Considering a career in medical billing as a business owner? Here’s our most frequently asked business related questions - From starting a medical billing business to medical billing business plans.
What does starting a medical billing business require?
The two biggest things you need in starting a medical billing business are a knowledge in medical billing and a client. Its hard to convince a doctor to turn over the most important tasks related to the practice income without having confidence in the billing service.
You’ll need to establish a company which is not a intimidating as it sounds. An accountant can give you guidance and help you set it up quickly. You also may need to get a business license depending on the requirements where you live. They are usually not very expensive.
Having your own business is another career in medical billing option for those who have worked in the field a while and have a lot of experience. That experience is a great selling point in convincing potential clients.
Here’s more information on starting a medical billing business.
What does it cost to start a medical billing home business?
It can cost a few thousand to several thousand depending on where you are. If you are already knowledgeable and experienced in medical billing, then you don’t have to spend the time and money to get trained and get experience. All you really need is getting started is to market yourself and get clients. But once you get that first client, you’ll need to invest in the necessary office equipment and practice management software if you don’t already have it.
Here’s more information on the cost associated with starting a medical billing business.
What are medical billing business plans and what should be considered?
A business plan for starting your medical billing business is basically a plan of what, when, and how you plan to accomplish your business goals. An written plan outlining your business strategy.
Here’s more information on medical billing business plans.
How do you answer doctors who are reluctant to outsource
The main reasons a doctor is reluctant to outsource their medical billing or change billing services is the disruption to their income, previous bad experience with a billing service, or the desire to have control over all the billing functions in house.
If you have a good track record in medical billing and can provide references or information to back it up, you can go a long way to addressing these fears. The best answer to this of course is a customer testimonial - it can be from a current client or former employer.
When you meet with a doctor, that’s a good opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge in medical billing and your ability to produce results. I’ve found one of the issues that really bug doctors is insurance claims that either don’t ever get filed, or get filed, rejected, and no one follows up on. They’ve put a lot of time and effort into providing their services to a patient, so when the claims aren’t paid, it really hurts financially. Doctors are under a lot of pressure now to accept lower payments from both government and commercial insurers.
One answer to this is to offer to continue using the doctors present billing system - if of course that's an option and you can access their system remotely. Or gradually transitioning to a new billing service or system.
Another good way to get a foot in the door is to work on a doctors insurance aging or unpaid claims. If you negotiate a good percentage, the doctor doesn’t risk anything and it gives you an opportunity to prove yourself. However working old claims can be very labor intensive.
Business FAQ for A Career in Medical Billing
What equipment and supplies do you need for a medical billing coding business?
You’ll need and office, computer, printer, phone, and the standard office supplies. Once you get a client you will need billing software or access to it, coding references, and possibly a fax machine - or you can just get a combination printer/fax.
When you start a medical billing business, expect to spend most of your time marketing your services.
Here’s some money saving tips when starting a business.
What the best medical billing software when starting?
This is one of those questions with no right answer. There are so many medical billing practice management software programs available and everyone has a differing opinion as to which is the best. And it depends on how you intend to use it. If its just for submitting claims than a simple basic program will do.
My advice is to use a program that’s been around a while, is widely used, and from a reputable and established company. Just about all software providers allow you to download a demo copy of their software for free. That’s a great way to see how it works and test drive it.
I use Lytec and AltaPoint a lot - and there’s features of both I like better on one than the other.
You should also consider online software providers - where you basically pay a monthly subscription for use of the software over the internet. It’s becoming increasingly popular and attractive.
Do I need a medical billing contract?
Yes - to protect your business and clarify your responsibilities and those of the client. A good contract can really save you a lot of grief. And if things get difficult between you and your client, it gives you protection.
Here’s more detailed information on medical billing contracts.
How do you get clients for a new physicians billing service?
For my career in medical billing, getting clients for a medical billing business is probably one of the biggest challenges I've faced. I’ve tried a variety of tactics to land that first client. The best approach is networking.
Become very knowledgeable on medical billing and the issues facing the healthcare industry with regard to reimbursement. If you can make a presentation on an issue like HIPAA or changes to Medicare insurance coverage, etc. This establishes you as an expert. Get involved in local organizations where medical professionals hang out. I know in our area Blue Cross Blue Shield has regular meetings to discuss current events with office managers, billers, doctors, etc.
Another good idea I haven’t tried is printing a regular newsletter on medical billing and mailing or handing out to practices in you area. You can get plenty of ideas on the internet and there are always changes in healthcare that affect physicians reimbursement.
Another tactic is to offer services that are useful to a physician but they may not have the staff to do in-house - like send out or call with appointment reminders, birthday cards, advertisements or promotional services, etc. This is a good way to get a foot in the door.
I really think a service just dedicated to promoting a doctors practice - especially new ones - is a great niche just by itself.
Depending on how competitive the business is in your area, you may have to get creative to differentiate yourself from the competition.
Other Frequently Asked Questions related to a career in medical billing are on the individual pages below - just click on the link to take you there:
Business FAQ for A Career in Medical Billing
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