New Jobless Claims Falling

Lucky for you you’ve decided to work in a field that promises uninterrupted growth.  And the nature of medical billing and coding is such that it seems unlikely that the work could ever be outsourced to a foreign country.  Despite that good news, the economic picture still has an impact on overall hiring and it continues to look dicey out there.  However, very recently there seems to be a modest drop in the number of new claims for unemployment assistance.  This may be an indicator of slow growth in hiring.The Labor Department said Thursday that the number of people seeking benefits dipped by 6,000 to a seasonally adjusted 388,000 for the week that ended March 26. That’s the second decline in three weeks.Applications near 375,000 or below are consistent with a sustained increase in hiring. Applications peaked during the recession at 659,000.Click here for more details.

Don’t be a Member of the Procrasti-Nation

We all succumb at one time or another to the pitfalls of procrastination.  Whether it is putting off studies, yard work, dieting or something else requiring effort, none of us is immune to the powerful desire to simply say, “I’ll do it tomorrow”.  In a post written by Sadhguru, founder of the non-religious Isha Foundation, he offers the following Indian parable.
“There is a popular superstition in some villages in India. As soon as the sun sets, the villagers fear that ghosts and demons will come to their homes. So in order to save themselves, they have a sign painted in red at the door that reads “Naale Baa,” meaning “Come Tomorrow.” The idea is that, on seeing the message, the ghosts and demons will know that they are supposed to visit this house the next day. But as tomorrow never comes, neither do the demons! Isn’t that wonderful?”
Click here to read his entire post on how to avoid the powerful pull of procrastination in your daily life.

The Evolution of Medical Science

The World's First X-ray Device

The medical industry evolves quickly and new advancements seem to occur almost weekly.  It is always instructive to look back 50 or a hundred years for real perspective on how far along the industry has come.  The work you will do upon enterring this field as a medical biller/coder will surely look very different 50 years from today.  We can only wonder what it may look like.  We know that electronic records keeping is a growing trend that will change the face of the medical office.  Dutch medical inventors H J Hoffmans and Lambertus Theodorus van Kleef couldn’t have imagined the modern MRI or CAT scanner when they developed the world’s first x-ray scanner in the late 1800s.  Read about their breakthrough in this fascinating article.

Top Ten Job Interview Fashion Blunders

Carole Martin writes for Monster.com an excellent article about how to “dress for success” at the job interview.  Click here to read the entire piece.  But the top 10 list of common sartorial mistakes are shown below.Wild Nail Polish: This tip is for women or men. Extremely long or uncut nails are a real turnoff, too. Your nails should be groomed and neat.   Jangly Jewelry: Don’t wear more than two rings per hand or one earring per ear. And no face jewelry or ankle bracelets allowed.  Open-Toed or Backless Shoes: And mules are a definite no-no. Out-of-date shoes should be thrown out or kept for other occasions.  Bare Legs: Wear stockings, even in humid summer weather. Stockings can be in neutral colors or a fashion color to match your shoes.  Out-of-Date Suits: These have lapels that are too wide (three inches or more) or too narrow (one inch or less). A good tailor can alter lapels. The style for men’s jackets is full-body and looser rather than fitted or tight.  Short Skirts: Hemlines should not be more than three inches above the knee. Don’t wear capri pants or leggings to the interview.  Leather Jackets for Men or Women: Even leather blazers are not good for interviewing purposes. They look like outerwear.  Turtlenecks for Men: A tie is preferable, at least in the first go-round. At the very least, wear a collared shirt.  Printed or Trendy Handbags: Purses should be conservative and inconspicuous.  Red Briefcases: Briefcases, purses and shoes should all be conservative in color and in good condition.

