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Thinking of Taking Medical Billing and Coding Courses in New Jersey?

medical-billingThe medical field is a growing field, and with that comes an increasing need for professionals with extensive training from medical billing and coding schools in NJ. The skills of people who have successfully completed a billing and coding program will prove invaluable to the facilities who employ them, which makes this career choice a very promising one for those who enjoy working in an administrative setting as they are part of the health care field.

What will I learn with medical billing and coding?

So what will you learn at one of these New Jersey medical billing and coding schools? While programs vary in specific coursework and subject focus, you’ll need to review the general duties of a graduate in order to determine if this type of program is right for you. Students generally learn how to use diagnostic and procedural coding, interact appropriately and professionally with medical staff as well as with patients, manage medical office settings, and manage health records.

When a student successfully completes a program, he or she will be able to understand medical practice settings and also understand various types of managed care plans and insurance. You’ll have access to workshops and presentations and learn how to become vital to the success of the healthcare industry. Medical billers review patient and hospital records, submit claims and answer questions regarding those claims. You’ll learn about Medicare, Medicaid, HIPAA requirements regarding patient privacy, and more.

What kinds of work environments can medical billing and coding professionals contribute to?

After successfully completing a program, medical billers will be qualified to work in any number of different environments including nursing homes and long-term care facilities, hospitals and treatment centers, physician offices and even as third party billing services for companies. In addition, state and federal government bodies and organizations also employ medical coding and billing specialists. You can also develop your own business as well.

What type of training will I need?

As a medical coding and billing student, you’ll need to excel in billing, medical terminology, diagnoses and coding. You’ll also need to familiarize yourself with laws and regulations regarding your state as well as of those with insurance plans and managed care plans. While all the necessary preparation is offered and achieved via medical billing and coding courses in New Jersey, you’ll also receive much additional training on the job.

Those who are looking for a fulfilling career in the healthcare industry and you are a task-oriented person who wants to contribute to the industry without taking the long years of schooling required for other medical professions, a program at a school for medical billing and coding in NJ may be just what you’ve been looking for.

Interested in learning more? Contact ACI today and start your journey to a new career!

How Does Medical Coding Work?

With healthcare reform, accessible care, and affordable medical treatment at the forefront of the American political agenda, it should come as no surprise that careers in the healthcare field continue to be among the most sought after positions for those looking for new careers. A career in the healthcare industry offers stability and the potential for limitless growth, yet also offers the fulfilling opportunity of helping people help themselves. The medical field extends far beyond the doctor’s office, with medical careers ranging from nurses and phlebotomists to office assistants and those in charge of medical billing and coding.

Medical billing and coding is a term that many may have heard, but few are actually familiar with the roles and responsibilities of this integral job. Today, we wanted to look at a couple integral responsibilities of the medical billing and coding specialists and those that play the role of an unsung hero in the medical office.

 

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Bridging the Gap Between Office & Insurance

 

Those in charge of medical billing and coding really play an integral role between what a doctor may recommend and the actual steps that turns the confidential records into a tangible set of notes that the insurance company will then pay. The medical coding office is responsible for taking the appointment and the corresponding records and essentially translating them into an abstract for the insurance provider. By coding, professionals are able to take the medical information and appropriately assign the claims for each action. This step is crucially important to protect privacy, and ensure the uniformity of records. The range of codes which a coder might see generally depends on the type of facility–an outpatient office might see dramatically different patient notes than that of a clinical facility. However, no matter what types of scenarios a medical coder may encounter, they are a critical component of any medical office, and an exemplary skill for a medical office specialist.

 

Streamlining the Process

 

By ensuring that records are kept using succinct and uniform codes, medical billing and coding specialists streamline the process for insurance agencies and billing offices, but also help standardize records and keep records. Medical professionals tend to rely on the work of certified medical billing and coding specialists to provide records of symptoms, medical histories, test results, and medications, in addition to just billing or payment. Medical offices rely on experience with medical billing and coding to keep things efficient.

 

Medical billing and coding specialists can help improve processing time, with a meticulous eye for detail and improving efficiency, while keeping the wheels turning in a crucial part of any community — the medical office. For more information about medical billing and coding, contact us today.

