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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

Friends, Here’s to You

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I heard a Maya Angelou quote a couple of years ago that is so very true:

“People may forget what you said or did, but they never forget how you made them feel.”

As I travel through life and have been fortunate enough to achieve some success in few of my endeavors, I am surprised by how some that I thank respond.

They were just doing what they do as they are good people, but they had NO IDEA how much their kind words, actions, or just the road map that they provided me with from just observing them, had a positive effect on me.

Remember, people are watching and listening, and though they may forget details of what was said or done, they remember how you made them feel great. I remember those who have helped me – especially over the last 18 months, and I am thankful.

In the words of my friends from the legendary R&B group, Skyy, “Here’s to You,” my true friends.

Peace and good fortune to you all.

8 Ways to Fight Back Against Horrible Bosses

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Here is my latest SlideShare presentation.

I hope that you find it helpful.

Please let me know what you think.

Thank you.

It’s all about F.A.M.I.L.Y.

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This is an excerpt from my upcoming book, The 52 Corporate Caveats.

It will be a digital download and will be released this coming fall.

____________________________

Okay, I talked about how things can suck so it is only fair that I offer a solution. You know, it always killed me on some folks criticize things but never offer alternatives. I remember when I was at a seminar a few years back and the author of The Slight Edge, Jeff Olson, said, “Have you noticed that there are no statues erected in the honor of critics?” That is so true! I committed at that moment to not criticize anything unless I was willing to work on finding a better way.

So, what with this proposed workplace code I’m not talking about bringing the kids and your spouse to work. I’m talking about a new doctrine that could be used in the workplace that could yield better results; more revenue, more happiness and more hope for advancement. F.A.M.I.L.Y. is an acronym. I would be remiss if I did not admit that this was inspired by my experience working in the direct selling industry where cooperation is encouraged over competition. A good leader should work to encourage these things in her little fiefdom in order to create the “perfect workplace.” Now, people are not perfect, but if we adopt this as our code we will get better.

Here is what F.A.M.I.L.Y. is all about:

Fairness

Everyone is to be treated with appreciation and respect, and any progress or special dates (e.g. birthdays, anniversaries with the company, promotions, etc.) should be celebrated. Your skin color, ethnicity, race, sexual orientation, religion, political views, handicaps, health nor any other legally protected class should be a factor. Whether you average-looking, ugly, drop-dead gorgeous matters not. It is all about giving everyone equal access to opportunities and to due process.

Accountability

Everyone is to be held accountable for their actions and/or the lack thereof. No more “throwing others under the bus” to save one’s own hide. How can you have true success at work when everyone is suspicious of each other? Let’s all be adults and like President Harry Truman used to say, “The buck stops here.” That is the mindset that needs to be instilled in today’s workers.

Merit-based Promotions

Ideally, promotions will be based on merit. Let’ start picking the right man for the job. By the way, oftentimes, the right man for the job is a woman. Organizations can’t achieve greatness with “hooking-up” their cronies. Put the right people in right positions and beautiful things can happen.

Intrapreneurship

The best ideas come from the field. I heard that Post-It® Notes was created by a 3M employee. Companies should start paying attention that their employees have a wealth of ideas. As a matter of fact, companies oftentimes steal employee-generated ideas and claim them as their own intellectual property as per the employee handbook. Dang. At least give the employees some sort of incentives and recognition. Well, they don’t know about the F.A.M.I.L.Y. code yet so maybe they’ll do better once we school them. Nurture employees and encourage them to come up with new ways to do things or to submit product ideas. Have them take entrepreneurial-like initiatives while working for the company.
Intrapreneurship is the new cool.

Leadership

I believe that leaders are made, not born. Skills can be taught. If you want your employees to be better, Corporate America has to do better with giving them educational opportunities. This can be classroom instruction, tuition reimbursement, mentorship or cross-training. Also, leaders need to understand that you must be a servant to your employees first. Being the boss doesn’t mean that you have to be a “double S.O.B.” spelled backwards!

Yeoman Work Ethic

Projects should be handled with enthusiasm and a sense of urgency from beginning to end. Revenue is lost because of lethargic work habits. Work hard so you can play hard. Like the great rapper, Big Daddy Kane said in his song, RAW, “I worked like a slave so I can become a master.” Ideally, this is how one gets promoted.

All six parts of F.A.M.I.L.Y. are interdependent on each other. You have to have all of them firing on all cylinders to create the perfect workplace. Will there ever be the perfect workplace? No. Nonetheless, it is an ideal to strive for because most current options stink.