All posts by Stephen Brighton

5 Reasons To Pursue a Career in Medical Billing and Coding

Whether you’re just starting out in your career or you’re well entrenched in adult life and need to make a drastic change, becoming a medical billing and coding professional is a great option. The healthcare industry is booming, yet the workforce in this area is sorely lacking in order to meet the demand. The employment of healthcare occupations is projected to grow 18 percent between 2016 and 2026, much faster than the average, with the addition of about 2.4 million new jobs expected, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

With the increase in the country’s aging population, there will continue to be an added demand for medical billing and coding professionals to assist healthcare providers of all kinds with the uptick in patient encounters and medical chart reviews. According to MedicalBillingandCoding.org, the average salary of a certified coding professional was $48,000 in 2012, but has grown to between $52,000 and $55,000 as of 2018. Whether you decide to work in a hospital, medical center or as a freelancer who works in a home setting, there are many reasons why you should pursue a career in medical billing and coding. Here are five of them to peruse:

1. Stay on the Cutting Edge of Technology

While the incorporation of new software can greatly enhance the job of a medical coder and biller, nothing can replace an actual human being who can enter information, spot errors and inconsistencies, and organize information in ways others can easily follow. You can train on all the latest software that assists providers, greatly enhancing your subject matter expertise and knowledge base that will keep you competitive in the field. Plus, being a medical coder can give you the experience necessary to pursue further clerical and administrative opportunities within health care later on if you so choose. Being a coder and biller puts you in the unique position to become familiar with the operations of all elements of the healthcare business. You simply don’t see that in other entry-level positions within other industries.

2. Start Working More Quickly

Most jobs in the healthcare industry require you to go through several years of special, focused training. However, preparing yourself for a career as a medical coder can happen in just three months. With the abundance of online and on-campus technical colleges and schools, you have more options than ever before to complete your coursework and training on your own time.

3. Never Stop Learning

Thanks to the ever-changing standards practices involved with insurance billing, Medicare and Medicaid, you can stay abreast of the many changes in coding requirements so you’re always active in your job. The ability to learn and adapt as the months and years go on will position you in the best possible light for advancement and fulfillment in your career. This industry is constantly evolving. The ability to stay on top of developments will provide you with invaluable perspective going forward.

4. Maintain a Predictable Work Schedule

Most medical coders work within hospitals or in physician offices. These hours tend to be fairly flexible, with steady schedules and solid benefits. Whereas others in the healthcare industry, such as doctors and nurses, work long and unpredictable hours, a medical coder can hold down a 40-hour work week without weekends. This is great for juggling a social life, family, kids and other commitments such as a second job.

If medical coding and billing sounds like the perfect opportunity to you, contact Medical Healthcare Solutions at 800-762-9800 to see just what we do and how you can become part of the healthcare industry. Here at MHS, we boast decades of medical billing experience and service to the healthcare community. Check out our career opportunities, where we highlight current medical billing specialist job openings. We also welcome you to meet our team.

Read More

Here’s Why We’re Attending ACHA This Year

As a leading medical billing provider, we know how quickly things evolve in the healthcare industry. That’s why it’s so important to stay at the top of our game by attending annual gatherings like the 2018 ACHA American College Health Association Meeting. This year’s meeting will be held in Washington DC May 29 to June 2. We look forward to joining 2,000 colleagues in college health and wellness designed for and by college health leaders. The focus this year is unite, lead, and transform.

That’s all well and good but why are we going? Well, we are Medical Healthcare Solutions and we provide comprehensive medical billing services to university student health centers, among other clients like hospital-based practices, individual providers, and large group practices. Because college medical billing is such a big part of what we do, we feel our presence at the 2018 ACHA American College Health Association Meeting is critical.

We believe in ACHA and its goal of bringing college health leaders together to improve the health and resilience of today’s college students. Not only will we take part in advocating for top-notch college health through networking and collaboration, but we will help create goals and strategies to ensure a brighter future for college health. Our main priority is to do what we can to boost the health and wellness of U.S. college campuses.

