Baby Boomers and Healthcare Jobs

Hard to believe but the Baby Boomers reached retirement age in 2011.  Having officially joined the aging population, more medical care is required, thus more healthcare workers.  Because of the significant increase, the industry is looking at where they will recruit the new workers since so many of the older ones will be retiring. For those who think they are over the hill, there is good news — it’s pretty much a foregone conclusion that workers 50 or over will be used because of their experience and the willingness to actually work.  AARP reports that 35% of the U.S. labor force will be 50 or older by 2022, an increase of 10%. Since older workers have largely been discriminated against, that’s great news.  Somewhere along the line, it was determined that older workers cost more and were not as productive, which of course was totally off the charts misinformation.  They are well known for their work ethic which is far more important in terms of productivity than what they might cost in insurance benefits. They are dependable and reliable, the last of the greatest generation along with the boomers.  The turnover is less too than the younger worker statistics. Companies are hiring older works and providing training programs as well. So, if you are an “older person,” don’t wait another minute to get trained for healthcare jobs.  A great place to start looking is www.med-certification.com where a variety of training is available at very affordable prices.  Just do...

Affordable Health Care 2015 Data

So, a year later, what’s the story on the ACA? 15 million Americans† who didn’t have health insurance before the ACA was signed into law are now covered, bringing the total uninsured adults in the US from 18% to 13.4%. During the year many dropped their plans, or didn’t yet renew them for 2015. Still, for open enrollment in 2015, there is a hint by the numbers that a larger number of total enrollees are anticipated.   Enrollment is expected to increase as people†respond to subsidies and to penalties for failure to†obtain coverage (imposed by the Internal Revenue Service). Arguments rage among the pundits about the actual numbers, suggesting that more people have dropped their plans because they can’t afford it, and that the coverage is not that good.  With deductibles as high as $6,000, before insurance pays anything is questionable. What about those penalties if you didn’t enroll? The IRS reports that 7.5 million tax filers paid the $200 penalty for no insurance for the year 2014.  Seventy six percent (76%) checked the box on the form showing they had insurance, about 76%.  Twelve million had exemptions.  Five million didn’t check the box so no information on those but IRS is sending them letters to amend their tax returns.  In all, the IRS said it has collected $1.5 billion on those penalties. Who paid for the insurance coverage? 2.7 million people had $9 billion in subsidies, the average for which was $3,400, with 40% claimed less than $2000 in subsidies, and 40% $2000 to $5000, with 20% $5000 or more. Want to learn more about insurance and how it...

History of Medical Transcription

Medical Records are not a new invention Records have been kept on patient care since people first developed the ability to write. At the beginning of the 20th century, stenographers entered the scene who took the doctor’s dictation in shorthand. This method was used until the invention of audio recording. With that ability, doctors would talk into a mic, record their report and a transcriptionist would type it up on a mechanical typewriter, and the paperwork filed in the patient chart. The Evolution of Medical Transcription Technologies Dictabelts and Dictaphone Transcribers Note the blue plastic circular “Dictabelt,” which was cut by a needle in the dictation process, much like the old 45 and later music records. Dictabelt Most hospitals used the Dictaphone plastic belts. They slipped onto a cylinder in the transcriber unit and moved it forward and backward with a foot pedal. Typewriters Typewriters like the IBM Selectric typewriter were a wonderful improvement over the mechanical typewriters since it allowed you to insert a tape and hit a typo error then type over it to make the correction. They also had a stroke counter so you could multiply the strokes by 5 to get a word count, which was how many transcribers would charge for their services. Birth of Remote Dictation The first remote dial-in systems consisted of an approximate 3’x3’x6” box with miles of recording tape inside and recorder-coupler-connected to a couple of telephone lines. The dictator would call in, hear a beep, then dictate. Word Processors With paper tape about one inch wide, each keystroke on a typewriter punched a hole in the tape. Once a...

ICD-10 Countdown

With 3.5 months to go for the implementation deadline, new bills in the house trying to delay it once more.  Calling it the “safe harbor” supporters are asking for a transition period for up to 2 years during which time, providers using the codes wouldn’t be panelized for their errors. Detractors argue that the bills are really based on some incorrect assumptions.  First, payments aren’t determined with the ICD codes; these codes are for diagnoses.  CPT code are used to describe services.  Secondly, ICD-10 details aren’t readily available in the record.  The record should include all of the information to determine the ICD code.  The argument that payments will be delayed has been put to rest by actual claim processing results tested by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).  Their results show that only 2% of the test claims submitted were denied based on coding errors. The bills claim that the code switch will place an undue burden.  However, the magnified detail includes, for example, the body part(s) affected in the injury or disease process, all of which information is available in the record. The Coalition for ICD-10 arguing against the safe harbor bills on the fraud and abuse issues says that if the coding errors were accepted by CMS without fear of audit, the agency could see a rise in deliberate reporting of incorrect information. The bills also fail to address all payers, that is would the safe harbor provisions only relate to CMS or to all insurance companies. Bottom line, virtually everybody in the healthcare industry that understands and works with codes and reimbursement agrees...

Health Care Spending

The data from 2013 doesn’t bring a lot of surprises.  Total spent on health care $2.9 trillion, that’s 2,900,000,000,000, and amounts to $9,255 per person.  The total accounts for 17.4 percent of the economy for health care spending. Hospital care was $937 billion, physicians and clinical services $587 billion, other professional services (non-physician, e.g., physical therapy, podiatry, chiropractic), $80 billion, durable medical equipment (like wheelchairs, eyeglasses, etc.), $43 billion. On prescription drugs, the statistics say: We spent about $270 billion a year on prescription drugs.  Pharmaceutical companies  spent 152 million in campaign contributions. We pay 77% more than Canadians for the exact same drugs, and 50% or more than Germany, United Kingdom, and Switzerland.  No mention of Mexico which is probably 80%. Forty eight percent of Americans take 1 prescription, 21% take more than 3 and 11% take more than 5.  One out of every 5 children takes prescription drugs and 76% of seniors more than 2. Who paid for all of it?  Medicare paid, $85.7 billion, Medicaid $449.4 billion, premiums for private health insurance reached $962.7 billion, no information on how much private insurance paid, but out of pocket expense from those insured was $39.4 billion. Clearly, health care provides a major avenue for careers.  Many of the medical support jobs require certification.  www.med-certification.com has both training and certification for a variety of healthcare...

ICD-10 Coding Certification

Many associations and healthcare providers want certification for ICD-10 coders.  It is expected that the ICD-10 certification will be necessary to maintain any coding certification, CPC, etc., and various similar designations. Med-Certification.com provides a proficiency assessment available for ICD-10 certification.  Certified coders as well as those who plan to certify this year, will want to consider adding the ICD-10 certification. Certifications show employers dedication and commitment to a profession. They show credibility and knowledge about various career responsibilities.  If you are considering coding training and/or certification, we’ve got the practice tools to teach you how, make sure you know your stuff with practice testing, and finally certifying with virtual proof of your capability. To maintain certification, continuing education credits (CECs or CEUs) are required.  Med-certification.com has the credits available and all resources for study are on-line available from your home. Certification as a medical coding specialist is still currently mostly voluntary but well worth pursuing.  Staying abreast of the information and technology with continuing education is important...