Mar 29

Medical Assistant Jobs – Training To Have The Best Support

As a potential qualified medical assistant, you will not be limited to just working as a physician’s associate. Medical assistant jobs have several different fields in which you can be employed– administrative, clerical, clinical and specialist. Before enrolling in a medical assistant program at a community college or vocational school, however, you must have a high school diploma or GED (general equivalency diploma). Programs of this type usually run one to two years, depending on the content of the program and extent of qualifications it will grant to the graduate.

Examples of some of the courses you will be taking as a medical assistant includes human anatomy and physiology, legal and medical ethics, medical and health terminology, and fundamental clinical skills. You will learn how to check a patient’s vital signs, take blood, give injections and perform basic first aid procedures. As part of your laboratory training, you will be shown the computer skills necessary to process insurance claims, maintain accounting records, and other patient information. When enrolling in a program, however, be sure it has been accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) in order to be eligible for any medical assistant jobs after graduation.

If you choose to opt for a clinical medical position, the state in which you work will have specific laws controlling what you are allowed to do as far as job duties are concerned. Your area of study while enrolled in a medical program will emphasize more patient-oriented assignments given by your supervising physician, such as performing pre-examinations, assisting the physician while he tends to a patient, preparing laboratory work, and asking patients relevant questions regarding the reason why they are seeing the doctor.

Clerical assisting jobs primarily consist of office work and front desk responsibilities, such as making appointments, monitoring patient arrivals, maintaining up to date insurance records, sending out letters as instructed by the supervising physician, and answering the telephone. You will be responsible for sustaining the stable functioning of a busy doctor’s office and seeing that the doctor does not have to worry about anything but the care of his patients. You may even be responsible for purchasing specific medical and office equipment, along with setting up appointments for patients who need diagnostic laboratory tests done in hospitals or other specialized medical facilities.

The salary of medical assistant jobs varies according to training, hands-on experience, how large the medical practice is in which you work, and location of the job. Medical assistants with an associate’s degree can expect to earn approximately $25,000 initially, but will stand to increase their earning power with experience and extended educational involvement. In addition, you will be entitled to receive health and insurance benefits, along with having a choice of job environments, such as clinics, physician’s private practices, and hospitals.

If you are interested in becoming a medical assistant and want further information, you can contact the American Association of Medical Assistants, 20 North Wacker Drive, Chicago, Illinois, 60606 or go to their website at http://www.aama-ntl.org.

Mar 22

Free Government Grants – Am I Eligible With Bad Credit?

Once you have bad credit it stays with you for many years. To get out of this poor financial situation you need money. You don’t have too many choices with poor credit. If you are lucky you can get a loan with high interest rate. You have to pay the loan back with interest. You feel like you are trapped in this financial situation. Is there a solution to this problem? Are there any alternatives besides loans?

How about government grants? You can get them with bad credit and there is now credit check. No problem, even if you had bankruptcy. It is also tax free and you don’t have to pay it back. Government grants are free money. You can apply for them if you are a U.S. citizen.

You can use this money to start a business, find a job, get higher education, pay bills, pay medical bills, buy a house just to name a few. There are billions of dollars issued in 2008 as free government grants. There are many different grants just for minorities. Senior citizens can benefit from grants too, to pay medical bills for example.

How can you find the right grant? An Internet search for the word “grants” can give you millions of results. You have to narrow your search, and be more specific. A lot of the Websites you find give you access to grants, but don’t give you extra help. Few Websites give you tutorial on how to find the right grant and how to apply. You should trust those Websites more, which guide you though the whole process.

You might have bad credit and you think there is no way out of your present situation. That is not true. Remember there are free government grants. Most likely there is one just for your situation and probably you are eligible to obtain one or more grants.

Mar 14

What a Virtual Medical Receptionist Can Do For Your Practice

Busy practices sometimes find that they simply don’t have enough time to keep on top of important patient communications. A virtual medical receptionist is designed to alleviate this situation and improve patient-practice communication. Rather than burdening your staff with a long list of calls to be made and a day spent fielding routine calls, a virtual medical receptionist can handle these tasks and free up your staff to take care of other tasks.

What is an Automated Virtual Medical Receptionist?

An automated virtual medical receptionist is software program that handles some of the functions of a medical office. The term, virtual medical receptionist is also used to describe human assistants that work remotely for medical practices.

What Can an Automated Virtual Medical Receptionist Do?

The best tasks to automate are those that are routine, often encountered and time-consuming. For medical practices, these tasks include checking in patients, answering the phone, appointment scheduling and making appointment reminder calls.

