MCCC Medical Assisting Graduates Earn 100 Percent Pass Rate On National Certification Examination

Blue Bell/Pottstown, PA —One-hundred percent of Montgomery County Community College’s (MCCC) 2016 Medical Assisting Certificate Program graduates who participated in the American Medical Technologist’s certification examination for Registered Medical Assistants passed the examination and attained their national certification credential.

The 27 students are: Gabrielle Altomare, North Wales; Joyce Birmingham, Pottstown; Michelle Bruce, Telford; Olivia Buszta, Pottstown; Anna Chandler, Boyertown; Courtney Cravero, Blue Bell; Allyson Forbes, Douglassville; Vanessa Fosco, Norristown; Lakshmiee Gosine, Telford; Rebecca Hanson, Hatfield; Ashley Heffner, Gilbertsville; Rockeisha Kelsey, Norristown; Rachel Krantz, Collegeville; Allison Lackovich, Willow Grove; Nicole Lentz, Pottstown; Maria Martinez; Jaclyn Murphy, Pottstown; Kaitlyn Murphy, Schwenksville; Carmen Orellana, Elkins Park; Elizabeth Raihl, Pottstown; Bridget Rapp, Gilbertsville; Isabella Rotta, Royersford; Jessica Ruben, King of Prussia; Toni Sacerdote, Pottstown; Natasha Scott, Lansdale; Gina Stella, Lansdale; and Vania Trujillo, Souderton.

Since its inception in 2001, the Medical Assisting Program has achieved a cumulative pass rate of 99.5 percent on the RMA national credentialing exam. The program is offered at both West Campus in Pottstown and Central Campus in Blue Bell.

Medical assistants serve a vital role in healthcare delivery, particularly in the care management of a growing aging population. Employers, including hospitals and larger medical practices, are more likely to hire a medical assistant who has demonstrated professionalism through the attainment of the RMA occupational credential.

MCCC’s Medical Assisting Certificate Program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs on recommendation of the Medical Assisting Education Review Board.

For additional information, contact Medical Assisting Program Director Kathleen Schreiner at 610-718-1812 or email kschreiner@mc3.edu.

New Program Prepares Students For High Priority Employment As Pharmacy Technicians

Blue Bell, PA —Pharmacy technician jobs are expected to grow by 20 percent through 2022—nine percent higher than the average growth rate for all occupations nationally according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook.

The demand holds true in Pennsylvania as well. Pharmacy Technician is designated as a High Priority Occupation in the Commonwealth, which ranks fourth among states in the number of pharmacy technicians currently employed.

To help fill the demand in this growing field, Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) is offering a 50-hour Pharmacy Technician program on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6-9:30 p.m. starting on Oct. 15 and running through Dec. 8. Classes will be held at MCCC’s Central Campus 340 DeKalb Pike, Blue Bell.

The cost of attending the Pharmacy Technician program is $1,995, which includes the course textbook. The program is approved by PA Career Link for students who qualify. Students should have, or be pursing, a high school diploma or GED to enroll. To learn more or to register, call 215-461-1127 or email grossett@mc3.edu.

MCCC’s Pharmacy Technician program prepares students to work in the pharmacy field and to take the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board’s national exam, among other national and state certifications. The courses cover key topics such as pharmacy calculations; medical terminology; skills to read and interpret prescriptions; review of the top 200 drugs; skills to identify drugs by generic and brand names; dosage calculations, IV flow rates, drug compounding and dose conversions; the dispensing of prescriptions; inventory control; and billing and reimbursement.

In addition to the first fall cohort, the Pharmacy Technician program will also be offered with day, evening and weekend classes this spring at both MCCC’s Central Campus in Blue Bell and its West Campus, located at 101 College Drive, in Pottstown.

The Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry reports that candidates with formal training or prior experience have the best opportunity for employment as pharmacy technicians. In 2012, the median salary for pharmacy technicians was $29,320 nationally.

To learn more, visit http://www.mc3.edu/academics and click on Areas of Study, followed by Health Sciences, then Career Training Programs.

UPMC Offering Buyouts To 3,500 Employees In Cost-Cutting Move

DSC01840UPMC is offering buyouts to 3,500 of its older workers in a move to cut costs as the Pittsburgh hospital giant adjusts to slowing demand for hospital-based care.

The nonprofit organization said Tuesday that it was offering the voluntary severance to employees who are 60 or older and have at least 10 years of service. The offer, which was made to 5.6 percent of UPMC’s total workforce, includes medical and dental benefits, severance pay and a one-time cash payment of $15,000, UPMC said in a statement.

“This program both honors and respects long-term staff members who are ready to move to the next phase in life and, simultaneously, helps achieve cost-savings for UPMC by adjusting our workforce to meet the demands of the health care marketplace,” the statement said.

