On February 16, 2006 the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act was finalized, and enacted. This law is designed to establish national standards for all health care transactions, and to ensure the security and privacy of all health related information. The motivation behind this law is to improve the performance, and efficiency of our health care system. This type of reform has created a need for qualified individuals who can utilize the tools of this legislation, and assure full compliance, and maximum reimbursement. It would therefore be a prudent move for health care facilities to employ such individuals in order to avoid mistakes that could have dire consequences.The proliferation of medical knowledge following World War II brought about an explosion of diagnostic, and treatment procedures. As a result, there became a need to organize, and standardize all these developing technologies. Here is where the foundations of medical coding were born. Medical coding met these challenges, and allowed for a more uniform way of communicating health information under a common language. By January 1979, standardized definitions, and codes were adopted, and used by health care providers, and insurance companies. Since improvements and refinements of medical procedures are constantly being developed, codes must be added and updated to reflect these changes. Today, the number of medical and surgical procedures have become enormous, so too have the codes to describe them. These overwhelming numbers of codes and protocols have made outsourcing medical billing the standard.Medical Billing and related occupations continue to be the fastest growing opportunities in health care. Insurance institutions and government agencies are investing huge resources to control claims fraud, abuse, and establish some degree of reimbursement parity. As a result, more insurance companies, and health care facilities are looking to medical billing experts for help. These companies and practices are looking for experienced and educated individuals; the legal consequences of incorrect billing could be devastating. There is a movement in the industry to make medical billers responsible for inaccuracies, much they way accountants are for tax returns.At present, there are no standards for educational requirements for medical billers and coders. However, more employers are looking for some formal training at an accredited career training institution. These schools range in training time from nine months to two years, anything less would not be considered adequate. There is a move for certification, and several organizations are sponsoring certification examinations in medical billing and coding. Medical billers and coders earn as much as $8 to $10 per hour in the beginning, and could potentially realize $30 to $40 per hours with experience and additional responsibilities. Today, evolutions in the health care industry are happening at a very high pace. It is only with the assistance of sophisticated computer programs, and standardized coding procedures that medical coders are now able to describe and characterize the tremendous number and various kinds of medical and surgical procedures. These realities coupled with government regulations, and health insurance guidelines have contributed to the strong demand for experienced medical coders and billers.
The most prominent trend in the employment screening industry has been a proliferation of online databases offering cheap background checks. Any one can access the internet and with a quick search be able to purchase, for example, criminal records for a low fee. While that is very appealing to companies looking to trim the budget on "background checks" , it may in fact be a dangerous trend.What do the companies say that have been running background checks, back when "employment screening" industry was just a concept and not an accepted practice?Tom Lawson, the founder of APSCREEN, the oldest screening firm in the country, says The necessity of a background check has been established now, and that's why we are seeing such a proliferation of people getting into the business - particularly because the internet makes it an easy field to enter because of the low start-up costs.Lawson continues, But back in 1980, when we practically invented the concept of employment screening, companies had to be convinced that there was a good reason to spend money on background checks. We have always been a business that focused on training our specialists to screen applications for completeness, thoroughness and accuracy and provide our customers withindividualized service. This trend of online databases is very disturbing to us because the potential for error and liability is very high.The Dangers of Databases - Caveat Emptor of the Quick TurnaroundDatabases are only as good as the search logic used to retrieve stored data, and search logic is expensive and only as good as the amount of money the database companies are wiling to invest in it. Unfortunately, the advent of the internet has made starting an online business easy for anyone. As a result, many companies that start an internet data selling business do so because the start-up costs are small which means the databases can only provide llimited information. Even worse, most online database providers lack an intimate working knowledge of how to screen potential applicants. Their focus is on selling units of information for profit.Database companies cannot simply use off-the-shelf software to retrieve publicly compiled repository information. It comes in too many proprietary operating systems' and while good, expensive search logic helps to delineate between the different languages of the information entered into the database company's archival system, it can NEVER be 100% competent, even if it is a very robust retrieval architecture. By the sheer science of databasing, 100% information retrieval capability is impossible, unless (as demonstrated recently by the IRS and FBI Computer fiascos) the source data originates from wholly compatible systems. This means that going in you can never expect to have a complete file when you compile data from different systems. This results in data drops in which bytes of information mysteriously disappear, as well as computer viruses which can reside undetected in mainframes for years and indiscriminately wipe out data, which would be undecipherable in a foreign operating environment, such as a third party compiler.A classic example of this occurred on January 17, 1990, when screening client District Cablevision received a now infamous incorrect report of a felony cocaine conviction on one James Russell Wiggins, which was not verified