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Certified coders in high demand following ICD-10 implementation

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(BPT) – Nine years ago, Peter Esswein, a resident of Sandy Springs, Georgia, enrolled in a health information technology degree program at DeVry University to capitalize on the growing prominence of electronic medical records.

“I always wanted to work in the medical industry, and the time was right for a personal career change,” Esswein says. “Completing my associate degree in health information technology gave me the confidence and skills I needed to progress on my new career path.”coders

Now, as Esswein continues his career as a coding quality assistant, health care is changing again. Following the release of a medical coding system overhaul in October 2015, expected updates in the near future are underscoring the demand for coders. International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, 10th Revision, or ICD-10, increased the number of medical codes by more than 50,000 – and in fiscal year 2017, about 5,500 more diagnostic and impatient procedure codes will roll out.

“The new codes are designed to enable more informative, accurate recording of the medical information required to bill correctly for reimbursement,” Esswein says. “In my role, it’s essential that I not only understand ICD-10, but that I’m staying ahead of what’s coming next to help alleviate any confusion in my workplace and mitigate mistakes in advance.”

Prepping for industry change

Many health care organizations say transitioning to the new system was their biggest challenge last year. While Esswein graduated years ago and is getting on-the-job training with the new system, many employers struggled to find qualified new technicians, since recent graduates had studied the previous classification system, ICD-9.

To get these new grads up to speed, DeVry University offered an ICD-10 course at no cost for medical billing and coding graduates who had registered by November 2015 and students in their last semester of the program. All future courses will be taught using ICD-10 as the standard.

“DeVry University programs will continue to evolve as healthcare advances and becomes more accessible in the United States,” says Kristyn Murphy-Rodvill, assistant national dean in the College of Health Sciences at DeVry University. “We know finishing a degree program during an industry transition can create obstacles for recent grads. Our ICD-10 course is designed to eliminate those barriers and prepare students with the skills and knowledge they need to be competitive in their field.”

Propelling the future of health care

Knowledgeable health information technology experts – from coders to technicians and managers – are projected to remain in high demand through 2022. Medical billing is projected to grow by 22 percent in this time period.

“With the right education, the future is bright for healthcare professionals,” says Murphy-Rodvill. “DeVry’s programs are designed to help students grow their professional expertise, and remain at the forefront in their industry.”

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Written by Tyrone Turner

May 24, 2016 at 5:45 pm

Kill the 9-to-5 by turning your hobby into a thriving business

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(BPT) – A beloved hobby can feel like a mini vacation from everyday life. Whether it’s gardening for relaxation, photography as a creative outlet or computer coding to exercise the brain, hobbies serve as an escape from stress and boredom.

What if rather than a hobby being your escape, it was what you did for a career?

“When you do what you love, it doesn’t feel like work. However, people are intimidated by the idea of transitioning a hobby into this type of dream,” says Jim Salmon, vice president of business services at Navy Federal Credit Union. “Becoming a successful entrepreneur doesn’t have to be difficult with the right drive and passion.”

hobby to biz

Navy Federal Business Services has helped thousands of people turn their dreams of owning a small business into reality by providing expert guidance and financial support through Business Services products. Here are some of Salmon’s expert tips based on best practices he’s observed through his close relationship with entrepreneurial clients:

1. Take your time.
Becoming a successful entrepreneur doesn’t mean you have to drop everything and devote all your time to starting a business. In fact, research shows the opposite: People who keep their day jobs while starting companies are a third less likely to fail than those who abandon their full time jobs. Instead, they’re tinkering, researching and cautiously testing things out to see if their idea is a viable business venture and if there is a market for their product or service.

2. Set a timeline.
Is there a season where it would make sense to test out your business venture? Or perhaps there’s a transitional time in your life where you’ll be looking to open a new chapter. For example, transitioning your hobby into a viable business venture a great option for active duty military personnel and veterans because they naturally begin to think about what their second career will be after retiring or leaving the Armed Forces.

3. Decide on time commitment.
Decide how much time you are willing to dedicate to your new venture in the beginning. Being an entrepreneur means being your own boss which affords you unprecedented flexibility, but the effort you put in directly effects what you get out. Keep in mind, entrepreneurship isn’t just for full-time professionals. Turning a hobby into a career is a great option for military and stay-at-home parents who require flexibility in regards to working hours and location, but they may have more open time to dedicate to the transition.