UPMC is the state’s largest private employer, with about 62,000 workers.

Read more: http://triblive.com/business/headlines/8442119-74/upmc-health-largest#ixzz3bM0tSWNm
Follow us: @triblive on Twitter | triblive on Facebook

York Budget: Backlash Against Proposal Begins

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting York County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting York County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hours after York Mayor Kim Bracey outlined her proposal to dramatically reduce the city’s work force, including deep cuts to public safety forces, in order to close an anticipated $7 million budget gap, public backlash began.

“I’m ashamed for the city,” said James Waughtel during public comment at a City Council meeting Tuesday night, calling the potential loss of police and fire personnel “extremely devastating.”

Read more from Tuesday night’s City Council meeting.

Members of the fire union also lined the council chambers to listen as Bracey presented her plan to council members.

Read more: http://www.ydr.com/politics/ci_26971075/york-budget-backlash-against-proposal-begins

Lancaster General Hospital Surplus Soars After Several Years Of Decline

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After five straight years of shrinking “profits,” Lancaster County’s biggest nonprofit hospital turned things around last year — due in large part to cost cutting.

Lancaster General Hospital’s surplus, or revenues over expenses, ballooned to $92.6 million in 2012-2013, up 54 percent from the previous year and the highest total since 2007-2008, according to the hospital’s IRS Form 990, released earlier this summer.

The hospital’s parent firm, Lancaster General Health, inched closer to becoming a billion-dollar organization in 2012-2013, with total revenues of $919.8 million and a surplus of $100.7 million.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/news/local/lgh-surplus-soars-after-several-years-of-decline/article_2a806084-2f92-11e4-8770-001a4bcf6878.html

Geisinger Health System Freezes Open Positions

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montour County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montour County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Geisinger Health System this spring temporarily froze about 400 open positions, bracing for an estimated $50 million reduction in profitability in fiscal year 2015.

The decision reflects cuts in federal reimbursement payments and the health system’s effort to extensively evaluate each opening, officials said.

About 225 positions remain unfilled, with about 30 percent of those jobs located in Northeastern Pennsylvania, said chief human resource officer Amy Brayford in an emailed statement.

She said the openings span the entire health system, which serves more than 2.6 million residents across 44 counties in central and Northeastern Pennsylvania. Most of the positions do not provide direct patient care.

Geisinger Health System employs about 21,000 people.

Read more: http://citizensvoice.com/news/geisinger-freezes-open-positions-1.1714049

Job Prospects For Luzerne County Grads? Cashier Tops The List

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Graduating and looking for a job in Luzerne County?

Your best bet: Cashier. Second best bet: Retail salesperson. Keep going down the list; with few exceptions, the fastest growing occupations around here are in low-paying, low-skill jobs.

Or you can scan the state’s “High Priority Occupations” list for the county, an attempt “to align workforce training and education investments with occupations that are in demand by employers, have higher skill needs and are most likely to provide family sustaining wages,” according to the state Department of Labor & Industry.

Of 2,202 projected annual openings in 111 high priority occupations ranging from accountants to welders, 1,419 of them — 64.4 percent — generally require no more than a high school degree, valuing on-the-job training more.

Read more: http://timesleader.com/news/local-news-news/1408957/Grads-face-rough-job-market

Enhanced by Zemanta

How VA Clinics Falsified Appointment Records

WASHINGTON — Fake appointments, unofficial logs kept on the sly and appointments made without telling the patient are among tricks used to disguise delays in seeing and treating veterans at Veterans Affairs hospitals and clinics.

They’re not a new phenomenon. VA officials, veteran service organizations and members of Congress have known about them for years.

The “gaming strategies” were used to make it appear veterans were getting appointments within target times set by the department, according to a 2010 department memo to VA facility managers aimed at fighting the practices.

Read more: http://timesleader.com/news/local-news-news/1424666/How-VA-clinics-falsified-appointment-records

Enhanced by Zemanta

Pittsburgh Renting Rates Rising Quickly

A map of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with its nei...

A map of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with its neighborhoods labeled. For use primarily in the list of Pittsburgh neighborhoods. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If it seems as though rental prices in Pittsburgh have been in a bull market over the past several years, that’s because they have.

While large metro areas like New York and San Francisco have grabbed headlines for their sky-high rental prices, Pittsburgh’s rental market is actually rising at a faster rate than New York’s, according to a study from personal finance website NerdWallet.

“We were looking at growth rates, rather than cities with the highest rents, and Pittsburgh is in a rapid economic growth period now,” said Divya Raghavan, a senior analyst for NerdWallet in San Francisco. “While New York and San Francisco are already well-established top cities in the U.S., Pittsburgh is considered an up and coming city.”