for accuracy or its relationship to the subject Wiggins, and which resulted in a serious elimination of candidacy lawsuit brought against the provider based upon slander. This error dealt a major blow to the reputation of the provider and resulted in the payment of a substantial monetary settlement. (US District Court, District of Columbia; Civil Action 90-199; Wiggins (et al) v. Equifax Services, Inc. (et al).)Database companies outnumber legitimate employment screeners almost 75 to 1 in the industry today. The main problem with such vendors who advertise nationwide criminal checks, statewide criminal checks, instant, or online, is the veracity of the data they are selling and the competency of the search used to retrieve the data.Many vendors acquire data from a multitude of sources, not having any idea who compiled the information in the first place. This data is then combined into each vendor's own format, which often does not contain complete information. The common term in the database industry is data drops, which in addition to the above meaning also means that not all of the data, such as criminal record information from a court jurisdiction that is put into the database, is available to be extracted, retrieved or researched. This occurs because of the following:1.The bridge software used to import the jurisdictional data into the database company's memory banks can never be 100% reliable, as long as the compiler is gathering information from foreign repositories2.The computer has to handle many different formats while compiling information into a standardized format so that some of the data simply does not transfer.This is a problem because of the technical department's inability to inform the sales/marketing department properly as to the database's limitations or unwillingness to tell the customer that the product it is selling may be deficient in some areas. As a result, approximately 5 to 8% of the data is lost. That means that there is a 92% to 94% chance (at best) to identify a record on a candidate. Also, data drops are indiscriminate. Rape convictions are droppedas easily as traffic tickets.The second problem with databases is the psychological dependence they engender on those using them. As time progresses, the databases' ease-of-use causes the user to forget just how important it is that the database be accurate and complete, and that the need for thoroughness in screening an employment candidate should never vary, as to ensure consistency in the screening process, thus precluding the successful prosecution of the employer for Title 7 claims. The results of falling into this pattern of laziness can be disastrous as litigation may not be far behind.Crucial Steps in the Employment Screening ProcessHistorically, and until the late 1970s when the personnel department recognized the need to get involved in employment screening, background checks were performed by security departments - typically comprised of highlyqualified, and often retired professionals.Today it's up to the HR department to create the mandatory steps needed to develop a thorough employment screening procedure including for starters, a positive candidate identification process. If this isn't the first step in the background check, the results of your searches could be faulty and thereforeprove useless. For example, critical identification data needs to be gleaned from credit bureaus and other repositories including unused maiden names, or intentionally omitted information such as date of birth and variations in social security numbers. This is where the difference between true employment screeners and data sellers comes into play. It takes years of experience to be able to differentiate, for example, intentionally omitted information versus an honest mistake. The same holds true for incomplete disclosures such as partial criminal history in which the full story can dramatically change your assessment of the applicant. One such case involved an applicant who disclosed to the company that she was convicted of trespassing. When the criminal check came back, however, it was discovered that while she had indeed told the truth that she was convinced of trespassing, she had also been convicted of trafficking in child pornography and possession of controlled substances - a serious error by omission.Hiring decisions must not be made on partial, incomplete or incorrect data, but on thorough information and a consistent application of thorough scrutiny of all of the information regarding criminal, credit, work and education history, driving attitude, whether or not the candidate has completed the application completely, as well as identity disclosure.A screener must have extensive knowledge about each vendor source to make the appropriate follow-on decisions that develop into a full and comprehensive report.Online databases don't provide highly trained researchers who can spot red flags and other indicators in an application that demand further consideration. You can only get this kind of service from an interactive screener who has years of experience in processing background checks.Another reason online databases can be cause potential liability is because most databases contain information that may not be used in the screening process such as arrest records, or unadjudicated matters, or matters for which an expungement exists at the Court but is not reflected in the database.As previously stated, professional background checks require an experienced researcher who knows what to look for including: verifying a applicant's true identity, obtaining verification of past employment and education, fully investigating the applicant's criminal past (a skill that requires an intense, and multi-level knowledge of court procedures, credit evaluation including legal records such as bankruptcies, tax liens and judgments, driving analysis, as well as a history of being a sex offender or involved in domestic violence or retraining orders for stalking. All of the factors contribute to, but may not necessarily be germane to the job description, at hand, and while exciting, could lead an employer into court, for using the information to deny candidacy, for inapplicability.By now it should be fairly clear that professional background checks are a comprehensive package that far outweigh any bits and pieces of nformation that can be provided by any individual online database. When a person is thinking about hiring someone and they believe that all I really need to do is run a fingerprint check, they are really missing the point. So much more information is needed to make a careful, informed hiring decision. Besides, only police departments run fingerprint checks, not