REMINDER: ASC X12 Version 5010 and NCPDP Version D.0

As of January 1, 2012, medical billing reimbursement claims must be submitted electronically using the new Accredited Standards Committee (ASC) X12 Version 5010 standards for Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) transactions. Implementation of HIPAA Version 5010 will require changes to software, systems and perhaps procedures that you use for billing Medicare and other payers.
  • Level I compliance means "that a covered entity can demonstrably create and receive compliant transactions, resulting from the compliance of all design/build activities and internal testing." 
  • Level II compliance means "that a covered entity has completed end-to-end testing with each of its trading partners, and is able to operate in production mode with the new versions of the standards."
  • HHS permits dual use of existing standards (4010A1 and 5.1) and the new standards (5010 and D.0) from the March 17, 2009, effective date until the January 1, 2012 compliance date to facilitate testing subject to trading partner agreement.

It is extremely important that all medical billing staff and consultants are aware of this HIPAA change and in compliance.

Medical Coding School Graduates Searching for Jobs

Searching for a job, and not landing a desired position fast enough, can be a painful experience. Here are a number of things that you can do to increase your chances of success. 

In our very active Web forum for medical billers we often hear from a surprising number of medical coding and billing school graduates who are not able to find a job upon graduation. Many of them are getting frustrated quickly since they have a family to support and bills are pressing. After all, they went back to school to make money! Searching for a job, and not landing a desired position fast enough, can be a painful experience. Here are a number of things that you can do to increase your chances of success.
One visitor posted to our Medical Billing Community forum on: January 18, 2011, 12:02:59 AM:

"What is the job outlook as far as working as a medical biller?"

The best answer was posted by Steve: "That all depends on where you are. Just looking for a job took me 3 years and I have 39 years of experience and more initials after my name that the letter board above the chalkboard. I had to take 3 preemployment tests before any interview. Everything depends on what is opened where you are and if a doctor will hire you let alone trust you with his business. I just met with 4 doctors this past month; all fired their coders and billers due to loss of practice revenue due to their inability to properly file and follow up on claims…  but, it's like a baseball game.  You can have 3 quick strikeouts in an inning, or 100 homeruns, or it can be a lush tropical paradise or a desert with tumbleweeds.  In other words, one never knows unless one investigates their individual area and what each doctor wants.  I can only tell you about my area and its a desert. Even Walmart isn't hiring here."
There you have it! Straight from the expert's mouth! A forum is an excellent platform to discuss issues and concerns and network with others already working in the field, however, just sounding-off and doing little else will not solve the problem, which is finding a job to pay off student loans and pay the bills.

Qualified Medical Billers and Coders Searching for a Job

Finding a job should be approached like working a full-time job, because in so many ways, it is. If you had a job, you would report to work at the same time each day early in the morning, take an hour for lunch, and quit at the same time in the afternoon. You would work five days every week and you would work hard to accomplish as much as you could because your career depended upon it. When you are searching for a job, you should follow the same schedule; your future depends upon it.
So, begin tomorrow by reporting to work and spending the day on tasks that lead to landing a job. You should apply all of the tools and skills available, since landing your first medical assistant job is an important project. The sooner you complete it, the sooner you will hold your first medical assistant pay check.

Job Search Tip: Be Creative, Systematic and Persistent

Be creative, go about it methodically and stick to a system. 
1. Set goals for yourself
2. make plans
3. monitor your progress
It might sound a little odd, but pretend to be your own boss. Set expectations for what you need to accomplish, provide direction, and monitor your work. 
"Meet" with yourself once each week to evaluate your performance. I recommend doing this in writing, such as in a simple journal. Make a candid evaluation of what you have accomplished during the previous week, write an evaluation of what you have done so far, describe the results this effort has produced and compare these results with what you wanted to accomplish.
Next, refine your plans for the coming week. Your plans should include your goals, actions, and priorities. Next, map out a realistic plan for the next week based on achievable goals. For example, you could set goals for the number of people you will call, the number of networking meetings you will attend, and the research you will conduct.
In the coming weeks, compare the results from the previous week with the goals that you have set. For example, if you planned to send out twenty resumes and you mailed only two, you should:
a) explain why this happened
b) plan actions to correct the short-fall
You should also analyze why you missed your goal because this provides insights on what you need to do differently, for example, your goal may have been set too high, or maybe there are things you can do that will make it easier to achieve your job search goals, such as car pooling with a friend who is also looking for a job. Check this list of daily updated jobs for  medical billers straight from the