Medical billing, in simple terms, is the process of filing the correct claim forms with insurance companies, governmental agencies or private organizations in order for a physician or medical practice to be paid for services rendered. It is a vital role in a physician’s office, small practice, health clinic or in a hospital setting, that allows the physician to concentrate on actually providing healthcare services instead of running a business.
Medical billing includes billing for medical services rendered as well as for administered medications, doctors’ consultations and equipment and supplies used in a particular case. It also involves collecting the payments sent by the insurance companies, government agencies or private organizations and posting them.
Communication is another big part of medical billing, since medical billers are also responsible for following up on the claims they submit, requesting information for unanswered claims, responding to requests for information from other sources about the claim, and communicating with patients and insurance companies, government agencies and private organizations when there is a question about a claim, such as when a claim is denied or delayed. Patient communication also includes sending statements to the patients, as well as reporting delinquent accounts to the correct debt collection agency.
Additionally, medical billing includes reviewing bills and statements to make sure that the right coding is used and that all work being billed can be supported by actual proof that the physician performed the work being billed, that the equipment and supplies were actually used or that the medication was actually administered. Though a medical biller does not code, she does receive coded bills and forms that she must then review for accuracy before submitting.
Medical billing also involves submitting appeals when a claim is denied or when the payment amount differs from the bill amount due to a coding or other error. This requires organization, another of a medical biller’s responsibilities, as well as patience and research skills. Organization is required, since medical billing includes organizing all bills and statements and keeping track of many different claims at once. Patience is also required since some claims might generate hours of phone communications with the patient, service providers, insurance companies, government agencies or private organizations involved. Research skills are necessary to be able to locate the proof for every service rendered or equipment, supply and medication used.
Medical billers must be quite knowledgeable since they need to be familiar with all the different types of codes as well as the requirements and regulations of the different insurance companies, government agencies and private organizations, since a small error in this can cause a physician or clinic to lose money and might even cost a patient more money if the insurance company refuses to pay.
As health care costs rise, medical technicians are increasingly replacing doctors and nurses in every-day duties in many different areas of health care. As a result, the demand for medical technicians is rising, and there are an increasing number of medical technician programs appearing to meet the growing demand.
Medical technicians work in many areas of health care. They may have highly specialized medical skills such as emergency medicine or they may be administrative specialists. In some cases, medical technicians are trained on the job. Many positions, however, require formal training. Some formal training programs, such as phlebotomist training, may take only a few weeks. Other programs require one or two years of formal training. Typically, the salary an individual earns will depend on the amount of formal training.
Formal medical technician training is available in many different institutions. Some vocational high schools offer some medical technician training. More commonly, medical technician schools are private or public vocational colleges and community colleges. Programs are accredited by either the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools or the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs. Many accredited programs also offer internship opportunities as part of their programs.
Courses vary depending on the specialty studied, but medical technician schools usually offer a set of core courses. These commonly include academic courses such as basic biology, anatomy, chemistry and physiology, as well as administrative courses such as keyboarding, record keeping and medical records transcription and management. Students also participate in laboratory courses where they learn about laboratory techniques and analytical tools, basic first aid, diagnostic procedures and clinical procedures. Students considering a career as a medical technician should consider taking biology, chemistry and mathematics courses in high school.
The employment outlook for medical technicians is strong. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics expects medical technician employment to increase by 34 percent by 2018. The number of available positions is expected to exceed the number of job seekers, which may push wages up.
Salary for medical technicians varies depending on the specific skills of the individual and the type of employment. In 2008, the “median” wage, which is the middle of the wage rage, was $28,300 annually, with salaries reaching to over $40,000. Those employed at general medical hospitals had the highest median wage, while those employed in outpatient care centers or non-physician practitioner’s offices earned the lowest median wage.
As the US population ages and health care costs increase, medical technicians will be increasing demand. Medical technician schools offer many different programs to help students around the country obtain the specialized skills to work in the health care industry.
In today’s uncertain economic environment, finding a secure, well paying job is a priority. Fortunately, becoming a dental technician can provide both high pay and a rewarding, long-term career.
A dental technician assists the dentist in providing care to dental patients, most specifically in preparing dental appliances. These include dentures, crowns, bridges, and the various forms of orthodontics appliances, more commonly known as braces. The dental lab technician is involved in the following duties:
• A technician must be proficient at taking and recording the measurements provided by the dentist.
• Carrying out the initial evaluation of what form of dental item is needed, under the supervision of his or her dentist.
• Selecting the materials to be used. Some dental appliances may require gold or amalgamate, while others can be formed out of ceramics or other materials.
• The technician must ensure that the complete item fits the patient’s needs.
• The dental technician must effectively communicate information to patients, fellow technicians, and any supervising dentists.
These duties also include the requirement that dental appliances be both attractive and functional. In today’s world, the unsightly appliances of the past are not tolerated, and so a dental technician must also keep the patients appearance in mind. Additionally, these appliances have to be made in such a way that they do not interfere with the patient’s ability to chew food or speak, and that may influence the choice of material or design.
A dental technician must be certified by an accredited school or training program. In most cases, this requires a two-year program at a community college or vocational school, although some dental lab technicians graduate from a four-year program with a BA in dental technology.
These programs cover all the requirements of working as a dental lab technician, including how to effectively prepare, design and make dental appliances, as well as the training to work along side dentists and other technicians in an office or other health care facility.
Currently dental technician jobs are on the rise. The rising number of elderly in the United States, along with the demand for attractive and functional dental appliances for individuals of all ages, has resulted in a growing demand for skilled lab technicians. As the population continues to age, this demand will only increase, especially in sub-fields that focus on providing dental appliances to the elderly.