Common Tools for Dental Assistant Schools

DentalAssistantToolsThere are several crucial tools used at dental offices and dental assistant schools in NJ today that professionals and patients rely on for the best dental care. As advancements in dentistry come about, many long-standing instruments become phased out and replaced with newer, lighter, more effective ones. However, some instruments remain on the table as irreplaceable, necessary and pertinent to excellent oral health care, some of which include the dental explorer, the dental mirror, and dental bite wings, or bite blockers.

One of the most commonly-used and important tools in the field of dentistry is the dental explorer. Also known as a sickle probe because of the shape of the tip, there are several types and sizes, with the most common being the No. 23.

The main use of this instrument is to search around areas of the teeth to determine whether or not tooth decay is present. The sharp, pointed tip is used to reveal soft spots and holes in teeth caused by decay. Another use for the dental explorer is for finding hard food deposits that often site under the gum line. Although there are many alternative tools and methods today that are becoming more commonplace for this purpose, such as using radiographs, many dental professionals still will use the dental explorer due to its ease of use and versatility.

You will never walk into a dental care office or dental assistant school in New Jersey without seeing a dental mirror. This has a long handle similar to the handle of the dental explorer and is used to enable dental professionals to easily access the areas of the mouth, teeth and gums that are most difficult to see, such as the backs of the back teeth. These mirrors can be made as disposable for one-time use or they may be designed for repeated use. There are several sizes of dental mirrors in common use with dentists, ranging from the very small variety for children to larger ones for adults.

Bite wings, or bite blockers, are often used in dental radiology during x-rays of the jaw, teeth and mouth. They are available in many different sizes and are used to separate the teeth a bit for a clear view of all faces of each tooth. These are normally small paper or foam inserts that require no adhesive; they are simply inserted into the side of the mouth and are removed just as easily once x-rays have been completed. Bite wings are normally 100% latex-free and are quick and easy, not to mention comfortable for dental patients.

As technology advances not only in medicine but also in dentistry, new tools, methods and machinery are quickly developing to expand the simplicity and extent of dental care. As some tools are gradually phased out of use in offices and dental assisting schools in NJ, others like the dental mirror, dental explorer and bite wings continue to be valuable assets for dental practitioners.

Medical Abbreviations Friday: Five More Medical Abbreviations

Medical abbreviations are essential to navigating the everyday life of a medical professional. Whether you are the doctor or a medical assistant in NJ, being able to instantly understand medical abbreviations and terminology is essential for guaranteeing the best possible care for each patient in your care. For the hundreds of students in our New Jersey tech schools training every day to become the best in the medical field, here are 5 common medical abbreviations to remember.

DDX: Differential Diagnosis. DDX refers to the diagnostic method which is essential for discerning the cause of a problem for a patient, when more than 1 possibility is under consideration. The medical team will work to gather enough information in order to eliminate conditions which aren’t the true cause of a patient’s symptoms. Besides referring to the diagnostic method, DDX can refer to each of the possible conditions in consideration.

SOB: Shortness of Breath. Also called dyspnea, SOB is the unusual and unpleasant awareness of one’s breathing. It is a symptom of a wide variety of conditions, including congestive heart failure, asthma, and lung disease.

CNS: Central Nervous System. Referring to both the brain and the spinal cord, the Central Nervous System has a major impact on activities in all other parts of the body. Diseases affecting the CNS include Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

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CXR: Chest X-Ray. This is a test which uses an x-ray in order to create accurate images of a patient’s lungs, which are essential for understanding the current state of their lungs. Conditions such as Pneumonia and congestive heart failure and commonly found in CXRs, and can also be used for getting a holistic understanding of a patient’s health. Our dental radiology technician training program uses the same production of radiation in theory, but instead for dental x-rays.

ENT: Ears, Nose, and Throat. ENT and Otolaryngology is the study of medical conditions affecting the 3 aforementioned areas of the body. It is one of the oldest medical specializations in the country, and the majority of patient visits to a doctor are related to the ears, nose, or throat.

How many of the above abbreviations did you already know? Let us know which ones you knew on our Facebook page!