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/business/finance/2014/04/18/Pittsburgh-renting-rates-rising-quickly/stories/201404180004#ixzz2zGE35Ub1

Enhanced by Zemanta

Business Forum: Steel, Health Dare And Future Wealth Of Our Robotic Region

Locator map of the Greater Pittsburgh metro ar...

Locator map of the Greater Pittsburgh metro area in the western part of the of . Red denotes the Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area, and yellow denotes the New Castle Micropolitan Statistical Area, which is included in the Pittsburgh-New Castle CSA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A city that doesn’t make things can never be a real city.

The Steel City got its name and built its international reputation by making the best metal products in the world. For Hollywood, wealth and fame came from making the greatest motion pictures the world has ever seen. Silicon Valley earned its place in history by giving us the personal computer, the cell phone and just about every other indispensable high-tech gadget you can think of.

In the aftermath of the dismantling of the steel industry, Pittsburgh was especially fortunate to have a world-class health care and university system. These gems allowed us to sidestep the ruinous fate that has befallen other Rust Belt cities such as Detroit and Gary, Indiana.

However, in the long run those regional assets will not be enough to elevate this metropolitan statistical area and its wealth back to the level it enjoyed during the middle of the last century.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/business/Biz-opinion/2014/02/15/Steel-health-care-and-future-wealth-of-our-robotic-region/stories/201402150066#ixzz2tPa3gmXI

Enhanced by Zemanta

LVH-Cedar Crest Undergoing $21 Million Expansion

English: Lehigh Valley Hospital, Allentown, PA...

English: Lehigh Valley Hospital, Allentown, PA, USA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Lehigh Valley’s biggest hospital is getting bigger.

Lehigh Valley Hospital-Cedar Crest has begun a $21.4 million expansion of its Kasych Family Pavilion in response to patient demand.  When it is done, the hospital will have added 24 patient rooms and three floors to the south tower.

Read more: http://www.mcall.com/news/breaking/mc-lehigh-valley-hospital-expansion-20130821,0,6465139.story#ixzz2cetZgxiB
Follow us: @mcall on Twitter | mcall.lv on Facebook

Expansion Prescribed For Reading Hospital

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United Stat...

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United States with township and municipal boundaries (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Reading Health System plans to build a $354 million clinical building on its West Reading campus, a move hospital officials say could keep more Berks County patients in the area for their medical care.

“What we’re really doing is upgrading what we currently have and bringing some of our facilities into the 21st century,” said Mark McNash, vice president of support services for the Reading Health System.  “We’re excited to offer state-of-the-art surgical facilities for the community.”

Construction of the eight-story building on Seventh Avenue and Parkside Drive will begin in September.  It will take three years to complete, McNash said.

Health system officials say they are undertaking the ambitious and expensive project because the hospital building is outdated in some respects.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=500297

Phoenixville Hospital Furloughs Come On Heels Of $4B Acquisition Deal

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Chester County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Chester County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Editor’s note:  Thanks for going there, Evan!  I was complaining about this very thing today.  They have billions to spend on buying more hospitals but then turn around and cut jobs.  Makes no sense to me!  You would think the time to buy would be if you were flush with cash.  Now they will own two hospitals in Lancaster once this deal goes through as well.

PHOENIXVILLE — One day after Pottstown Memorial Medical Center furloughed 30 employees for 90 days, The Mercury has confirmed that similar furloughs occurred at Phoenixville Hospital.

Phoenixville Hospital spokesperson Lori Cunningham confirmed Thursday that the full-time equivalent of 24 employees in “clinical, non-clinical support and administrative departments” have been furloughed.

News of the staff reduction occurs at the same time that the company that owns both hospitals, Tennessee-based Community Health Systems Inc., is planning a $3.9 billion purchase of Florida-based Health Management Associates Inc., which also operates hospitals around the country.

Cunningham said the furloughs at Phoenixville, which she described as “not scheduling a small number of employees in various departments,” have “no definitive time line.  As always, staffing is dependent upon patient volume and clinical needs.”

Read more:   http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20130731/NEWS01/130739803/phoenixville-hospital-furloughs-come-on-heels-of-4b-acquisition-deal#full_story

What Lancaster County’s 4 Hospitals Made In Profits In 2012

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The bottom line is starting to look healthier for local hospitals, which saw profits of between $7 million and $65 million in 2012 after some recent lean years.

All four hospitals saw an increase in profits, with two sister hospitals here seeing the biggest leap, according to a new state report.

All of the hospitals also had robust profit margins, according to the report by the Pennsylvania Health Cost Containment Council.

