Audio Spanish Lessons – 3 Things I Wish I’d Known Before I Chose to Learn Spanish at Home

Audio Spanish lessons have been marketed as a fast and fun way to learn Spanish from home. This is true, however there are still a few things I wish I’d realized before I made the jump. Here are three of the main points I wish someone would have driven home to me before I chose to forgo the traditional learning method to go it alone.

1. It’s Not Going To Be A Walk In The Park

A sizable number of people, myself included at one point, do not realize how difficult learning at home, on your own can be. It can be a blast, but the delusions of grandeur about it being “easier, better, quicker and generally awesome” need to be tempered by some realities.

It can be all of the things mentioned above and more, but it also requires a sizable commitment and a large amount of self directed dedication and creativity. If done incorrectly, taking the non-traditional route can be harder, more frustrating, hopelessly annoying, and something that many people never want to do again. 

2. You’re Going To Need More Resources Than Even The Best Software Program Can Provide

Even the best “learn a language from home” software packages have their shortcomings, and it is unrealistic to expect to glean high level, or even intermediate level language skills without using other sources on top of whichever program is chosen to help you along the language learning path.

These “extra” resources do not have to be expensive, and they can include anything from a movie collection, to a book of verbs, to an internet chat group or anything else. This is one area where the creativity factor is important. All that matters is that you use what you learn from the chosen program in a variety of ways, and learn to think outside of the box.

3. No One Else’s Opinion Matters When It Comes To How You Should Learn

That’s right, it’s true, boy is it ever, but I wish someone would have made this clear to me from the beginning so I wouldn’t have had to keep fighting other people and their assorted methods and opinions. Know that anything is possible, and that stepping outside of the “norm” to learn something like a language on your own is an exciting adventure that can lead to greatness.

If you want to learn on your own, have courage and don’t give up on yourself, and don’t cave in to peer pressure and trade your audio Spanish lessons and home spun resources for the “typical method.”

What is Medical Billing Software & Who Are Qualified Medical Billers?

Few people today realize how complex the process of accurate medical billing has become. This has created a flood of new medical billing services and new medical billing software solutions. Not surprisingly, medical billing software scams abound.

It is critical therefore that both health care providers and those looking for employment as medical billing workers understand the advantages and disadvantages of various types of medical billing software and what it takes to become a qualified medical biller.

Medical Billing Is Hard!

If anyone thinks that processing medical claims is hard and confusing now — just wait, it’s about to get worse.

With the anticipated growth in Medicaid and payments linked to outcomes (because of health care reform), plus the coming huge expansion of diagnosis codes (from 14,000 ICD-9 codes to over 100,000 ICD-10 codes), the complexity is only growing – and at an accelerating pace.

Fortunately, sophisticated medical billing software exists to help health care providers automate and manage data. The danger, however, is that the software systems that have been developed in response to an increasingly staggeringly complex medical billing process have become themselves increasingly complex, and this has created a situation that is ripe for misusing these tools to not only accidentally over-reimburse but to submit false claims-with the attendant risks and penalties.

Types of Medical Billing Software Systems

In 2000, The Department of Health and Human Services ordered its Office of Inspector General to survey the different types of medical billing software to identify how the Medicare reimbursement process could be adversely affected. The Office of Inspector General surveyed four types of systems and identified their strengths and weaknesses:

Basic billing software relies heavily on user knowledge and entry skills. It is widely distributed by Medicare fiscal agents and the private sector. Users key most, if not all, claims information onto a claims facsimile. The software manipulates these entries to produce an electronic claim. Typical errors involve entry errors, incorrect or missing patient or provider information, incorrect or incomplete diagnosis codes or invalid Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes. Basic medical billing software, developed for mass markets, usually does not allow users to customize or override its programs. The greater risk of claim error is in data entry.

Informational software augments basic software capabilities. It uses data bases and linked files to recall patient, provider, diagnostic and service information. Invalid code combinations, missing diagnosis and other errors that might prevent processing of a claim can be brought to the user’s attention before the claim is submitted for payment. Informational software does not appear to generate erroneous claims. It provides tools to help providers code their claims accurately. Vulnerabilities are more likely to stem from improper software configuration and use. For example, limited procedure coding options for office visits may steer claim decisions to higher value procedure codes.

Interactive software combines and enhances basic billing and informational software capabilities. It can give the user options for correcting problems detected by the software. What distinguishes interactive software from other medical billing software is its ability to provide the user with information and the likely consequences (no pay, more pay, less pay) of their decision.

Proprietary software may present the greatest risk of misuse. This type of software is developed for a specific user. Inner workings of proprietary software may only be known to a single person or a select few. Hidden programs may add or modify claim information producing erroneous or fraudulent claims. Unlike commercially available software packages, manufactured for a broad market, proprietary software is created to meet a specific, single customer’s needs. Commercial software that produces inaccurate claims has a greater chance of detection and of being reported by honest medical providers. Proprietary software presents a vulnerability to Medicare because it is created for, and used by, a select few. Proprietary software, and not commercial software, poses the greatest risk of being intentionally designed to produce improper or inaccurate claims.