 

The ICD-10 Transition: An Introduction

The ICD-9 code sets used to report medical diagnoses and inpatient procedures will be replaced by ICD-10 code sets, October 1st 2015.

About ICD-10

ICD-10-CM/PCS (International Classification of Diseases, 10th Edition, Clinical Modification /Procedure Coding System) consists of two parts:

  • ICD-10-CM for diagnosis coding

  • ICD-10-PCS for inpatient procedure coding

ICD-10-CM is for use in all U.S. health care settings. Diagnosis coding under ICD-10-CM uses 3 to 7 digits instead of the 3 to 5 digits used with ICD-9-CM, but the format of the code sets is similar.

The transition to ICD-10 is occurring because ICD-9 produces limited data about patients’ medical conditions and hospital inpatient procedures. ICD-9 is 30 years old, has outdated terms, and is inconsistent with current medical practice. Also, the structure of ICD-9 limits the number of new codes that can be created, and many ICD-9 categories are full.

Who Needs to Transition

ICD-10 will affect diagnosis and inpatient procedure coding for everyone covered in Health Care. The change to ICD-10 does not affect CPT coding for outpatient procedures.

Medical Abbreviations Friday: Five More Medical Abbreviations

Today we’re bringing another edition of Advantage Career Institute’s medical abbreviations blog series. Whether students are training to be a Medical Assistant in NJ or taking medical billing and coding programs, ACI is committed to making sure all of our students are prepared for real life situations in the industry. In order to better prepare our students, here are 5 commonly used medical abbreviations.

EHR: EHR stands for an electronic health record. With an electronic health record, a patient’s health information can be easily accessible to different medical professionals across health networks. An EHR can contain detailed information about a patient’s well-being including their list of medications, billing information, medical history, immunizations, and much more. The usage of EHRs has been instrumental in making sure that patient information is consistently updated, accurate, and easy to maintain. Students of our medical billing and coding program will often have to work with EHRs, and will come to be comfortable managing them effectively.

HR (heart rate): Heart rate refers to how often your heart beats per minute, expressed as bpm (beats per minute). A patient’s heart rate is essential for understanding a patient’s health and is a vital measurement in many physician offices. As our Medical Assistant program students know, normal heart rates range from 60-100bpm and heart rates outside of this range are considered abnormalities in heart rate. Heart rates can be indicative of a number of different medical conditions, including cardiovascular disease, hypothyroidism, and anemia.

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EMT: An EMT is an emergency medical technician, who is educated and trained in order to address critical, time-sensitive medical situations. There are 4 different levels of EMTs who are all able to best address different emergency situations. EMTs can respond to a wide variety of situations, which makes them sought after by a number of different organizations including the police department, fire department, and more. The swift attention from EMTs has saved countless lives over the years, and continues to play an important role in the medical community.

IV: IV stands for intravenous therapy, which is the practice of introducing fluids directly into a patient’s veins. Often conducted by nurses, intravenous therapy is one of the most efficient ways of inserting important liquids into a patient. There are a number of uses for IVs, including chemotherapy, and blood transfusion.

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Hgb: Hgb stands for hemoglobin, which is one of the carriers of oxygen in the blood stream. Hemoglobin is essential for transporting oxygen and other gases, and provides the body with the energy it needs for a wide variety of purposes. Hemoglobin makes up the majority of red blood cells, and abnormal levels of hemoglobin are indicative of patient health and can often be consulted for diagnosis. Low levels of hemoglobin have been associated with conditions such as kidney failure, sickle-cell disease, and nutritional deficiencies. High hemoglobin levels on the other hand can be connected to lung disease, dehydration, and polycythemia rubra vera.

Check in again next week for our next installment of some of the most common medical terms in the industry. Let us know how many of these abbreviations you already knew on our Facebook page!

Medical Abbreviations Friday: Five Common Medical Abbreviations

Here at Advantage Career Institute, we offer students courses and curriculum to prepare our students for successful careers in the medical and dental communities. Because medical courses and professions are rife with abbreviations that occur frequently in the industry, we thought we would supplement our courses for students aspiring to be medical assistants, phlebotomists, dental assistants with radiology, medical office specialists with electronic health records and medical billing and coding, and more with a series of blog posts focused on medical abbreviations and what they may mean for students.

