Meditec offers career training in several areas that are great for those who want to work at home. Many people come to us each year wanting to train in a career that would afford them the ability to work at home and make a decent income.
Medical transcriptionists work at home transcribing audio dictation to create the patient medical record. Most MTs work at home. This career path requires a comprehensive medical vocabulary, ability to type fast, and great attention to detail. Depending on the time one can spend in the training, it takes about 4-6 months average to learn what is needed to launch a career. Then it takes a few more months of practice, but then an MT with experience can earn anywhere from $15-$20 or more per hour. Meditec’s online MT program also offers an internship program to help graduates get to work faster.
MEDICAL CODING AND BILLING
Medical coders/billers sometimes work at home but usually after some in-office experience. Coders take the transcribed medical record and apply alpha-numeric codes that the insurance company uses to pay or deny claims. It takes about 3-6 months to learn to be a medical coder. Billers enter data charges and send the billing information to the correct payer. They post the payments and do the necessary write-offs as well. It’s a good idea to combine billing with coding (in our program we also include a module on Health Insurance). Meditec’s online coding/billing combination program can be completed in under a year. Medical coders and billers are paid from $14 to $50 per hour depending on experience. The higher end of the income scale is usually for self-employed people who offer consulting services or charge by the code to clients. Billers in business for themselves usually charge a percentage of what is collected.
Paralegals and legal transcriptionists (LTs) may work at home or in an office. Most LTs work at home. Some paralegals work at home for attorney employers/clients and others set up their own law practice. Legal transcriptionists type dictation from attorneys, paralegals, and may also process depositions, case pleadings, hearings, and court proceeding testimony. The training to become an LT is a fast track process and far easier than medical transcription to learn (though the combination of the two has a great marketing potential). Most LTs make between $10-$20 an hour or more (depending on speed). Paralegals make $15-$75 an hour depending on what they do and whether they work for themselves.
Meditec’s Paralegal Program may be completed in less than a year, and the LT program in 6 months or less.
Working at home has great benefits – commuting costs, lunches out, vehicle expenses, work clothes, etc. If you have a strong desire to work at home, then training with Meditec in one of our comprehensive, interactive, online programs, is the way to go. Contact us if you’d like a FREE Career Guide in any of the above-mentioned career paths. You will learn what’s involved and what to expect.
Annually, in October each year, coders have to deal with new ICD-9 and CPT codes that are added or deleted. For example, this year, new cardiology codes, ectasia, congenital malformation, and body mass index (BMI) codes have been added. Here are some of the proposed changes that could impact a cardiology practice.
Ectasia hunt will end at 447.7x
ICD 9 2011 adds four specific codes to aortic ectasia, which could be among the most significant changes for cardiology coders. Ectasia means dilation or enlargement, and aortic ectasia often refers to an enlargement that is milder than an aneurysm. Aneurysms were formerly the only choice as the ICD-9 2010 didn’t distinguish ectasia from aneurysm, linking aortic ectasia to 441.9 and 441.5. The proposed 2011 codes are specific to aortic ectasia so are now a distinguishable category.
New congenital malformations code
Some of the additions deal with congenital malformations of the heart and circulatory system. Code V13.65 will be very helpful. The descriptor is: Personal history of (corrected) congenital malformations of heart and circulatory system
The ICD-9 proposal has expanded the body mass index (BMI) codes to show higher BMIs with five codes. Coders won’t be using V85.4 but will start using more specific V codes.
WHAT ABOUT PATIENT ACCOUNT OVERPAYMENTS?
From a Practice Scenario: We found out that a patient overpaid us on her co-pay. Fifty dollars was the last co-pay we had on record. It turns out that the patient’s plan changed but is still under the same payer. However, her co-pay is now only $25 for an office visit. In this case, can we just credit her account or do we need to issue a refund?
Answer: You do need to issue a refund to the patient; however, how you do that is up to the patient. As soon as you find out that a patient has overpaid you, your practice should notify the patient.
You cannot hold onto the money for an indefinite period of time.
You can credit the patient’s account, however only if the patient agrees to that. If the patient will be returning to your office you can suggest that you apply the overpayment as a credit toward the patient’s co-payment for the next visit. But again if the patient does not want to apply it toward a future visit, you must return the overpayment.
You should offer two options:
A credit on the patient’s account that you’ll apply to future services or a refund of the overpayment. You may find it easier to just send the overpayment amount back to the patient with a letter explaining the situation, rather than notifying the patient and discussing options. Go for whichever process works best for your practice. Bottom line: You cannot and shouldn’t keep an overpayment – from a patient or a payer. That practice may land your provider into big trouble. The pact to return any overpayments is fundamental to a provider’s eligibility to participate in the Medicare program. Section 1866(a)(1)(C) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. § 1395cc) calls for participating providers to furnish information about payments made to them and to refund any payments paid incorrectly. The 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act creates new obligations under the False Claims Act (FCA) whereby a Medicare provider who fails to report timely and refund an overpayment may be subject to substantial damages and penalties.
Excerpted from – James Smith – On code descriptors & guidelines and other tools for 2010 CPT code, HCPCS lookup that help coders and billers to excel in the work they do every day.
Meditec has recently launched its new Instructor Office Hours Web X chat. Enrolled Meditec students have always had access to an instructor via telephone or e-mail. The new Office Hours Chat is a live chat session with your instructor. There will be article and career discussions, terminology games, and an open question/answer time. Enrolled Meditec students can find a link to the Instructor Office Hours chat in their LMS queue. The times are as follows:
- Thursday -11:00-Noon Central- MT/Medical Students
- Friday- 11:00-Noon Central- Legal Students
- Saturday- 2pm-3pm Central- MT/Medical students
- Sunday- 2pm-3pm Central- Legal Students
Returning Meditec Students Receive a 25% Discount on ANY PROGRAM!!!
RECIPE FOR JANUARY
- 3-5 pounds of lean ground beef
- 1 large frozen bag okra
- 1 large can diced tomatoes, drained
- 1 bag frozen green peppers
- 1 jar chopped red peppers
- 1 large container bread crumbs (can use 2 containers if using 5lbs beef)
- 2 packets Lipton onion soup mix
- 3-5 eggs
- Ketchup, black pepper
Mix all ingredients together except ketchup and pepper. Bake 350 for 30-45 minutes. Top w/ ketchup and pepper and bake another 20 minutes.