Category Archives: Medical

Top 5 Reasons to Work in Medical Billing and Coding

Many health care professionals love working in medical billing and coding. The medical billing career field allows professionals the flexibility to work at home or in a medical facility. And training to become a medical billing professional can usually take less than a year.

The medical billing career field isn’t for everyone; it requires patience, flexibility, and analytical skills to use proper medical codes and bill insurance companies correctly. And it’s a career field for people who want to work in the medical field, but would prefer to work in the administrative side, rather than in the clinical side with patients.

If the medical billing career fields sounds interesting to you, then check out the top ten reasons to work in medical billing and coding.

1. HOT EMPLOYMENT GROWTH FOR MEDICAL BILLING INDUSTRY As you probably know, the medical billing and coding field continues to increase due to a growing need for medical procedures needed by our aging population. Every medical service requires medical billing professionals to relay procedure and cost information to health care insurance companies.

The U.S. Department of Labor recently reported that 8 out of 20 occupations projected to grow fastest are in the health care industry. They also projected that careers in the medical records and health information technician industry should increase 27% or more for all occupations through 2014.

The rise in employment opportunities is great news for trained medical billing professionals. It means that trained medical billing professionals should have job security and lot of job growth going forward.

2. SHORT-TERM TRAINING TO WORK IN MEDICAL BILLING AND CODING Another great reason you should consider starting a career in medical billing and coding is because of the short-term training.

Depending on the school you attend, you can graduate with a diploma in medical billing within a year, and you can get an Associate’s degree in medical insurance billing and coding within two years.

The short-term medical billing program often includes a study of:

Medical Insurance & Billing Issues
Medical Documentation and Evaluation
Government Health Care Programs
Electronic Data Interchange
Medical Insurance Claim Form (CMS-1500)
Ethical and Legal Responsibilities

The Associate’s degree medical billing programs often include a study of:

Medical Terminology
Medical Office Management
ICD-9 Coding
Advanced Medical Coding
Medical Billing and Coding Computer Applications

Due to the short-term training, many medical billing schools offer day and evening classes. Please be aware that not all schools offering medical insurance billing and coding will be right for you. Before choosing a school, make sure and read the article on choosing a high quality medical billing and coding school.

3. MEDICAL BILLING CAREERS CAN ALLOW YOU TO WORK AT HOME Many doctor’s offices and clinics don’t handle their own medical billing. They will often hire an outside medical billing agency or medical billing company. Some of these agencies and medical billing companies will hire professional medical billers who work at home to save on costs. And this is definitely an option if you decide on a career in medical billing.

It’s recommended that if you decide to work at home as a medical billing professional, or decide to work as a self-employed medical biller, that you work in an office as a medical biller for a short period of time so that you will gain the confidence and skills of a seasoned medical biller.

4. MEDICAL BILLERS HAVE MANY CAREER OPTIONS Professional medical billers have a solid knowledge of the administrative side of a medical office. Depending on their education and experience, medical billers can move into:

Medical Billing Management
Medical Transcription
Health Care Administration
Data Collection
Medical Office Management
Health Information Technician

And this is just a small list of possible career paths for seasoned medical billing professionals. These jobs will depend on your education, experience, and job market in your local area.

5. MEDICAL BILLERS CAN START THEIR OWN COMPANY Due to the high demand for medical billing professionals, some medical billers are deciding to leave their medical billing job to start their own medical billing company. This is only recommended for seasoned medical billing professionals who can find an assortment of medical offices that can become clients.

The Right Prescription to Prevent Medical Identity Theft

What do you do with your empty prescription bottles? What about all of the medical information you receive, such as your explanation of benefits? Being careless with your personal medical information can be dangerous, and the theft of this priceless data can be deadly.

Approximately 1.5 million Americans are victims of medical identity theft each year, a crime that costs the nation $41.3 billion annually. Prescription fraud is a growing form of medical identity theft that is not only extremely costly and time-consuming; it can also put your health at risk and even be life-threatening. Unfortunately, medical identity theft isn’t commonly known by many Americans, and often isn’t detected until it’s too late. When we don’t take precautions to prevent prescription fraud and other forms of medical identity theft, we put ourselves in jeopardy of becoming another victim.

What is Prescription Fraud?

Prescription fraud occurs when identity thieves use your personal information to fill prescriptions in your name. They use your medical identity to receive medical treatment at hospitals and doctors’ offices, obtain medications, and access other healthcare services.

Prescription fraud doesn’t just leave you with a huge bill-it can potentially put your health at risk as well. You may find that false information has been added to your personal health record, such as a change in blood type or supposed allergies. Every medical procedure received and prescription filled by the identity thief becomes part of your medical history, which means you may not be able to obtain the life-saving treatment you need in an emergency medical situation.

Detecting and resolving medical identity theft can be difficult as well. You may not discover that you’re a victim until a pharmacy refuses to fill a prescription because it conflicts with another medication you appear to be taking. To make matters worse, fixing errors in your record can be very challenging due to medical privacy laws. Ironically, the same laws that were implemented to protect your privacy and health information are now protecting the medical identity thief. This restricted access to medical records prolongs the duration of the theft, costing you countless time, money, and frustration.

How to Prevent Prescription Fraud

One of the easiest ways to avoid this type of medical identity theft is simply to be aware of what you throw in the trash. Prescription medication labels carry such sensitive information as your full name and address, the prescribing physician, the type of medication, prescription number, and the pharmacy’s contact information-all of the things a thief needs to perform prescription fraud. Instead of throwing empty prescription bottles in the trash, including the drug information forms, remove the labels and shred them. Other ways to prevent prescription fraud:

• Review every explanation of benefits (EOB). Examine the charges for medical visits or prescriptions you didn’t receive, and report any suspicious activity immediately.

• Never simply toss medical information in the trash. Dumpster divers can easily access your personal information if you fail to shred the documents.

• Secure medical records. Keep your medical records in a safe place inside your home or in a safe deposit box, away from the prying eyes of visitors. Believe it or not, friends and relatives who have easy access to your personal information are often the culprits.

• Safeguard prescription bottles. Hide or lock-up your medication rather than leaving it in plain sight or in a medicine cabinet. This will prevent anyone from walking off with your prescription medication and, later, your identity.

• Manage written prescription slips. Don’t throw them away or leave them out where they can be stolen. These slips are all an identity thief needs to fill a prescription in your name, leave you without your medication, steal your medical identity, and even put your life in danger.

• Enlist the help of an identity theft protection service such as ID Theft Solutions, which can proactively help prevent medical identity theft and even restore your identity when it’s stolen.

Protecting your identity is an ongoing process that takes vigilance. By taking some common sense precautions, you can avoid the exorbitant costs and health risks of medical identity theft.