employers.Liability Risks of Not Performing Background ChecksIn today's hiring environment employers face ever increasing potential for liability from the workplace when they choose not to do background checks ontheir news hires. Those liabilities include:Premises liability for not safeguarding customers from employees who steal, lie, cheat or injureNegligent hiring liability in the event of violence or fiduciary malfeasance, for not providing other employees a safe place to workTermination or investigation of the individual who hired an applicant who later steals from the company or exposes the company to the above-mentioned liabilities.Litigation under officer/director liability theories because of incompetent or inept hiring practices involving the company and/or person who hired the employeeTo prevent this type of litigation, a company must have established a refined HR policy that includes a professional employment screening component.You must become knowledgeable about employment laws which a good background screener can help you with. For example, did you know that it is illegal to make a decision to not hire someone based on an arrest record alone? Usually, the only time it is legal for a third-party provider to release arrest information is in the case of daycare providers and nuclear facility workers. An employer, generally is not allowed to ask about arrests and cannot use this information to deny employmentCritical Tips For Choosing an Employment ScreenerSo what should you be looking for in an employment screening company? First of all, look for longevity. The longer a company has been providing employment screening, the more experienced it is, and as a result, the knowledge, they will have in recognizing the signs of a suspect applicant. This is a field where screeners need not only be highly trained, but have extensive experience.Ask for references and then call them. You want a company with an extensive and positive track record of providing factual information so you can make an informed hiring decision. Look for the company's professional memberships in organizations such as ASIS, SHRM, PIHRA, NPRRA, NAPBS, as well as others. This indicates a combined knowledge of the screening and security industries.Do you as the hiring company; have a complete knowledge of employment law? If not, you need your screening company to know the laws involving employment screening. If is extremely beneficial if you hire a company that hasan acute knowledge of negligent hiring practices, much in the way that anExpert Witness would know. The company should have an intimate, thorough and long-term knowledge of the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA), and the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), as well as Sarbanes-Oxley, the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, and the myriad local statutes that may or may not apply to the employment process. They should also have the ability to testify for you in a court of law if need be; or even better, keep you out of court in the first place!Does your prospective screener have knowledge and understanding of current HR management systems? How about corporate due diligence programs or factual [*_*] programs that train people to find fraudulent applications and false identities?Are you beginning to see how there is so much more to [*_*] than first meets the eye?In short, can your vendor help keep you from unwanted litigation? Unless you or someone in your company is an expert in employment law, you are putting your company at significant risk by using an online database provider. If you are using any of the multitudes of online databases, it's not likely you are protected.Not only do these online companies increase your risk of exposure, they may even add to it. For example, let's say you are currently using an employmentscreener that does not require you to provide a signed release for each applicant. Sounds relatively harmless, doesn't it?The truth is what these companies have done is had you waive liability to them when you signed up for an account so they can avoid the time and effort it takes involved in this critical step. Their focus in on increasing their sales; which isn't necessarily in your company's best interest. In the case of a credit bureau audit, your company is now responsible for producing an original signed application and therefore also liable if you don't have one on file. A good employment screener is not only a long-term certified credit bureau, they also provide signatures for these audits on a regular basis and you should never even know when theses audits occur. A typical lawsuit of this nature could cost your company six figures. There is no upside for a company purchasing [*_*] to take this kind of risk.What type of criminal conviction research, hand-researched or online databases, does the company provide? Most companies do not realize that there is absolutely NO single source of information available regarding criminal convictions. It doesn't exist - anywhere. Do they verify these discoveries against subject identifiers and if so, how? Does your online provider claim to have worker's compensation claim records? Any information provided regarding worker's compensation claims potentially provides a false sense of security for the user. The truth is the only records available for worker's compensation are appeals, not claims, and much of the available files are sealed because they are not as yet adjudicated. This means the file competency rate for this type of data is about 40% - not good enough.Does the employment screener have international research capability? If not,how will they screen people you might want to hire from overseas? Without the kinds of connections and a network of relationships developed over long periods of time, this information would be almost impossible to get.Has the company you want to hire ever been involved in a litigation themselves for improper screening processes? Can they provide you with at least three long-term references? Do they have professional liability insurance including errors and omissions? Are they FACTA, FCRA; CCRRA, and G-L-B compliant?And of course you need to know the practical things such as cost, turnaroundtime and reporting method. Many competent employment screeners are listed in publications such as the Security Industry Buyers Guide as well as industry publications such as those connected with the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) and the American Society for Industrial Security (ASIS).What is needed now in this industry is a standardization of compliance for employment screeners and someone to step up and create an industry co-operative that can police it.
