SOPA and PIPA – What it All Means

Well online students of medical billing and coding, did you notice that yesterday, Wikipedia and many other favorite websites were intentionally darkened to protest something called SOPA and PIPA?  Made it rather tough to do any research for your Allen School Online course work I imagine.  It did succeed in raising the awareness about these two pieces of legislation being considered in the US House of Representatives and Senate respectively.  Both bills are nominally intended to combat the very real problem of online piracy of intellectual property.  Through illegal downloads of music, movies, artwork and other copyrighted materials, producers of these items lose billions annually.  The opponents of these bills are not pro-piracy, but they point out that the legislation as written, would provide an unchecked power to industry and government to shut down any website that is even accused of hosting pirated materials.  Your mashup of Justin Bieber and Spongebob Squarepants on Youtube?  That’d be plenty enough for a complainant to get Youtube shut down.  Supporters of these bills, the Recording Industry of America and bigtime TV and movie studios suggest that this is not the case.   Here is a quick primer on the bills and the controversy courtesy of CBS News.  Have a look at it and then share with us in the comments your opinion on the matter.  As online denizens, this legislation has an absolute impact on your life.  Learn, form an opinion and be heard!

Friday the 13th – Are You Superstitious?

Today is the first Friday the 13th of 2012.  This is a date that has come to be synonymous with bad luck.  Are you a superstitious person?  Will you be calling in sick from school or work today to avoid being outside where a stray piano might fall down upon your head?  Life magazine has a neat photo slideshow of Chicago’s Anti-Superstition Society’s Friday the Thirteenth party from 1940 wherein participants tempt the fates by engaging in act after act of superstition.  From the breaking of mirrors, to ambling beneath ladders, lighting 3 cigarettes with a single match and cozying up to a black puddy tat, these non-believers are reveling in their disregard for the consequences.  All in all, a pretty interesting photo spread and one worth viewing.  Just make sure you knock on wood, toss some salt over your right shoulder and wear a garland of garlic to hedge against unpleasant consequences!  Do you have any superstitions?  Tell us about them in the comments.

Medical Assistant: Best Bet for a Job in 2012

According to an article published by MSN Careers, Medical Assistant is one of the best bets for job hunters in 2012.   The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that there will be 34% growth in Medical Assistants’ jobs between 2010 and 2018 so if ever there was a time to be studying this in-demand field, it is now.  The broader medical/healthcare field dominated MSN’s list. Together with registered nurse, biomedical engineer and home health aide, medical jobs represented 4 out of the 9 jobs on the list which can be viewed here.

Take a Break, Improve Your Performance

Allen School Online Students know what it means to be multi-taskers.  Between studying medical billing and coding, many have full time jobs, households to run and many other challenging commitments to honor every day.  This is why some of us tend to be wound tightly, stressed and feeling like there aren’t enough hours in the day to accomplish all we are responsible for.  Here’s the answer to this condition:  TAKE A BREAK!  Yes, you heard me right.  And I am not being snarky either.  It has been proven that taking well planned breaks throughout your day can really help alleviate the stressful conditions that lead to anxiety, insomnia and other productivity-sapping ailments.  It seems counter-intuitive, but investing a little time in your own emotional well being can pay dividends in your job performance, demeanor and attitude.  All of which are crucial to success in business and in life.  Click here to read more about the details and science behind taking a break in this excellent article from LifeHacker.com.

Antibiotics in Food – Stopping the Rise of Superbugs

The Allen School Online blog has long covered the subject of MRSA and other so-called “superbugs” which are virulent strains of pathogens highly resistant to antibiotic treatment.  The long suspected culprit behind the rise of MRSA and other superbugs is the abuse of antibiotics by agri-business which continues to routinely include antibiotics in the feed used on poultry, cattle and hog farms.  The overuse of antibiotics is thought to promote the mutation of bacteria as all but the most resistant strains are eliminated.  Unfortunately, farm lobbies have effectively thwarted any attempts to regulate or eliminate this dangerous practice.  However, the public is ahead of Congress (as usual) in their support for such regulations.  Follow over the fold for some truly terrifying data.  Continue reading…

New Year, New Goals

Welcome back Allen School Online students.  The new year is now upon us and it holds exceptional promise for growth and advancement.  Especially if you’re preparing to enter the career force as a medical billing and coding professional.  It is also a time to refocus our energies on the goals we set forth for ourselves.  So after great reflection, what have you resolved to accomplish this year?  Share your resolutions, plans and goals with your fellow Allen School Online students in the comments section below.  Sharing your perspectives is a great contribution to your fellow students and a wonderful way to help articulate your plans.

Stories of Holiday Good Will

Sometimes this world can seem downright cruel.  All year long, the news is dominated by story after story of people doing horrible things each unto the other.  From large scale wars and crimes against humanity to the exploitation of the weak, old and infirm, there is much wickedness in these times.  It can almost make one throw their hands into the air and decide, disgustedly, to simply not care any more.But then, each December, as the holiday season really gets into swing, it seems as though people stop to think a bit more about how to exercise good will and increased kindness toward their fellow man.  Take for example this heartwarming story here.Then consider the man in Colorado who returned an unmarked casino envelope containing $10,000 in cash he found in the airport.Whether these stories exist because of a jaded media’s attempt to sow the illusion of good will toward men to capitalize on the holidays or because people truly do soften their hearts at the holidays, the net effect is to restore a bit of faith in humanity.  This is sorely needed as one’s faith in humanity, these days, is rightly shaken on a regular enough basis that it hardly shocks us anymore.This holiday season, remember to love your fellow travelers in this life and try to treat all you encounter with the kindness you’d wish to be treated with.

Top 10 Sites for Finding Medical Billing and Coding Jobs

Top 10 Medical Billing and Coding JobsHere is a list of the top ten sites aggregating job opportunities in medical billing and coding.  The list is courtesy of www.billingandcoding.com which has a lot of pertinent resources for those in possession of a certificate in medical billing and coding.
  1. AAPC: Visit this web site, which specializes in the business side of health care, including medical billing. Job openings and more resources for medical billers.
  2. All Things Medical Billing: Learn more about your career options, and look for job openings.
  3. Medical Billing Jobs and Career: Look for different medical billing job opportunities. Find our more about where you can work as a medical biller.
  4. Medical Billing Jobs: JobCircle offers medical billing jobs by state. A helpful resource for the intrepid job seeker.
  5. Medical Billing Work at Home: Find different opportunities for medical billers who want to work from home. Good job prospects.
  6. Medical Billing and Coding: Different job openings, as well as career information and help. A great place to start.
  7. American Medical Billing Association: Visit this web site for career help and information, as well as information on starting your own business and finding medical billing jobs.
  8. Medical Billing Specialist: Great resource for finding jobs related to medical billing. Job and career site.
  9. All Medical Billing Jobs: Search engine for medical billing jobs. Find what you’re looking for with this helpful tool.
  10. Medical Billing at Home: A look at how you can become a medical biller from your home.

Most Ridiculous Fast Food of 2011

I wait for this list every year.  We always cover “over the top” fast food creations on this blog for some reason.  Well this year’s list of the craziest or most wildly unhealthy food items has dropped.  Will someone puhLEEZE tell me how I missed the Doritos Taco Bell taco?  OMG!  That looks EPIC!  Let’s thank America’s purveyors of fast food for their assistance in providing customers for doctors and the medical billers they employ!   Enjoy the madness.