future.
  • MTs have not capitalized on their potential to lead the healthcare documentation industry; however, the new changes are opening up new avenues.
  • Coders ARE leading the EHR changes and reshaping healthcare documentation. An MT who also knows medical coding is a powerful professional combination.

2011 was a great success for Med-Line’s Medical Coding Bridge continuing education. Many transcriptionists took advantage of the only medical coding continuing education designed around the needs of a medical transcriptionist. The most frequent feedback I heard from those participating was their desire to stay ahead of the massive changes being seen in the healthcare documentation industry. They were not leaving the industry. They were looking for ways to position themselves in new roles. Med-Line’s medical coding training program allows this opportunity.

One of the biggest negatives about this industry is that medical transcriptionists are often reactionary. We wait until something happens before doing something about it. With the upcoming changes in the EHR and the many doors being opened, now is the time when many are realizing that they have the ability to get ahead of the curve in a way that really has not existed before. The MT already has a medical foundation that is greater than that offered in most medical coding programs. This allows a much easier transition for an MT learning to code than the reverse.

Nowhere else can an MT learn the skills of a medical coder in six to nine months at such a great value. It is definitely worth looking into and considering. Make 2015, the year you learn a new skill set that will put you well ahead of the pack.   

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Topics: Continuing Education, Medical Coding Training, Career Advancement

Administrative Medical Assisting and Your Career Ladder

Posted by Chad Sines on Thu, Oct 30, 2014 @ 08:00 AM

career ladderWhen the medical field is your dream profession, it is important to slide your foot in the door in order to get an early start. School and further education is an excellent step, but it often takes years before anyone is even willing to offer a job. This doesn't mean you can't obtain a medical position beforehand. Administrative medical assisting is an excellent way to start off on the career ladder, even while you are pursuing your nursing or other medical degree. Just because you’re in school doesn't mean you have to push your professional career to a halt. With administrative medical assisting, you're able to work while attending school; all the while staying connecting to the job field you love and enjoy so much. This makes administrative medical assisting an excellent first rung on your career ladder. 

While attending school for a nursing degree, pre-med or any other medical field position, you probably need to work in order to maintain a residence and pay for the educational experience. You might as well work in your chosen field from the beginning, instead of heading off in another direction to meet your financial needs while in school. As an administrative medical assistant you will gain valuable experience in the medical field and be exposed to a side of the business process that many medical professional know little about. This way, when it comes to applying for jobs after your education is complete, you already have proven experience in the medical community, making you more employable and desirable to potential employers. 

An administrative medical assistant position is an excellent continued learning on the job work situation. Practices require you to have a high school diploma, and with Med-Line’s Administrative Medical Assisting training, it's possible to quickly enter the work environment. As this is part of the medical community, there is always a demand for the position, which makes it a highly desirable profession. A medical assistant typically performs routine administrative duties, which allows the physicians to see more patients during a given day. This experience allows you to gain experience in several different fields while performing your duties. This way, you can not only learn from other assistants and the doctors themselves, but also the computer programming necessary to maintain client schedules and records. This is also an excellent opportunity to become familiar with electronic health records which is necessary as you advance in your career ladder. Regardless of what your desired final job is, serving as an administrative medical assistant is an excellent first step. 

Topics: Administrative Medical Assisting

Do Med-Line Graduates Get Jobs?

Posted by Chad Sines on Wed, Oct 29, 2014 @ 12:27 PM

Job OfferOne of the most common questions I hear from potential transcription students is “What are the chances of me finding a job when I graduate?” The question is very legitimate as many programs simply churn out graduates, hand them a list of employers who at some point said they will consider their graduates, and then send them on their way. It is no wonder many of these individuals have a hard time finding employment. 

What makes Med-Line so special? Simple. We train well beyond the ACCP criteria. All our MT instructors and our program director are CMTs. We do not offer weak 6-9 month programs that leave graduates unprepared for jobs. We teach our graduates that the RMT is a necessity and not an option for a professional. We offer an internship to qualified graduates that allow an intensive mentoring to work out those beginning job jitters and development of real-world applications.

What really makes Med-Line extra special? Over time our management staff has made contact with many service owners, managers, and recruiters. We give each graduate personal placement assistance. We use what we have learned about the MT, what work they tell us interests them, and what needs our networking contacts have shared with us. Instead of sending a graduate to bang on the door, we are able to introduce our graduate to the right people. This more than gets their foot in the door…It opens that door wide. That is real job placement assistance. 