EKG: EKG is an abbreviation that is all too familiar for many of our EKG Technician students as well as our students who are studying to become a Medical Assistant with Phlebotomy, EKG, and Patient Care Tech.  EKG stands for Electrocardiogram; but if the acronym speaks to cardiograms, why is it commonly referred to with a K? The “K” in EKG stems from the Greek word for heart, kardia, which leads to the common acronym for Electrocardiogram. This procedure is an interpretation of electrical activity through the heart, and the data is obtained by placing electrodes on different areas of the body surface to record the heart’s activity. It’s a noninvasive procedure, meaning that it is not surgical in nature, and among the most vital procedures for detecting cardiac abnormalities or even a heart attack.

A typical EKG procedure - Medical Abbreviations, Medical Billing and Coding, New Jersey Medical Assistant Training Schools

TPR & BP: TPR and BP are medical abbreviations that also extend to those studying to be Medical or Dental Assistants, and may be equally important for those studying to become a Medical Office Specialist with Electronic Health Records & Medical Billing and Coding, as it is likely to be an acronym on nearly every document for a patient. TPR stands for stands for Temperature, Pulse, and Respiration, and is among the most common items on a medical form for any patient. Even for those in good health coming in for a physical, these measurements can yield a fantastic snapshot of a patient’s overall health. BP, of course, stands for blood pressure, and will also generally be reported alongside the TPR for a patient. Together, these may be further abbreviated as the VS for a client, or the Vital Signs.

NWB: While this may be an abbreviation relegated to those working with physical therapists or doctors of rehabilitating patients, this can be an important acronym to become familiar with. NWB refers to “Non-Weight Bearing”, and for any Medical Assistants working with those recovering from injury or on crutches, this may be a crucial abbreviation to note considerations for the limb that is recovering from injury.

OR: For those who are working in the medical field, this also may be a common medical acronym that does not refer to a grammatical conjunction, but instead refers to the theatre for invasive procedures: OR stands for Operating Room, and may be included on those in need of intensive medical care and invasive procedures.

Phlebotomy Technician in new Jersey, Phlebotomy Training, Medical Assistant Training in NJ

BS: BS has a few different meanings in the medical profession, but not one of these is the same “BS” that we would see in colloquial dialog! BS is typically when more analysis is needed in vital signs, and can reference either Blood Sugar or Breath Sounds for respiratory patients. For Medical Assistants, make sure you understand the patient’s previous health history so you know the type of BS you will need to indicate. For those who have a history of diabetes or dietary concerns in their medical record, BS may commonly refer to blood sugar, though this is often abbreviated to BG, for Blood Glucose, to prevent confusion. However, for those who are dealing with patients who have respiratory disorders, COPD, or other lung issues, BS may refer to Breath Sounds.

Stay tuned! We will be rolling out more medical abbreviations each week to go over some of the common terms our students have to learn as they develop their career in the medical and dental fields. For more information, contact us today.

Billing and Coding by the Numbers: Three Reasons to Choose A Career in Medical Billing and Coding

Working in the medical profession can bring a satisfaction few other careers could ever think possible. Trusted with the duty of protecting the health of your community, every single member of a medical staff actively participates in nourishing the sick and promoting the overall health and well-being of their patients. It may go unnoticed to some, that beyond the doctors and nurses walking the halls, lay a network of professionals that are instrumental to every dose and diagnosis, including those in charge of medical billing and coding. While there are a number of reasons that medical billing and coding continues to be a resilient career field, we wanted to look at three reasons that medical billing and coding courses can help make your career.

21%

According to Medical Billing and Coding Online, medical billing and coding is a profession that could grow up to 21% in the coming decade. With changes in healthcare on the national level leading to increased accessibility for affordable healthcare, the job market for certified medical coders will continue to grow. This is a job market that continues to increase, and an open door to a career pathway that offers stability and the potential for growth.

12.