4. Create a business plan.
Transitioning a hobby into a profession is a lot of fun, but it’s also serious business if you want to be successful. That means creating a business plan that includes goals and plans for attaining them. This will serve as the foundation for how you strategize and build a successful business today. Plus, when it comes time to finance your budding business, a solid business plan will give you a leg up and direction for the future.

5. Find financial backing.
Depending on what type of business you want to pursue, you may need some additional funding beyond what you can afford. Establishing a relationship with a financial institution like Navy Federal Credit Union will help you learn more about small business loans and lending products that will help your small business grow. Bring your passion and your business plan – potential investors and financial institutions alike will want to see both before they make a decision.

Start up your future: Teaching for today’s entrepreneurial business culture

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(BPT) – Every year Christine Rainwater asks her Washington, D.C.-based undergraduate business students the same question on their first day of class: are any of you interested in starting a business?

“Ten years ago, I would only get two or three students to raise their hands,” said Rainwater, a DeVry University professor and president of the Small Business Advisory Firm. “Now, the majority of my students do – and some share ideas even before class begins. It really represents a new mindset as students take a more entrepreneurial approach to learning. I think they’re surrounded by fast-growing startups like Uber and GrubHub, and they feel inspired to quickly bring their own business ideas to life.”

open for biz

Business enterprise shows like Shark Tank, Beyond the Tank, and How I Made My Millions are indicative of a bigger business trend: renewed growth in small business and startup ventures. According to the 2015 Kauffman Index of Startup Activity and National Trends, the Startup Activity Index rose in 2015 – reversing a downward trend that began in 2010 – allowing the largest year-over-year increase in the past twenty years.

“Students see new, successful companies run by young creatives whose passion propelled them to success faster than climbing the traditional corporate ladder,” said Rainwater. “Not only is this inspiring more people to do the same, but it’s encouraging a whole new type of student to head back to school looking for resume-building experience that can jump-start job prospects right out of the program.”

Shaping a New Culture of Entrepreneurs
Today’s college student is different than past generations. In fact, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, nearly 75 percent of undergraduate students today could be considered “non-traditional.” They are often busy, working adults that have to balance the demands of school, work and family life.

Several non-traditional students need colleges that can fit into their busy schedules of work and family responsibilities. Moreover, many are coming back to school because they want to advance their current career or move to a new field quickly. Non-traditional students want their degree to speak for itself, demonstrating their capabilities and value.

That’s why Rainwater puts hands-on learning at the center of her curriculum.

“In my Senior Projects course, I challenge my students to explore their own neighborhoods, develop business plans for local companies and even kick-start businesses of their own,” she said. “It’s always rewarding to see their eyes light up when they first come up with a viable idea, or see the impact they’ve made in their communities.”

The approach has given students real-life experience and has encouraged collaboration with local organizations. Online grocery store Relay Foods enlisted the help of Rainwater’s students to revamp their salsa canning and distribution plan. As a result, the students were able to help the grocer increase brand awareness and customer appeal for their signature salsa. Another student turned her passion for making premium homemade soap into a business, eventually turning the side job into an online boutique.

The Benefits of Breakthrough for Rising Innovators
Outside the classroom, Rainwater is the president of the Small Business Advisory Firm, a network focused on meeting the educational, networking and program-specific requirements to compete in the federal and private-sector contracting environment.

“In the past, people had to go through an extensive process to start their own businesses,” said Rainwater. “Today, technology has removed many of the barriers that used to stand between big thinkers and entrepreneurship.”

Rainwater considers immersive learning an imperative tool for business students’ professional development. She believes that it not only fosters creative thinking and entrepreneurial spirit, but also creates a safe environment for students to build tangible skills that can be immediately implemented in the workplace – across a variety of roles and practices.

To help today’s students learn more about starting a new business, DeVry University offers a small business management and entrepreneurship degree specialization within its College of Business & Management. At the graduate level, its Keller Graduate School of Management offers an entrepreneurship concentration within its MBA program.

“Right now, U.S. startup activity is rising for the first time in five years, showing entrepreneurs are the most hopeful they have been in several years,” said Rainwater. “And the beauty of these entrepreneurship programs is they not only teach students how to grow businesses, but they arm them with skills to succeed when they hit obstacles along the way – setting them up for long-term success.”