One local hospital official, however, said things might not be as good as they appear, due to the fact that the data included in the report does not include losses from hospital-owned physician practices.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/article/local/849894_What-Lancaster-County-s-4-hospitals-made-in-profits-in-2012.html#ixzz2TQB2Ff8W

Hospital Charges A Mystery To Many

If you need hip replacement surgery, you will face a wide range of charges here, depending on the hospital you choose.

Lancaster Regional Medical Center charged the most for major joint replacement surgery, $60,434, of the four hospitals here, according to a recent federal report on 2011 charges.

Across town, Lancaster General Hospital charged the least, $37,761, about $23,000 less than Regional.

But hang on to your crutches, patients.  There’s more.

Though LGH charged the least, Medicare, the federal insurance for the elderly paid it the most of all the hospitals here, $13,400.

Confused yet? Join the club.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/article/local/848413_Hospital-charges-a-mystery-to-many.html#ixzz2T2HQPO3o

Einstein Medical Center Montgomery Expanding

Location of East Norriton Township in Montgome...

Location of East Norriton Township in Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

EAST NORRITON – It’s been barely six months since the shiny new Einstein Medical Center Montgomery debuted on the site of the old “Woody’s” golf course, and already the hospital is growing.

Expansion to the latest addition of the Einstein Healthcare Network – essentially a conversion of the west wing of the medical center’s fourth floor – came a bit sooner than anticipated, noted Beth Duffy, Chief Operating Officer of Einstein Medical Center Montgomery.

“We really thought it would happen a year or two down the road, but the early success of Einstein Medical Center Montgomery has created the need for additional patient care areas.”

Luckily, expansion opportunities were built in during the original construction, Duffy explained.

Read more:  http://business-news.thestreet.com/the-times-herald/story/einstein-medical-center-montgomery-expanding-2/1

Hospitals Become Key Players In Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Economy

Locator map of the Scranton-Wilkes-Barre Metro...

Locator map of the Scranton-Wilkes-Barre Metropolitan Statistical Area in the northeastern part of the of . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After a massive consolidation of the region’s health care industry, Community Health Systems has become the largest private employer in Northeast Pennsylvania.

With about 6,500 employees at eight area hospitals and nonhospital entities, Community Health Systems has even surpassed Tobyhanna Army Depot, which has about 5,400 workers.

“Whenever you have an employer that size, clearly that has a huge impact on the economy, not just for the people we employ, but those folks go out and buy houses and cars and gas,” said Cornelio Catena, CEO of Wilkes-Barre General Hospital and Commonwealth Health, the umbrella group for Community Health Systems’ area hospitals.

“It’s a huge economic contributor to our area.”

Read more: http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/hospitals-become-key-players-in-region-s-economy-1.1387891

Pottstown Memorial Medical Center Awarded Certification From The Joint Commission

POTTSTOWN, PA – Pottstown Memorial Medical Center has earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval for Joint Replacement – Hip and Knee by demonstrating compliance with The Joint Commission’s national standards for health care quality and safety in disease-specific care. The certification award recognizes PMMC’s dedication to continuous compliance with The Joint Commission’s standards.

PMMC underwent a rigorous on-site survey in July. A team of Joint Commission expert surveyors evaluated PMMC’s Joint Replacement program for hip and knee for compliance with standards of care specific to the needs of patients and families, including infection prevention and control, leadership and medication management.

“In achieving Joint Commission certification, Pottstown Memorial Medical Center has demonstrated its commitment to the highest level of care for joint replacement of hip and knee patients.” says Jean Range, M.S., R.N., C.P.H.Q. executive director, Disease-Specific Care Certification, The Joint Commission. “Certification is a voluntary process and I commend PMMC for successfully undertaking this challenge to elevate its standard of care and instill confidence in the community it serves.”

Read more: http://business-news.thestreet.com/the-mercury/story/pmmc-awarded-certification-the-joint-commission-0/1

Urgent-Care Clinic Opens In Carbondale Months After Hospital Closes

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lackawanna County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lackawanna County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

CARBONDALE, PA – When Marian Community Hospital closed in late February, Upvalley residents had no other options for immediate care between Honesdale and Scranton.

Helping fill health care needs in the area, Pioneer City Urgent Care, a seven-day-a-week clinic, has opened to treat anything from bronchitis to earaches and bone fractures.

“Having an urgent-care clinic in our city is vitally important to our residents and the surrounding area,” said Carbondale Mayor Justin Taylor, a former emergency medical technician. “This is really the first line of defense with anyone with a medical situation.”

Jaime A. Cook, R.N., practice manager for the clinic and a registered nurse, said people should consider the new facility instead of driving out of the area for medical assistance.

Read more: http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/urgent-care-clinic-opens-in-carbondale-months-after-hospital-closes-1.1350312