No program can guarantee a student employment. Not even the elite Ivy League schools graduating physicians can make that promise; however, Med-Line’s individual attention and placement allows a much higher success. 

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Topics: Medical Transcription Training

Can We Finally Set the Record Straight- MT is in High Demand

Posted by Chad Sines on Thu, Aug 14, 2014 @ 01:00 PM

Med-Line School of Medical TranscriptionA bizarre trend keeps rearing its ugly head. Someone interested in medical transcription will call and during the course of the conversation will say “a friend of mine said that medical transcription is going away.” I chuckle a little and explain just how many requests for our graduates we have had in the last couple of months. I get someone who does not know the industry asking the question. It is a valid, responsible question for anyone considering a new career. Here is the head slapper. How many of us have read or heard a medical transcriptionist say “medical transcription is going away..there are no jobs..” How many of us have heard it multiple times this week?

Every time I hear someone say this I want to scream because every acute care transcription company knows this is utter…..had to pause to avoid a bad word…nonsense. Acute care transcription companies are looking for acute care medical transcriptionists in every nook and cranny they can find. My sister who left the industry many years ago received a call regarding a resume she sent 5+ years ago. That is how desperate these companies are for acute care MTs. Not desperate as in they are desperate if they are asking my sister but desperate in the extent they are going to in order to find people. They are dredging their entire past databases of potential acute care transcription MTs.

What people are not fully realizing is that CLINIC WORK medical transcription jobs are becoming more difficult as to acquire as a viable long-term plan. Depending on the type of clinic work accounts, much of the work is the first to go offshore or to 100% speech recognition. ACUTE CARE transcription should be a long-term goal for all because it remains in high demand. For some reason our industry and professional association has failed to emphasize this. People are finally beginning to realize that those 6-9 month courses did not prepare them for long-term success. We get tons of calls from MTs who are looking to step up their skill set so they will be viable long term.

I receive a lot of calls from people interested in our Acute Care Transition program. It is the only clinic work to Acute Care Transition program in existence. This program fills in the gaps left behind by clinic work training, those who learned on the job, or those without acute care experience. Interestingly we get a lot of calls from new graduates of 4-9 month program graduates who were told they were not employable despite their ACCP-approved program. The Acute Care Transition program is designed with one purpose in mind, develop an acute care MT and get them acute care work. The program is designed around preparing individuals academically for the new work types and then immersing them in acute care transcription practice. It becomes a process where the MT is being evolved into the acute care MT and then transitioned into long-term positions. Where else does someone get the opportunity to experience a paid acute care internship where the MT is able to do real acute care transcriptions? Once they complete the program, graduates qualify for individualized job placement.

I am sure the myth of jobs being scarce will continue, but those with acute care training will continue to enjoy their security and in-demand status as more and more clinic work MTs slowly realize that they need additional training to remain viable in a fast-moving industry that is quickly leaving clinic work MTs behind.

Topics: Medical Transcription Training

Tremendous Savings on Continuing Education

Posted by Chad Sines on Wed, Aug 13, 2014 @ 05:22 PM

Great SavingsWe have some great webinars and great prices with several at only $2 this August.

Through August 31st, all webinars are half off. You can view our extensive list of webinars here. Prices will update once in your shopping cart.

 

Our weekly $2 webinars are:

August 10th to 16th Celiac Disease

August 17th to 23rd Crohns Disease

August 24th to 31st Irritable Bowel Syndrome

 

We also have our RHDS and CHDS prep programs at only $35 through the end of August.

 

We hope you take advantage of these wonderful opportunities this month.

Topics: Continuing Education, Webinar

Pharmacy Technician: Ready to Work Faster Than Ever

Posted by Chad Sines on Fri, May 09, 2014 @ 11:25 AM

pharmtech

The pharmacy technician position is one of the fastest growing in the modern job market, as an aging population leads naturally to the need for a greater number of qualified, well-trained pharmacy employees. Due to this demand, and the overall appeal of pharmacy technician careers, Med-Line School is excited to announce the introduction of a comprehensive, three-month pharmacy technician course. Through this course, students will gain all of the necessary knowledge to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board exam and work effectively in a growing, rewarding industry.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that pharmacy technician job opportunities are set to grow 32 percent year over year, an excellent rate compared to the overall average of 14 percent expected job growth. In addition, pharmacy techs can expect to earn a starting salary of around $30,000 per year, with the top ten percent of pharmacy techs earning over $40,000. With strong starting salaries and high demand in the job market, this is an excellent time to start a new career as a pharmacy technician. Ahead, you will learn the highlights of the Med-Line School pharmacy tech course, along with a little more about the career itself.