Summary: overall the results from The Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General were encouraging, i.e., companies creating commercial grade medical billing programs “pose little risk of producing erroneous or false claims.” They considered proprietary software, on the other hand, to be more “black boxes” with a higher risk of misuse or fraudulent use. In all systems, the likelihood of human error greatly outweighed the chances of software error.

It is worth noting that the emergence of EMR/EHR systems since this report was prepared raises an entirely new set of issues and concerns. These systems generally make it easy for providers to pick procedure and diagnosis codes (e.g. from a drop-down menu); however, if these products encourage providers to overuse particular codes, there can be substantial risk to the practice.

Qualified Medical Billers

Given these sophisticated software systems, one might think that the job of medical billing service providers has gotten easier. Indeed, almost everywhere you look today, i.e., online, in your email in-box, in magazines and newspapers, it doesn’t take long before you see an ad that claims you can earn a decent living, working at home no less, as a medical billing service provider-no experience necessary.

If this sounds too good to be true – it is.

The Federal Trade Commission has recently filed false advertisements charges against many companies that have sold at-home software package pages that supposedly allow one to work at home processing medical claims:

Few consumers who purchase a medical billing business opportunity are able to find clients, start a business and generate revenues-let alone recover their investment and earn a substantial income.

Most of the nation’s leading providers of medical billing software and medical billing services hire medical billers to perform charge entry, payment posting, denial management, A/R follow-up and other billing functions – but most will not to hire billers who work from home.

The training and certification of medical billers and coding specialists is typically strict. For example, many medical billing companies require their billers to be CPC (Certified Professional Code) certified, and such certification requires formal class work followed by a certification process from an industry-recognized institution.

Medical billing software is only going to get more complex going forward, and the demands on medical billing providers is going to increase, but for those with the right training and experience, their employment future is looking bright.

Software Sales Rep Success

How to be a Successful Software Sales Rep

Being a software sales rep can be a very exciting and lucrative career. The US economy is based on innovation and new technology, so the demand will always be high. Beyond that, CNBC recently reported that sales jobs are still in good supply because companies are focusing on hiring revenue-generating jobs. Essentially, sales jobs are always recession proof. That being said, being a good software sales rep will always be in demand and you will always have options, even in hard economic times.

Software sales jobs also offer opportunities to make a lot of money to anybody regardless of experience and education. Sales in general are meritocratic. That means regardless of experience or education, anyone who can get the job done can be successful. Sales jobs are one of the best jobs without a college degree.

In this article, I will give you tools on how to be a successful in software sales. If you are able to master these few things, you will be a successful.

Step 1

The first step in being successful is to find the right software company. That’s right, the first step of success has nothing to do with you. In order to grow good crop, you have to have good soil and good weather. No matter how hard you work and no matter how good a farmer you are, if the soil and weather is bad, you won’t be able to grow good produce. In the same way, being a successful sales rep starts with finding good soil and good weather.

Good Soil – Good Software Company

If you want good soil to grow your sales success in, find a good software company. What does that mean? First, find a software company with a good product and an innovative technology. There are many software companies with not so good software. If that is the case, it will be difficult to sell. How can you find out? Well, do some research and see if you can find out if the software company is growing. If the software company is growing, that probably means they have a good product and have good management. Even if a software company is big but is not growing, it’s a sign that you might not want to work there.

Good Weather – Good Industry

Find a software company in a growing industry. If a company makes software for a declining industry, it will affect the sales of the software company. Go into a new and growing industry. Get in on the ground floor in innovation. Some good new and growing industries is in green technology and software as service industries. But make sure the software company is developing products and services with a felt need and demand already existing in the market. Don’t work for a software company that is developing a product for an anticipated market. Make sure the market is already there.

Find good soil and good weather. Find a company with good software and good management. Find a company in an industry that is growing. Without these two components, you will be fighting uphill.

Step 2

The next thing you need to do is get over your fear of rejection. This is an area you will grow in, but you need to start the process. If you don’t grow in this area, you will not succeed. Here’s how you can get over your fear and reduce the emotional stress, strain and drain that can ensue.

Know and Believe in Your Product. This goes back to step 1, but you need to know and genuinely believe in your product if you are going to succeed. If you don’t honestly see the value and benefits of your product and how it’s better than your competitor, than you will never be able to get over the emotional uneasiness selling it. I don’t know if I could have stayed in the software companies that I’ve worked for if I didn’t genuinely believe in the product. Before I signed on to work as a software sales rep for a software company, I made sure I knew the product and the competitors to make sure I could sell it with passion and integrity.