Written by Tyrone Turner

April 20, 2016 at 9:45 pm

Never Vulnerable Again!

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Hey there, folks. It has been a long while since I posted. I have been caught up with working, being a family man, training in martial arts, and trying to get more fun and rest in. In the past two years or so is the first time in several years that I didn’t have some sort of a side business to supplement my 9 to 5 income.

My 9 to 5 situation has become a little shaky recently after I suffered an injury that has really side-lined me. I needed surgery and all. Now, money is a little tight in my household. We’re getting by, but our quality of life has diminished.

multiple streams

Why am I even telling you all of this?

Not for sympathy and not because I’m going to set-up a GoFundMe page to ask for donations or anything like that, but rather to give you a warning by example to not put all of your eggs in one basket.

That is to say don’t rely solely on your income from your job. Things can change quickly and an employee can be fired for no reason or any reason at all (except if discrimination can be proven) in 49 out of 50 states — Montana being the exception.

I strongly encourage you find something that you can do on the side to create some “cushion cash” in case something changes at your job. Learn from my mistake of becoming too comfortable. As a martial artist and past recreational boxer, I should know that I did in fact violate rule number one: Protect yourself at all times.

I am going to get back into teaching martial arts classes again after I fully recover from my injury. But what I’m really looking to do, is to create passive, recurring income. A friend of mine from Texas, named Esther, told me about a cool side business that I can operate from home. I also have realized that there are numerous tax benefits in that I can write-off a lot of the money I was already spending as classify those expenditures as business expenses. That way, I will get a larger tax return next year. It is sort of like double-dipping in that I am increasing my income and keeping more money in my pocket because I have a smaller tax bill. That is cool.

I’m building a strong fortress that the Big Bad Wolf of injury and lost pay cannot blow down.

I plan to never be vulnerable again!

Please, take care of yourself and learn from my mistake.

Thank about your current hobbies and see if you can monetize it. It will create another source of income and help you stay afloat if something happens to your job.

Thanks for your time.

My 2014 Year In Review

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Happy New Year, everybody! I truly hope that 2015 brings you increased peace and good fortune. Thinking back on 2014, I’d say that it was a pretty good year for me. Black folks in who have roots in the Southeastern US are familiar with an old saying: “We ain’t what we wanna be and we and what we gonna be, but thank GOD we ain’t who we was!”

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2014 was a year of new beginnings for me. I was able to get a new job after being unemployed for more than a year [Sidebar: I’m a Citizen Lobbyist for the passage of the Healthy Workplace Bill here in New York State for a reason]. 2013 really kicked me in at gut in so many different ways, but the sun did indeed come out again in 2014. I will not ramble on here in the blog post by providing exhaustive details of things that happened, but I will share this quick list of 10 things that I learned:

  1. Friends are few
  2. Allies can morph into enemies
  3. Most people are not evil, but may be arrogant, apathetic, and afraid
  4. Recreating yourself to adapt to change is crucial for survival
  5. If you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything.
  6. When in a fight, you WILL get hit
  7. Published work (e.g., reports, white papers, articles and books) are the new business card
  8. People are watching when you think they are not
  9. It is better to conduct research and ask clarifying questions rather than argue
  10. If you don’t have more than one income source, you are at risk

Again, all the best to you in 2015.

Back to Life and Hard Lessons Learned

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In the early 90’s when I was a college student, Arsenio Hall was part of my daily routine. I went to classes at St. John’s University in Jamaica (Queens, NY), went to work part-time at a prominent law firm based in Midtown Manhattan, then came home and made sure to watch The Arsenio Hall Show each night before going to sleep. His show ended rather abruptly without a clear reason as to why. Arsenio is back and after I saw the below interview with CNN’s Don Lemon, I became an even bigger fan than I was before.

"Celebrity Apprentice" Live Finale

Listen to the pearls of wisdom Arsenio shares in this interview and be inspired.

I like what he said about adversity: “You learn a lot about the people around you.”

Truer words have not been spoken.

Let me know your thoughts on this video. Thanks.