Checking In Patients

Typically automated check-in involves having a self-service kiosk (or tablet PC) with a touch screen in the waiting area. When the patient arrives, he or she checks in at the kiosk. Some kiosks will collect registration, medical history, and insurance information, verify eligibility in real-time, and even collect co-pays. Kiosks are a sizable investment, costing about $5,000 each just for the hardware. The practice also needs to pay for installation, training and setup as well as monthly network fees and possibly integration services.

Answering the Phone, Taking Messages and Routing Calls

Many of the calls the receptionist answers are for someone else at the practice, so the receptionist often transfers calls and takes messages. While it’s nice to be greeted by a human, using your staff to manually transfer calls is a poor use of their time. Automated voice answering services have been available for many years. They can answer calls, route callers to the right department or person, take messages and relay those messages much more quickly than a human receptionist. The 1990s marked the emergence of hosted VOIP (voice over IP) PBX systems and a growing number of businesses and residences opted to have phone services being delivered over the Internet by a third-party provider. The reliability and quality of these systems have improved and basic systems are inexpensive and feature rich. Typical features include:

  • Auto attendant
  • Call forwarding
  • Call screening
  • Call transfer
  • Call waiting
  • Conference calling
  • Custom greetings
  • Find and follow me rules
  • Interactive voice response
  • Voice mail

An automated answering service can replace your after hours live answering service. With an automated answering system, physicians will no longer have to wait hours for the call center messages. The physician can click to hear messages online or listen to them over the phone. It’s easy to replay messages and attach them to a patient’s electronic medical record.

Online Scheduling and Appointment Reminders

A virtual medical receptionist can help with appointment scheduling and follow-up. Some online appointment scheduling programs allow patients to select open appointments. The staff still needs to confirm the appointment, but the system reduces the number of inbound calls and provides increased accessibility and convenience to patients.

A good Web-based automated outbound notifications system can save your staff hundreds of hours a year by handling routine phone calls. A good automated notifications system has multiple scripts for different occasions. It can send much more than appointment reminders. If your practice is busy, the staff might not have time to always make reminder calls and it very likely doesn’t have time to make calls about account balances, lab results, preventive health screenings, and vaccines. A virtual receptionist can make the calls that your staff typically doesn’t have time to make and in doing so, generate demand for your services and decrease the number of incoming calls.

If you are looking to help out your front desk, consider a virtual medical receptionist. Employing a virtual medical receptionist is an easy way to cut costs and increase office productivity.

Mar 07

The Affordable Care Act Means Health Care Rebate Checks for You in 2012

Yes it’s true, starting next year rebate checks will be in the mail. Federal regulations issued on Nov. 22 2010 called the “Affordable care act” required health insurance companies to prove that they spent at least 80% of their collected dollars on medical care and improvement efforts.

These regulations force the health insurance marketplace to become more accountable and require that they spend more of their dollars on higher end care. This means that Americans are going to get a better value for all of their hard earned money spent on health care insurance.

Basically what these companies are doing with a large part of our consumer dollars is spending it on marketing, exec salaries, overhead and essentially just putting it their pocket. With the Affordable Care Act insurance companies will be required to spend 80 to 85% on actual medical care and quality health care improvement, instead of “administrative costs.”

If they fail to comply, these insurance companies will have to provide a rebate check starting in 2012. These new rules will protect millions of Americans and some estimates are projecting that almost 9 million Americans will be eligible for rebate checks in 2012 with a value of almost 1.4 million dollars. The average rebate check will be around $164.

This federal regulation is requiring that insurance companies must publicly report how much they are spending on premium medical care, which is great information for all those consumers left in the dark for all these years. After years of input from the different states, public and stakeholders the decision has been made to make health insurance more of a fair process for consumers.

This act also requires the (NAIC) National Association of Insurance Commissioners to create uniform procedures and policies in calculating their medical loss ratio’s, which is essentially how much is spent where and what part is being spent on quality medical care for the consumer and if it’s not 80-85% the insurance companies will have to issue a rebate check for the difference.

Insurance companies in every state will now be responsible and held financially accountable in protecting the interests of the general public, policy holders and enrolled participants in their respective states.

It’s outrageous that in some markets insurance companies spend as little as 60% on direct medical care and health care improvement. As much as 40 cents out of every dollar goes to the “administrative costs” of the health care insurance provider. So where does all this money really go you may wonder?

Timothy Jost who is a law professor at Washington and Lee University in VA says he estimates that these insurance companies spend 12% of every dollar that they get on pharmaceuticals and 31% for doctor’s care, and 31% on administrative costs.

Hopefully this new regulation will force insurance companies to become more efficient and not raise premiums more than absolutely necessary and if they do then 80-85% of every dollar needs to be on actual care and not into the endless coffers of the insurance companies.