Why We Care About College Students and Their Health

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 20.4 million students entered American colleges and universities this year, representing an increase of about 5.1 million since 2000. All of those students need quality medical care during their stay on campus. Many but not all students are still on their parents’ healthcare plans. Some are responsible for their own bills. Whatever the case, as a student care provider, your first priority is to understandably focus your efforts on the quality of care that you’re giving your students. Perhaps you’re managing a boarding high school, a small college or a large university. Perhaps you’re trying to handle all the medical billing in-house. This can prove to be difficult and even detrimental to your bottom line as these efforts are taxing your existing staff. In addition to that, you’re boosting the chances for costly mistakes, resulting in accounts receivables that are incorrect or inaccurate.

Joining the Conversation

You’re a business like any other. Yes, you want to promote the health and well-being of your students. But that cannot come at the cost of failing to collect on payments rightly due to you. At the ACHA meeting, our goal is to educate as many college leaders as we can on how a third-party provider can streamline their student health billing processes. Whether you divide billing among your staff or employ an in-house employee to handle these tasks on the side, you could be losing money, productivity and time. If you find yourself spending too many resources on delegating billing tasks, figuring out where mistakes have been made, and chasing down payments, then you are not fulfilling the role you are meant to play: that of caregiver.

We can help you establish a new revenue stream by reducing self-pay billable line items. The revenue streams you may have assumed would go unpaid, usually because the student has left the school and you no longer have a way of contacting them, can now be recouped. Did you know the recovery rate for non-hospitals is 21 percent for healthcare debt and collections? This is according to ACA International. Those numbers are very high for college campuses, as students enter and exit at such a quick rate.

As a company that’s been in this business a long time now, we know better than anybody that medical billing, especially on a fast-paced college campus, is not only demanding but draining, time-consuming and challenging as well. Don’t saddle your staff with these challenges while they are trying to give time and attention to your young patients. After all, that’s what we’re all here for: meeting the health challenges of today’s young people.

Looking to attend the ACHA 2018 Annual Meeting as well? Register now before the slots fill up. Registration is now open for the ACHA 2018 Annual Meeting in Washington DC scheduled for May 29 to June 2. Sign up by April 9 and get an Early Bird Rate. The last day of pre-registering is May 8. We hope to see you there!

Medical Healthcare Solutions is strongly committed to student health services billing. To learn more about our services or why you should attend ACHA 2018, call us at 800-762-9800 or fill out our online form.

Read More
American College Health Association

What to Expect at the 2018 ACHA American College Health Association Meeting

Uniting…Leading…Transforming: this is the focus of the American College Health Association (ACHA). This year, ACHA invites college health leaders to Washington to celebrate the annual meeting. You can join 2,000 colleagues in college health and wellness for a program by and for college health leaders, using this opportunity to join like-minded professionals from across the country to unite, lead, and transform. Registration is now open for the ACHA 2018 Annual Meeting in Washington DC scheduled for May 29 to June 2. If you register by April 9, you’ll enjoy an Early Bird Rate. The last day of pre-registering is set for May 8.

Held in collaboration with the mid-Atlantic College Health Association, the ACHA meeting is a unique opportunity to connect with other college health leaders to improve the health and resilience of today’s college students. Over these five days, you will take part in networking, collaborating, and continuing education with a focus on:

  • Advocating for optimal college health through networking and collaboration.
  • Creating goals and innovative strategies to ensure a brighter future for college health.
  • Forge new ideas to improve the health and wellness of U.S. college campuses.

 

A Look at the Schedule

At a glance, here’s what you can expect for a schedule as you attend ACHA 2018 in Washington DC.

  • Tuesday, May 29: Registration takes place from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. There will also be pre-conference workshops, the ACHA Leaders’ Lunch, and committee meetings.
  • Wednesday, May 30: Newcomers’ Orientation, keynote address, educational programming, opening reception in the evening.
  • Thursday, May 31: Opening breakfast with exhibitors, exhibit hall, posters, affiliate meetings.
  • Friday, June 1: School Spirit Day, Dorosin Memorial Lecture, assembly of representatives.
  • Saturday, June 2: Breakfast, Closing Presidential Session.