CLICK HERE FOR THE VIDEO

Tyrone Turner’s Appeal

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As a student of United States history, I found David Walker’s Appeal to be very moving and a great example of self-help and what private citizens can do to promote societal changes. In the spirit of David Walker, I present Tyrone Turner’s Appeal. This is an appeal to elected officials to revisit “At Will Employment” doctrine and replace it with a “Just Cause Termination” standard. I have personally witnessed and experienced the vicious bite of the current system, and things most certainly have to change.

lecture

Robert Greene lists one of the strategies in his book, The 33 Strategies of War, as “Transform Your War Into a Crusade: Morale Strategies”. Well, I am at war with the “At Will Employment” doctrine and seek its death.

Will you join me in this fight or will you sit by and wait until you or someone you care about is affected?

Take a look at the below template below. You can copy and paste it into the body of an email or create a document that you can fax, hand-deliver, or snail mail it to your elected officials. I faxed and emailed copies to my elected officials.

Here is the template:

____________________________________________________________________________________

VIA [EMAIL or FAX]

[Date]

[Title and Name]
[Email Address or Fax Number]

Re: Replace “At Will Employment” with “Just Cause Termination”

Dear [Title and Name]:

Thank you in advance for taking time out of your busy day to read my letter. I am one of your constituents and I voted for you in the last election. In our struggling economy, many of your constituents are underemployed or unemployed. Those of us that are unemployed may have become so via being fired. A lot of terminations are done on the premise of “At Will Employment.” A viable alternative to this standard was proposed in The Model Employment Termination Act by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws back in 1991, but there has not been any true reform yet. A copy of the proposed law is attached.

My arguments will cover the fairness of it all and more pragmatically, the domino effect that “At Will Employment” has caused on our society’s economy and quality of life as far as public safety is concerned. I will also touch on the growing prevalence of the “Bully Boss.”

Thank you for all that you’re doing to create jobs in my district, but once a job is attained it must be kept. It goes without saying that a new hire must do her/his part to remain employed, but perhaps the employer has a duty to the employee by giving that employee a fair way to defend herself/himself at work and avoid losing her/his job. This is where “At Will Employment” falls very, very short.

Under the current “At Will Employment” standard that is the current practice in 49 out of 50 states in our union, an employer may terminate the employment of an employee at any time for any reason or no reason at all. As long as that reason isn’t discrimination or retaliation against a protected class as stated in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, an employee’s employment may be terminated and the onus is on the terminated employee to prove that she/he was discriminated or retaliated against. It is a given that this is unfair being that if someone is in fact a victim of illegal discrimination or retaliation, they are reeling from that ordeal that has been further exacerbated by losing their job. People rely on the income generated by their jobs to handle the basics; food, clothing and shelter. Once they lose their income, their world literally comes crashing down.

When individuals are terminated, they add an additional burden to our already stressed governmental budget. They will file for unemployment, food stamps, welfare, seek public housing, lose their health insurance and rely on public clinics and hospitals, etc. These services create bigger government and tie-up money that can be used elsewhere. Mental health issues may also ensue as a result of a job termination. When someone’s mind “isn’t right,” they may resort to violence, therefore becoming a public safety concern.

Companies and organizations are well aware of the current state of our stressed economy so some of them are being a little more callous with the way they treat employees. In a September 20th, 2013 FORBES article entitled “How To Deal With A Bullying Boss,” Jacquelyn Smith discusses how workplace bullying creates a hostile work environment. A copy of the article is attached. The thing that really jumped out at me in the article was again, how private citizens have to do all of the work to protect themselves and there are no legal restrictions against workplace bullying. Certainly that has to change.

[Title and Name], now is the time to usher in a new Progressive Era by replacing “At Will Employment” with “Just Cause Termination.” If an employee is a poor performer or problematic in some other way (e.g., tardiness, absenteeism, insubordinate, etc.), it is not terribly difficult for an employer to document and present such as a just reason to terminate that employee’s employment. The corrective action process should be clearly outlined and adhered to. As your constituent that voted for you in the last election, please look into replacing the “At Will Employment” standard with the “Just Cause Termination” standard.

I am ready, willing and able to support your efforts in bringing this change about at the grassroots level.

Thank you so much.

Sincerely,

[Your Signature in Blue Ink]
[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[Your Address Line 2]
[Your Phone Number]
[Your Fax Number – if available]
[Your Email Address]

Attachments

____________________________________________________________________________________

If we all pull together, A Change Gonna Come.

As this video shows, when the little guy fights back, the bully backs off.


Thanks for your time and please stand up for your rights.