Writing a resume for your first job requires patience, attention to detail, and a little creativity. All job seekers need a strong resume if they want to compete for the best jobs. But while seasoned professionals can rely on their experience to generate initial interest from prospective employers, individuals hitting the job market for the first time do not have such a luxury. New professionals, therefore, need to work even harder to sell themselves to managers.To start your resume, you will need to select a resume format. A functional resume is usually the best choice for a new professional, since it allows you to present your qualifications by functional skills as opposed to purely chronological job order. Since your work history will be brief, if not non-existent, you want to place the emphasis on your skills and knowledge. Layout of a Functional Resume:The layout you select for your resume should attract attention and create interest, but not detract from your overall presentation. Use of capitalization, bold lettering, underlining, indentations, different fonts, and white space can add variety to your resume and emphasize important information. The layout should be consistent throughout the individual sections of the resume, be visually appealing, and be easy for the reader to follow.A functional resume has several parts, which are typically included in this order:Name and Contact InformationObjective StatementEducationKey Skills and QualificationsWork ExperienceAdditional parts may include a section for Awards and Honors or References.Name and Contact InformationYou should include your name, full address, telephone number with area code, and email address (if applicable) at the very top of your resume. If you are currently residing at a temporary address, such as a students college address, you may include it in addition to your permanent address depending on the circumstances. Objective StatementIf you choose to include an objective statement, it should be a concise and meaningful statement that describes your career goals in detail. An objective can include your goals in regards to your desired position title, industry, level of responsibility, and desired utilized skills. The elements included in your objective should be reinforced and supported throughout your resume and your cover letter. A major mistake that many new professionals make is that they use a generalized objective statement. This is due to the fact that many men and women new to the workforce may not necessarily know what they are seeking in a position. They fear that by limiting the scope of the objective, that they are knocking themselves out of the running for positions that do not neatly match their objective positions that they might otherwise be interesting in pursuing. While this is true in some cases, it is advisable to either keep your objective focused and narrow, or completely leave it off your resume. A weak, unfocused objective in effect says nothing and will actually detract from your overall presentation.EducationIf you have a college degree, you should position the Education section near the top of your resume before your Key Skills and Qualifications. If you do not have a degree, the Education section should follow your Key Skills and Qualifications.Your highest level of education achieved, whether you completed the program or not, should be the first listed in this section. All other schools you attended should follow. For each individual school, list the following:Name of the schoolDates you attended or graduatedDegrees earned (or degree program you were in, if not completed)Major and minor subject areasYou may also list any honors, awards, Dean's list commendations, and GPAs if they will enhance this section of your resume. Any certifications or completed training courses that that are relevant to the position you are seeking should also be included.Newer graduates can include a list of completed courses that are directly relevant to the type of position you are seeking. For example, a newly graduated Accounting major may want to highlight her course in Financial Accounting, Management Accounting, and Tax Accounting.You should only include high school information if you do not have a college degree or if you achieved high commendation in some area that reinforces your career objectives. Key Skills and Qualifications This is the most critical section of a functional resume. The Skills section of your resume should highlight any relevant skills that might not otherwise be disclosed on your resume. This section will be highly individualized to both the person and the position they are seeking. First, identify the key skills relevant to the type of position you are seeking. Some examples of key skills include customer relations, graphic design, marketing, leadership, and computer technology skills. It may be necessary to develop several different versions of your resume so that you are able effectively market yourself to a variety of jobs.Next, rank the key skills in order of importance you want the most important skill to appear at the top of your skills list. Then, under each of these key skill categories, include any information about yourself that demonstrates how you possess this skill. You can draw from any work experience, volunteer experience, schooling, extracurricular activities, or any other area as appropriate. As with the key skills themselves, rank this in order of importance so that the most relevant examples appear first.Examples of key skills with supporting documentation are as follows:ResearchDesigned questionnaire to assess customer needsIdentified sample population to be included in the studyDrafted analysis planPrepared survey results report and presented the results to the study teamMarketing and Distribution Developed layout and organization of merchandise for a 25-page giftware catalogMaintained accurate, up-to-date computer records of merchandise inventory, suppliers, customers, and shipping vendors. Handled all facets of order receipt, processing, and fulfillmentWork ExperienceSince you are new to the workforce, employers do not expect you to have much in terms of work experience. This section should be very brief. You should not provide any details of your responsibilities and accomplishments in this section (these should have been included under Key Skills and Qualifications). Instead, simply list your job title, the name of the employer, the location of the position, and your dates of employment as follows:2004 Present Customer Service RepresentativeABC TelecommunicationsBaltimore, MD2003 2004 Treasurer Omega Lambda Pi FraternityBaltimore, MD2001 2003 Sales AssistantMagellan ImportsWashington, D.C.Other Optional Sections:Honors and Awards:List any career, academic, leadership or athletic honors you have received. Academic awards may alternatively be listed under the Education section of the resume. References: You may include a statement declaring References Available upon Request if you need to fill space on your resume. Otherwise you should list references in a separate document. References should typically only be provided when requested or once it is clear that the competition for a position is narrowing. Do not include specific reference names or contact information on your resume.Other Categories: If there is additional information that you feel is important to include butt does not fit into any of these categories, you can create custom categories. Examples of custom categories may include Background, Professional Activities, and Recitals/Art Shows.