Online Students, Take Care of Your Computer

Online students reap enormous benefits from studying in a virtual environment.  Better time management, schedule flexibility, improved mobility and avoiding a commute to campus are among some of the greatest perqs of online education.  All that convenience is unlocked through technology.  Specifically, through your personal computer.  Whether it is a desktop in your home, the laptop you use while stationed in your favorite coffee shop or the tablet you use while sitting in the park, these machines are essentially your golden tether.  Without them, you’d either have to take classes on campus or spend a big chunk of dough to replace them.  So it makes sense to take good care of your machine.  But many don’t really know what is required to properly maintain their computer and keep it running as well as it did when they first bought it.  Many even spend good money to pay for “nerd squads” or other tech support outfits whose business model relies on peoples’ aversion to doing their own system maintenance.  But why pay for this preventative maintenance when you can do it for yourself for free?  Read this article from Wired magazine’s how-to wiki on easy computer maintenance practices that can keep your machine humming along nicely and save you a bundle.

Food & Wine’s Best Burgers in the US

In-N-Out Burger, "Animal Style"

This blog periodically covers the topic of fast food and its impact on culture, wellness and society.  I have also written several times about my personal favorite, In-N-Out Burger, the west coast chain that haunts my dreams as an east coast denizen.  Well, Food & Wine magazine publushed its annual list of the best burgers in the US and In-N-Out was at the top of the list!  For us here in the NYC area, the list includes several contenders from the Big Apple.  Minella’s Tavern, the Spotted Pig and Shake Shak all made the list.  As did Peter Luger’s, the legendary steakhouse in Williamsburg.  But if I am going to Luger’s I am eating steak, not burgers.  Where is your favorite burger place?

As If Busy Students Needed an Excuse

Happy to report I found this research which seems to promote the idea that moderate coffee consumption is actually good for you!  Yes, science finally catches up to what this blogging genius already knows.  Coffee RAWKS.  But seriously, the high anti-oxidant content of coffee seems to have a positive effect on brain plasticity, liver and heart functions and a host of other benefits.  Read all about the good news in this article from Eating Well magazine’s Dr. Kerri-Ann Jennings.

Spam King Released From Prison

Robert Soloway, King of Spam

Just when you thought it was safe to open your email box again…  You probably don’t know Robert Soloway, but it is a certainty that your email box has been the victim of his decade-long, spam spree.  This fellow made a fortune using techniques of questionable legality to flood your inbox with offers for Viagra, porn, Christian singles and counterfeit Prada bags.  In 2007, the law finally caught up to him and he served nearly 4 years for his transgressions.  As online students, you’re probably grateful that he’s been punished for wasting so much of your time cleaning out the spam.  He’s paid his debt to society now though and has sworn off his old, evil ways.  But just in case, a condition of his release from prison requires his emails to be monitored by law enforcement.  Gone are his Mercedes Benzes, Gucci shoes and all his ill-gotten gains.  He now works in a copy shop for $10/ hr.  Maybe Mr. Soloway, you’re interested in a more lucrative new career in Medical Billing and Coding?  You can study it online!

How You Look Affects Your Paycheck

This guy ALWAYS gets passed over for promotions!

This guy ALWAYS gets passed over for promotions!

For those of you getting ready to graduate and enter the workforce in your new career, consider the article here from the Business Insider courtesy of Yahoo!.   In this piece, we are shown the statistics illustrating that how you look has a material impact on how you’re treated and how much you earn in the market.  Cleanshaven men without any balding earn higher than their analogs who are losing hair or growing it on their faces.  Conservatively dressed women earn better than their more revealingly dressed counterparts.  Read the entire piece to learn how you can present yourself to earn the most on the job.

How to Get Paid What You’re Worth

WIRED magazine’s DIY section brings us another excellent piece.  Today’s topic is how to get paid what you’re worth when seeking a job.  Follow these easy steps to increase your chances of not only landing a job, but one in which you’ll be compensated commensurate with your abilities and experiences.1 Use an online salary calculator 2 Schmooze, schmooze, schmooze 3 Commit to negotiating 4 But don’t be a jerk 5 Negotiating Strategy 6 Discount future earnings 7 Above all, be flexible 8 Keep your eyes open 9 FinallyClick here to read the details of this strategy and get paid what you’re worth!