Twelve weeks is all it takes to achieve a certification in medical billing and coding at ACI. We offer a twelve-week program, plus a one-month internship, to help build the foundations for our students’ careers. By enrolling at ACI, you are taking an important step on a path to a successful career, and we reinvest in our students every step of the way. Our staff are committed educational professionals who offer the best support and instruction possible, making sure that our curriculum transforms your career.

90% & 91%

We prepare our students to enter the medical field as an entry-level Medical Office Specialist with Electronic Health Records, and prepare you to succeed in the job and grow your career in the medical field! Advantage Career Institute boasts a 90% graduation rate, with 91% of its students passing National Certification exams. We number among the best technical career schools in New Jersey, and aim to provide our students with all the tools that they need to be successful in building their new career.

Contact us for more info today!

New Jersey Dental Assistant with Radiology Graduates Share Their Stories

ACI has a long history of helping change lives by preparing students to achieve, and succeed in a new career path. With programs ranging from Medical Billing and Coding to Medical Assistant with Phlebotomy, we pride ourselves on preparing a professional workforce for the accelerated demands of a growing career field. One program that elicits exceptional reviews is our program for Dental Assistants at our New Jersey campus.

Our students work hard, and our alumni echo the network of support from staff and instructors alike. We’d like to share some recent feedback from alumni that illustrate ACI’s commitment to excellence that goes beyond test scores, and shines through in the preparation and satisfaction of our former students relishing in their new careers.

One former alumnus, Diana Morales, illustrates just how well ACI helps prepare students for a new career:

“I just finished my internship after completing my course for dental assisting in ACI. I received great reviews from my internship, and I couldn’t have done it without all the ACI staff. They provided me with all the tools I needed to succeed. From the academics to advice and tips from the staff. Ms. Alvarez is an amazing instructor. I’m very thankful about the knowledge I acquired and I couldn’t be happier about having made the decision to attend ACI.”

These sentiments are echoed by the medical office specialist students, like Jessica Castagano, who also took the time to share her experience with our amazing staff:

“As a recent graduate of ACI, I cannot say enough about how wonderful the school and its staff are. I passed all three of my certification exams with flying colors, thanks to my excellent teacher Miss Sally. I know that if it were not for Sally, that my experience would not have been what it was. She is an intelligent and kind teacher, and made learning easier and the material very interesting.” She passed all three national certification exams: Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA), Certified Billing and Coding Specialist (CBCS), and Certified Electronic Health Records Specialist (CEHRS).

At ACI, we don’t just prepare students with the tools they need to be successful; we also prepare them with the skills they need to interview and acquire the career of their dreams. “The Career Services portion of the curriculum was also very helpful in preparing a professional resume and cover letter and knowing how to work job websites,” said Castagano. “Overall, I was very pleased with my experience, and would recommend the school to anyone looking to start a new career in the medical field.”

For those interested in speaking more with our alumni about their experiences, or just looking for more information about how ACI can help you on your way to a new career, please contact us today.

 

ACI Receives Honors for Medical Assistant Programs with Phlebotomy in New Jersey

Advantage Career Institute is proud to announce that it recently received recognition for being a top school for those aspiring for a career in phlebotomy from leading resource, PhlebotomyTrainingSpot.com. The votes are in, and after being subject to rigorous testing and observation over a three-month period, Advantage Career Institute ranked as one of the top schools for those in training to be medical assistants and studying to become phlebotomists.

The criteria sets programs in over 30 states against one another to determine the best programs for developing a career; the programs are subjected to a comprehensive voting and rating period, according to Steve Roberts, the site’s founder. With over 1,000 programs nationwide in a field only destined to expand as more medical services are needed, this represents a considerable achievement for ACI, and a note to the impressive statistics boasted by the Institute, its educators, and most importantly, its students.

Schools were rated on who had the best network of support for current students, alumni and those searching for careers, and a vested involvement in their immediate community, and our Medical Assistant Programs with Phlebotomy continue to perform at the very top tier.

“All these programs have shown an immense dedication to helping change the lives of students for the better through their education and mentorship,” said Roberts. To read the full results, see the press release here.

To learn more about how ACI can help you with your career, speak with one of our alumni today.

 

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