What do women want? When it comes to their careers, studies show, popular responses include options, opportunity, respect, geographical mobility and good pay.Fortunately, for many women-and their families-that can describe many of the jobs available in the skilled trades. Trade occupations can include aviation technician, automotive painter, construction equipment operator, welder, carpenter, decorator, chef, horticulturist, IT support analyst, florist, electrician, tool and die maker and water-well driller, to name a few.Why The Trades?Careers in the trades can offer a chance to contribute to society and the opportunity to be your own boss. Skilled trades touch every part of Americans' lives, from roads and homes to hospitals and schools. You can get hands-on training and a chance to "earn while you learn." What Does It Take?Some jobs need modest physical strength and endurance but most do not. Virtually all require intelligence and creativity as well as good reading, math and analytical skills. Thanks to technology, skilled trades are not "dirty," as they once may have been. Knowledge of computer software and mechanical systems is increasingly important. Opportunities On The RiseThis nation faces a looming shortage of skilled tradespeople. As the baby boomers retire over the next few years, the construction industry alone will be short more than 1 million workers.What About Pay?The salary ranges vary by job, location and experience but a skilled electrician can easily earn $70,000 a year. Apprentices and others may get less and the work for some is seasonal, while union members are often paid more than nonunion workers, report the experts at the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC). The organization was founded in 1955 to create a support network and enhance the success of women in the construction industry. It now has thousands of members around the world and has advanced the causes of all women in construction, from trades-women to business owners. According to the group, educational and career resources play an integral role in facing the challenges of this evolving industry.
A writer has the creative ability to draw word pictures. They have the ability to communicate through the written word. A writers work can be to write articles of fiction woven by a vivid imagination or to write articles covering non fiction like educational resources, news, reviews, technical documents, or articles on science, environment and health. Work could also entail creating summaries or huge tomes, writing for the web, researching on specific topics, or reporting on meetings and conferences.When choosing writing as a career choice you must consider whether you want a full time job or whether you would like to freelance.If you decide on freelance writing, the first thing you need to do is create a resume that highlights your talents. The second most important aspect is to create a list of clients. Networking, communicating well, and building a good relationship with clients is essential to freelance writing. Today the World Wide Web has opened up many more opportunities for freelance writers and there are job sites as well as sites where one can register and bid for projects.If you choose to work full time you have a great many options. You could be a journalist, web content writer, or resume writer. These are just a few examples of the umpteen choices a writer has. To be successful you must understand what the industry needs and sharpen your skills accordingly. Study the different writing styles as well as what constitutes good writing. To get the perfect job write a prize winning resume, next send out your resume with a brief but succinct covering letter to potential employers. Scan the classifieds as well as online job sites for vacancies that suit your profile. Consider registering with one of the agencies or online sites that specialize in jobs for writers. Another option is a paid job coach, agency, or resume blasting service.When you go for an interview be sure to take along with you writing samples, a resume, and any publications in which your work has been featured. Do your homework well and find out about the potential employer and the kind of writing they need. You must be able to convince the company why you are a good candidate.As a writer you must constantly update your skills to suit developments in the writing industry. Read writing tips given by experts, do a writing course, attend workshops and seminars. Become a member of professional writers guilds.Train yourself in the use of personal computers and desktop or electronic publishing systems. Learn how to research competently using the World Wide Web. Have a working knowledge of graphic design, page layout, and multimedia software. Statistics gathered by the US government indicate that 320,000 jobs were generally held by writers and editors of which more than 1/3 were self-employed. On an average, a full time writer could earn a salary of US$44,350 annually. And, if creativity flows from within you and your write a prize winning piece or best seller then you will soon be a millionaire.