For these reasons, the dental lab technician is an extremely attractive job for those seeking a long term and highly paid profession.
Cosmetology is the science of beauty, and it is one of the programs of study that is available at beauty schools. Cosmetology classes are different from esthetics classes, which focus primarily on skin care. Instead, cosmetology classes offer a more well-rounded view on topics that range from skin care to nail care to hair care.
When looking into cosmetology classes, it is important to consider what topics you might be interested in. A full cosmetology course includes subjects like facials and make-up, manicures and pedicures, hair styling, and hair cutting. You will also find more specific classes, like finger waving, eyelash and brow management, and hair reconstruction.
Cosmetology classes require you to be willing to work in a fast-paced, hands-on environment. Whether you work at a salon or as a freelancer for special events, cosmetology is a field that requires you to think on your feet. A good cosmetology class prepares you for this hectic workplace.
Cosmetology courses may also cover topics on how to run your own business. Cosmetology is a competitive field, and classes geared around business administration and management help you get your career off to a good start. You will also find that many school offer courses devoted to customer service and personality.
After completing your cosmetology classes, there are many career paths open to you. These courses qualify you to be a cosmetologist, a stylist or a manicurist. Depending on the concentration of classes you took, you might also qualify to work as an esthetician. Other job opportunities include working as sales representative in the beauty industry or even working as a makeup artist in the entertainment industry.
When choosing the classes that you want to take, think about what you would like to do in the future. For example, would you like to own your own business or do you want a place in a prestigious salon? Are you interested in working primarily as a nail artist or do you want to be able to offer a full service experience to your clients? While cosmetology classes prepare you to be a generalist in the field of beauty, there is nothing wrong with deciding on your own focus and putting your efforts into one area.
Take some time to consider where you want to go with your beauty career. What aspects of beauty and personal care speak to you, and what do you want your customers to see when they look in the mirror? Cosmetology classes are geared towards helping you give your clients what they need, so move forward looking at the career you want.
Upon high school graduation, we all need to determine which career path to take. Some people choose to get an associate’s degree from a community college, while others go on to pursue Bachelors or higher degrees at a four-year college. Another option that is just as valuable is to go to school for a trade, such as attending cosmetology school.
Cosmetology college, also known as beauty school, is a short-term educational trade program that focuses on teaching students how to perform activities relating to beauty treatment. These include hair styling, cosmetics, manicures, pedicures, skin care and electrology. Most schools offer the same types of education and give the basic skills that an individual needs to get their feet wet in the industry. Other skills are obtained after working in the field and getting a decent level of experience under the belt.
The requirements to work in a beauty salon include a license; obtained from the state you live in, which is given after completing an appropriate program at an accredited cosmetology school. Most programs can be completed in less than a year, allowing an individual to get their education and into the workforce very quickly.
The daily tasks of one who has completed a program at a cosmetology college include shampooing, cutting and styling hair. They also do tints, bleaches and dyes with hair. They may also refer those who need medical assistance for skin conditions to medical professionals for further follow up.
Those who work in the field must realize that they’re exposing themselves to potentially harmful hazards while working. These include chemicals that are used for hair coloring, straightening and relaxers. Some cosmetologists are also at risk for irritating their allergies or having dermatitis impact their work performance and some have been forced to switch careers. These chemicals include Formaldehyde and Dibutyl Phthalate.
Cosmetology isn’t limited to working with hair. They can also take courses and practice skills with doing finger and toe nails with manicures and pedicures. The job outlook for those who have completed a program at a cosmetology school is expected to grow in the near future. The cosmetology salary depends on the area where the individual lives and works, and the types of services that are performed in the salon or at a practice.
Individuals with a license in cosmetology are not limited to working in salons. They are also employed at spas, on cruise ships, in popular resorts or in a location inside a department store that provides the same services.
Over the past few decades, some of the most dependable job sectors in the United States have fallen off as companies saw the benefit of outsourcing some of these jobs to countries overseas. But among all the job turmoil, there has been one sector that remained strong and projects for even further growth in the future–nursing.
Because of this bright future, the nursing degree has been one of the most sought-after academic credentials over the past decade. Between 2003 and 2007, the number of students enrolled in pre-licensure nursing programs increased by an average of nearly 8 percent each academic year. The nursing degree is particularly attractive because of its accessibility. Students can receive a one-year certificate, an Associate’s degree from a two-year institution or a Bachelor’s in Science in Nursing from a four-year college. Those who have already received degrees can return to graduate school to receive a Master’s or Ph.D. in nursing. To become a nurse it takes more than a diploma from an academic institution, though. Nurses must pass specific exams after receiving their degrees–a Licensed Practical Nurse exam can be taken with a one-year degree, while the Registered Nurse licensure exam requires at least a degree from a two-year institution.
The other attractive aspect of a nursing degree is the variety of institutions where students can go to receive one. No matter what the budget or academic background, there is a nursing program that can fit anyone. There are top-ranked universities like Johns Hopkins and University of Pennsylvania for those who plan on moving into either education or research, but there are also countless community colleges with excellent reputations and solid programs for students who see themselves working in hospitals or clinical settings.
No matter the setting, the course load will largely be the same. Students can expect to take general science, biology and anatomy courses as an academic core while adding nursing history and theory classes later on. They also work in hands-on clinical settings like nursing homes and hospitals as they learn the skills of the trade. From here, students may move on to more specialized settings as they determine their exact career focus.
The versatility of the nursing trade is one of the biggest advantages for graduates entering the workforce. They will be able to find work in emergency rooms, doctor’s offices, even schools or prisons. The aging population of the nation’s Baby Boomers means the need for skilled nurses in nursing homes or assisted living facilities will only increase in the future as well.