A full schedule can be found on the ACHA 2018 website. Let’s focus on some of the above noteworthy events.

Dorosin Memorial Lecture: Led by Dr. Andres De Los Reyes, associate professor of psychology and director of clinical training at the University of Maryland at College Park. He is the director of the Comprehensive Assessment and Intervention Program that aims to improve understanding of social anxiety among teens and young adults.

Keynote Address: Dr. Anne Schuchat, MD, is the principal deputy director of the CDC. She has played key roles in CDC emergencies, including the 2009 H1N1 and 2003 SARS outbreaks. She has also worked extensively on meningitis, pneumonia and Ebola vaccine trials in West Africa.

Closing Presidential Session: Jake Olson, blind author, motivational speaker and athlete, has co-written two books about overcoming adversity. He lost his left eye as a baby and his right eye at 12 years old due to retinoblastoma, a cancer of the retina.

Getting Around

Washington DC is easy to traverse, with access to the metro system, plenty of taxis and Ubers, and Capital Bikeshare. To make the most of your trip, make sure you take in some sights while here, such as:

  • Smithsonian Museums. They are FREE!
  • Eat on U Street for culinary diversity.
  • Shop in Georgetown.
  • Stroll down National Mall at night.
  • View the National Monuments.
  • Enjoy a free performance at the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage each night at 6 p.m.

About ACHA

The American College Health Association (ACHA) has been linking college health professionals throughout the country and globe since 1920. The result? The formation of a powerful, collaborative networking base that can help guide and support your health services, programs, and professional development. The end game is to advance the health of college students nationwide via advocacy, education and research. Recognized as the voice of expertise in college health, ACHA looks to promote healthy campus communities and students thanks to these values:

  1. Respect for all
  2. Student-centered services
  3. Professional excellence, responsiveness, and ethical practice
  4. Multidisciplinary and collaborative approaches to health
  5. Participation of other stakeholders whose sole purpose is to advance health
  6. Active involvement of students
  7. Evidence-based practices as a foundation for programs

Medical Healthcare Solutions is your trusted resource for medical billing, with a strong commitment to student health services billing in particular. To learn more about our services or why you should attend ACHA 2018, call us at 800-762-9800 or fill out our online form.

Read More
The Best Physician Software

Why AllScripts is the Best Physician Software for Your Practice

If you’re in need of a physician software to help you manage your practice, you know you need something that’s open, scalable, and seamless to form the foundation of continuous innovation. It must meet regulatory and best practice workflow standards, with custom tailored options that can cater to your practice’s unique needs, from EHR and financial management to population health management and precision medicine solutions. Oh yeah, and it should all happen on one platform. There’s one place that can happen, and that’s with Allscripts.

Because patient engagement is vital in attracting and keeping people in your practice, you have to make a positive difference in some way, with friendly service and accommodating office hours that appeal to patients. But it’s more than that; it’s about the total engagement of patients in your care so that you can give them the tools they need to increase the satisfaction of their experience. The key is to stay connected. The right physician software can help you do that.

What is Allscripts?

With the mission of building open, connected communities of health, Allscripts helps physicians just like you deliver smarter care with better precision to result in healthier patients and communities. With a variety of different solutions available, Allscripts can strengthen IT foundations through user-friendly clinical and financial processes that help you meet the demands placed on you every single day. Ranging from regulatory to quality demands, the goal is to embrace collaboration and coordination to boost the process of care delivery. Serving 45,000 practices, 180,000 physicians, and more than seven million patients, Allscripts is increasingly becoming the software platform of choice for physicians around the country. And it’s easy to integrate into your own practice.