What is a pharmacy tech?

The pharmacy technician is integral to the overall function of the pharmacy itself, working in both the customer service and pharmaceutical side of the business. Pharmacy techs help licensed pharmacists by obtaining information from customers, which is then used to fill prescriptions. In addition, pharmacy techs can expect to prepare prescriptions by counting tablets, compounding medications, labeling prescriptions, accepting payments, and processing insurance information.

What does Med-Line School's pharmacy technician course offer?

  • Few Weeks Duration – In a job market that has been tough in recent years, many people want to seek training for a new career, but don't think they have the time. Indeed, the four years and steep tuition rates required for a bachelor's degree can be prohibitive, even for people who are otherwise ambitious. Med-Line School's pharmacy technician course lasts only a few weeks, but packs in all of the information you need to successfully pass the licensing exam, and succeed in your new career. Instead of waiting four years to pursue a new career, you will be ready to go in just a few weeks.
  • Low Tuition – If you are looking to get out of an old career, and into a new one, chances are money is a factor. In addition to its short duration, the Med-Line School pharmacy technician course is reasonably priced. In the end, the low tuition is a small investment compared to the gain of a new, high-demand career as a pharmacy technician.
  • Comprehensive Training – Though the pharmacy technician course is designed in a streamlined manner for fast completion, no quality is sacrificed in the process. You will learn everything necessary to have a successful career as a pharmacy technician, from the basics to advanced techniques. At the conclusion of the course, you will be armed with everything you need to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board exam.

The pharmacy technician career path offers many rewards, beyond salary and growth. As a pharmacy technician, you will have the opportunity to work in an interesting, fast-paced environment, and help people on a daily basis. With strong growth projected for the foreseeable future, you will also have plenty of job opportunities, and stability once you find the perfect job. It all starts with training, however. With Med-Line School's new pharmacy technician course, you can be ready for your new career in just three months.

 

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From Transcription to Coding-- A Natural Journey

Posted by Chad Sines on Wed, May 07, 2014 @ 07:00 AM

Med-Line Medical CodingAre you medical transcriptionists seeking to expand your career options? Are you thinking about becoming a medical coder, but are concerned with the transitioning process? Well, you do not have to be concerned any longer. The transition from medical transcriptionist to medical coder will be simpler for you because you already possess the basic skills needed to succeed in this field. Developing both skill sets can open new and exciting career opportunities in this ever-changing industry.

Current Skills

As a medical transcriptionist, here are some of the skills you currently possess that will make transitioning to a medical coder almost effortless:

  • Accurate typing skills
  • Effective reading and listening skills
  • Ability to work alone with no supervision
  • Efficient computer skills, including basic computer programs
  • An understanding of medical language and terminology
  • Skills needed to understand medical reports

What is Medical Coding?

Medical coders translate patients’ medical records into the proper medical billing language. Their job is to apply this language, or medical coding, to procedures and services provided by doctors, hospitals and clinics so that the universal billing systems can understand it. These coded files are then electronically transmitted to healthcare insurance companies for billing purposes. Without medical coders, no one in the chain of healthcare providers would ever get paid.

Two Advantages of Transitioning from Transcriptionist to Coder

1)      Salary Advantages

According to a report by The United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, which can be found in the Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Edition:

Starting Pay

Medical Coders start out at about $14 per hour.

Experienced Pay

The US Department of Labor May 2008 Report on labor statistics breaks down the expected earnings of experienced medical coders into categories based on the types of facilities they choose to work for:

  • Federal executive offices – $42,760
  • General hospitals – $32,600
  • Nursing care facilities – $30,660
  • Outpatient care providers – $29,160
  • Doctors’ offices – $26,210

2)      Cross Training Advantages

Being certified as a medical transcriptionist, as well as a medical coder gives you more career options. By cross training to be skilled in both professions, you will be qualified to accept job offers and contracts in both fields. Here are some of the advantages of cross training:

  • Find a good paying job in either or both fields.
  • Obtain independent contracts in either or both fields.
  • Obtain independent contracts that allow you to provide both services, thus doubling your pay per project.