Make It Impersonal Realize. that it’s not YOU they are rejecting, it is your software. If you genuinely believe in your product, than you can always go back to that conviction and let your fear and feelings of rejection go away. Remember, most people reject your software, not because it’s bad, but because they don’t really know how good it is. That’s your job is to make them realize how great your product is.

Believe the Best in People. When people reject you, there is a tendency to dislike, hate and rant against your prospects. There were many times I hung up the phone discouraged and even hurt when someone rejected my offering. Don’t give in to that or it will emotionally drain you over time and you won’t be able to sustain your tenure as a software sales rep. Give them the benefit of the doubt, and believe the best in them. I remember when I was a young sales rep working for a high tech software company. I called a prospect and he angrily hung up on me. Two weeks later, I was training someone on making cold calls, and decided I’d call this same prospect back as a training tool for my trainee. To my great surprise, he not only talked to me, but he ended up buying our software. When he angrily hung up on me, he didn’t know who I was, who I was with, what software I had. He was just having a bad day. It had nothing to do with me! Whenever someone rejects me, or I get tempted to have harsh feelings about them, I quiet myself and internally wish the best for them. I know, it sounds cheesy, but it works and I can make my next call happy, which makes a huge different in sales.

Step 3

Becoming successful in any sales is a numbers game. Keep track of the numbers. It’ll also give you an idea of product demand and areas for growth. Below are some of the numbers that the best software sales reps keep track of.

Cold Calling Dials. Virtually all sales involve large amounts of cold calling. At the very least, cold calling is where you’ll most probably need to start. So, the first category you’ll want to track is your cold calling numbers. Let me give you an idea of the volume of cold calling that is typical and necessary in most software sales jobs. The max you’ll be capable of doing is probably 150 cold calling dials a day. I once worked at a software company where this was the minimum requirement. It’s possible, but it’s hard.

One of the best sales reps we had made around 75 dials a day. This included cold calling as well as follow up calls and etc. But don’t think if you’re starting out that this is sufficient. This guy had tons of sales experience and new how to maximize his efforts. The only way to do that is by making calls. So when a sales rep is starting out, he/she should make at least 100-150 cold calls a day. This is the best way to practice and get better. Once you’re good enough to just make 50-75 calls a day, you’ll still have a full day, but with more purposeful and quality calling. But again, you can’t get there overnight and you ONLY get there by making the calls. At my last software sales job, I made around 50 cold calls a day, but that’s because I was also doing presentations as well.

Cold calling is very important, and I can’t emphasize it enough. It’s hard, but if you can press through the initial emotional turmoil and hit your stride, this will lead to your success as a sales rep. Remember, sales is a numbers game. Even if you’re bad at sales, if you’re product is decent and the market is large, you should be able to get sales just by calling tons of people.

Number of Appointments Set and Kept. Many software companies have started doing webinars to do sales presentations of their software. It’s an easy and efficient way to get that initial exposure to a potential client and it’s a great way to get you started without having to learn a ton or be able to do a great job at presenting the software. Typically, the best sales rep or one of the executives will run these webinars. If this is how your company is set up, you should shoot to get about 4-5 appointments per day. With good follow up, about 50-75% of those you made appointments with will actually show up. That means for every 4-5 people you sign up for a webinar, you’ll get about 2-3 people actually show up.

Closing Numbers. If you make 100-150 cold calls a day, you should be able to make 4-5 presentations per day. A good software package will have a 15-25% closing rate of those that showed up to a presentation. That means you should be able to close 2-4 sales a week, even if you’re not that great at cold calling.

Don’t Make Excuses for Not Making Calls. Sometimes software sales reps are so tired of making the calls that they allow themselves to get distracted by other “productive” activities like research, learning the software and other activities. Don’t fool yourself. If you’re not making the calls, you won’t succeed. Let yourself get a break now and then, but be realistic that it’s only a break until the real work of making the calls start again.

Also, don’t get over complicate the numbers game. Don’t get so bogged down by advanced numbers analysis that you stop making calls. I usually just make tick marks on my notepad while I’m making calls. It’s simple as that. Don’t get tempted to be sophisticated at the expense of actually making the calls. The quality of your sales skills will improve over time with practice, but don’t make the mistake of waiting until you’re ‘good’ to make the calls. Getting ‘good’ will only come with doing it.

Work from Home Software Sales Rep Jobs

To begin to find a good software sales rep jobs, you have to begin by finding a good company to work for with a good product.. Then you have to have the drive and discipline to make the calls and track the numbers. If you have these things ingrained in your value system, you are a great candidate for work from home software sales jobs. The great thing about software is that the product is electronic, which means you can showcase it on the internet and present it over the phone. Unlike a physical widget that people need to touch and feel, software doesn’t require that component.

Many companies have opted to hire sales people to work from home to save on employment costs, because these sales reps are generally independent contractors, and general overhead like building and equipment. And because it can be presented on the internet, you can do it from home. Software is a good industry to try to find a good and legitimate work from home job.