Reasons to Choose Allscripts Physician Software

From easy navigation to security, the ideal patient portal system, particularly when it comes to medical billing, should empower people to embrace financial responsibility with simple bills they can scan easily as part of a seamless strategy that improves their overall feelings about their doctor’s visit or hospital stay. Here are some reasons why so many physicians are turning to Allscripts software.

Allscripts is:

  • The original open, connected health platform established in 2007.
  • The vendor-neutral patient engagement platform, whereby providers can communicate effectively and engage patients directly.
  • A portal for real-time analysis and action at the point of care to not only boost health but reduce costs as well.
  • A way to gather care coordination, patient engagement, connectivity, data aggregation and analytics in one place at the point of care.
  • An industry leader with three decades of experience.

Open-platform solutions like Allscripts FollowMyHealth® customize options to your own practice’s goals and needs. It’s easier than ever to access information, health plans, patient-care teams, and patient history. Isn’t it about time you encouraged patient participation by taking a more active role in their own healthcare experience? It will help you as well in the end. With the ability to access online or by an app, patients can send their physicians confidential messages, view laboratory results, make changes to their account, pay bills, and re-up their prescriptions.

From the viewpoint of compliance, providers can stay in touch with patients in terms of their care management so that they can more readily meet the requirements of their insurance companies. This is just one Allscripts software type. There are many more that your Allscripts software provider can customize to your unique needs.

Learn more about Allscripts Connected & Complete today at Medical Healthcare Solutions. Call us now at 800-762-9800 and we would be happy to answer any questions you may have.

Read More
Clean Up Your Medical Billing Before the End of the Year

Clean Up Your Billing Before The End Of The Year

As the New Year approaches, it’s time to take stock of the previous 12 months and make some adjustments in your billing approach. Take a look at what’s been working and, more importantly, what hasn’t. It goes beyond unpaid bills and into the realm of HOW you handle your accounts payable and receivable and how you can improve. The changes you make now will benefit you throughout 2018, increasing your bottom line, decreasing your stress level and boosting the smooth operation of your billing processes.

Are your administrative costs skyrocketing? Do you have outstanding A/Rs from the beginning of the year and even years past? Are the insurance denials piling up? How do you handle them?

Analyzing your billing process starts with taking a long hard look at performance. Many practices experience surprisingly low rates of reimbursement success, often times because billers focus their time and skills on the “easy” claims, leaving many challenging claims under-reimbursed, points out Healthcare Business Today. Is your current billing software effective? How quickly are you getting reimbursed? Is money being left on the table? It’s time to upgrade or change your billing procedures if you as a healthcare provider are not happy with the ways things have been going. Here are a few tips:

  • Engage in follow-up training if claims are continually being denied.
  • Analyze the reason codes to see why a specific payer constantly denies claims.
  • Analyze how the referral process works and find out what stop-gaps are preventing you from processing claims efficiently.
  • Go over your input processes. Are policy numbers being entered correctly? Is there a lapse in document processing?
  • Talk to your front- and back-office staff to introduce new policies and procedures if you are finding too many controllable errors.

Correcting Problem Areas

Many of these issues result from lack of time and too many other responsibilities taking center stage. Take a look at your staff: are they overworked? Are errors being made simply due to a stressful and chaotic work environment? Is there simply no time during the day for your existing staff to handle all the billing procedures correctly and comprehensively? This is a common challenge facing many hospitals, doctors’ offices and ERs — especially towards the end of the year when things get crazy.

One way to solve that and make a resolution for the new year: partner with an outsourced medical billing company that can handle all your billing needs in one place and on one platform. It’s a win-win for your staff, who can concentrate on the tasks they were actually hired to do, and you get paid more often and more smoothly because of a streamlined approach. An outsourced biller can ensure:

  • Insurance can be verified before visits.
  • Patients are billed on time and consistently.
  • Codes are authorized promptly and properly.
  • Clinical notes are used for negotiating denied claims.

It’s time to start the new year off right — with an improved process that ensures success for the upcoming months. Call Medical Healthcare Solutions in Andover today at 800-762-9800 for help.

Read More