How to Become a Medical Coder

Medical coders must complete required training courses to become certified. Medical coding certification gives your employers and clients the guarantee that you are skilled and highly qualified in this field. A premium medical coding program will educate you on the skills you need to flourish in your new career as a medical coder.

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Topics: Medical Coding Training

Your New Career as a Medical Transcriptionist

Posted by Chad Sines on Mon, May 05, 2014 @ 07:00 AM

Get jobAre you seeking a new career? Looking for something that you know will have jobs available in the future? What about a career in medical transcription? Medical Transcriptionists are currently in high-demand. You can train in a matter of months and earn money as a full-time employee, or a work-at-home contractor. Let's examine some of the benefits of medical transcription credential training. 

Full-Time Employment

Medical transcription credential training will give you the boost you need to jump start your new career. With premium transcription training from Med-Line School and their credential preparation program, you will find yourself qualified to work for national services, hospitals, clinics and doctors as a skilled, full-time employee. 

Self-Employment

As a private contractor, you will have the opportunity to have as many private clients that you have the ability to service. Thinking bigger? Why not be an entrepreneur and start your own medical transcription company? You can hire your own staff of skilled medical transcriptionists to work for you. Obtain your own contracts with hospitals, clinics and doctors and have your team there to provide the quality work. Sound good? This could be you with the right medical transcription credential training. 

High Demand

Over the last decade, doctors have made the transition from tapes to digital dictation. They found that tape files took up too much storage space. Plus, they are just not as secure as digital audio files, which can be transmitted over secure servers. Only highly skilled professionals are qualified to provide these services. That's why medical transcriptionists are currently in high-demand. How does this benefit you once your medical transcription credential training is complete?
  • The documents can be transmitted to anywhere from your work-at-home office. That means that you can live in one state, and have a medical transcription client in a completely different state.
  • Insurance companies will not pay invoices submitted by hospitals, clinics and doctors until the completed transcription report is submitted. They need trained transcriptionists like you to do this.
  • Jobs in the healthcare field are in high-demand, even in our tough economy. No matter how rough things get, people will always get sick, have accidents, give birth, need x-rays and need regular check-ups. Your medical transcription training will qualify you to become an important part of this ever-growing field. 
     

Growing Field

  • The US Department of Labor has done extensive research on the upcoming growth in the healthcare industry. They project an 11% growth in the industry in the next seven years. They further project that it will generate 3.2 million new jobs by 2018. Of the 20 fastest growing occupations, 10 belong to the healthcare field.
  • A study was done by the Medical Transcription Industry Alliance (now CDIA). According to CDIA's 2011 U.S. Transcription Services Study, the medical transcription market has an expected growth of 15-20% over the next decade. With an expected growth that high, don't you think it's time to complete your medical transcription credential training to start your new career now?

* Isn't that a great reason to start your medical transcription training now? 

Choose the Right School

Med-Line School is ADHI-approved. We offer licensed distance learning courses, fully-credentialed CMT instructors, an externship and superior job placement services. Contact us for medical transcription credential training pricing information. 



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Chad Sines, MS, MBA, AHDI-F
Director of Admissions

Topics: Medical Transcription Training

Ready to Seek Your Credentials?

Posted by Chad Sines on Mon, Mar 24, 2014 @ 08:00 AM

Med-Line School of Medical TranscriptionEveryone sees the significant letters after a transcriptionist’s name. They are a goal for many MTs?  Are you ready for your credentials?

While an MT can study by themselves or in informal study groups, experience has shown that the most successful outcome can best be achieved through a well-designed program that is fully compliant with the current credentialing Blueprint. 

Med-Line School has become a leader in credentialing preparation. Our classes are designed by credentialed instructors who continually revise the program based on changes to the AHDI Blueprint as well as feedback from test takers. This has allowed us to continue to have a high rate of success for credentialing.

Med-Line School will be holding its next credentialing course in just a few weeks. The cost is a low $50. This continues to be the lowest cost in the industry. 

As a great way to increase your success, we are also offering some free add-ons valued at over $400. 

  • Nine speciality webinars to help you fine tune your knowledge of critical areas.
  • A grammar refresher course. Focus on areas of concern for most MTs.
  • A Book of Style refresher course. A must know for all.<

Registered Healthcare Documentation Specialist

Certified Healthcare Documentation Specialist

We would appreciate if you could share this with any uncredentialed MTs you know and considering joining one of these groups if you are uncredentialed. 

Together we can all continue the drive towards having every MT credentialed.

Topics: Credentialing