Are medical billing jobs from home viable? Here's my experience operating a medical billing business at home. At home medical billing jobs are possible. I also do some medical coding from home for certain clients.
OK...is this work from home stuff for real. Can you really sit at home and make a good living as a medical biller?
The short answer is yes you can. We'll discuss how this is possible from my own experience to give you an idea how it's possible and how realistic it is.
There are two ways medical billing jobs from home are possible:
I'll address the first scenario here since that's what I do.
My Experience - Medical Billing Jobs From Home
Medical billing jobs from home are possible due to the nature of the work. We do have to be in touch with insurance companies, patients, and healthcare providers. However most of this can be done by phone, fax, and email.
A lot of the work I do at home, such as medical coding and billing, can be done on any schedule as long as it's done promptly. Medical billers bear a lot of responsibility as the financial health of a practice is dependent on our performance.
There are some nights I can't sleep and I'll get up and work at 3:00 AM while my family is sleeping. Coding, entering and submitting claims is something that can be done any time of day. I strive for 24 hour turn around for entering claims. The sooner my provider gets paid, the sooner I get paid. Most insurance companies now have automated phone systems so checking on claim status is something that can be done anytime of day or night.
The benefits of medical billing jobs from home are:
The drawbacks are:
You have to be disciplined not to let it interfere with your home life. If you have a healthy business like mine there's a lot of activity - The phone's always ringing, faxes are coming in, emails, etc. - There's always something that needs to be done. If you don't set boundaries, this can really interfere with your home life.
I had my office upstairs near the heart of the house. Phones ringing and fax machine. Every time I walked by I felt obligated to work as I saw something to that needed to be done. We eventually finished our basement and I moved my office down there. That helped me to separate my work from home and brought some serenity to my home live. At the time I had just signed a new practice (on top of our existing clients) and was getting overwhelmed.
If you have employees they need to have access to your home. Depending on how your home is laid out this can be intrusive to your privacy. I employ other stay at home moms who work from their home part time as contractors.
I just give them an assignment and they can perform on their own schedule. Our medical billing software allows access to our server via Remote Desktop from any other PC. It's important to have policies in place to make sure all patient data is handled in compliance with HIPAA requirements.
Telecommuting Medical Billing Jobs From Home
Telecommuting is a work arrangement in which an employee enjoys flexibility in work location and hours. It requires a management by objectives philosophy based more on results as opposed to management by observation which relies on close scrutiny of individual employees.
Telecommuting is a great option for medical billing jobs from home - If your employer will allow it. If you’ve been working for your provider (or billing service, etc.) and have a record of producing results, your employer will probably be more willing to allow telecommuting. Since a lot of medical billing software systems are accessible remotely now, this is becoming much more common.
The nature of medical billing is such that its more of a back office function that doesn’t require a lot of interaction with the patients or provider - except to periodically answer questions or clarify diagnosis, procedures, etc. All you really need is access to a computer (connected to the Internet) and phone.
There’s also the possibility of doing freelance or contract work for billing services, doctors offices, or hospitals. But this kind of arrangement would take some work to establish your reputation and market your services. But again once you get the reputation for producing results - getting claims paid - word will get out and the clients will find you.
Start Your Own Medical Billing Business
My experience starting and operating a medical billing business has been very rewarding. I won't mislead you and tell you it's easy. I don't think starting any business is easy. If you have the drive and perseverance, your income potential is up to you.
You can build it as a large as you want or as small as you want. I've found the right balance in working from home and generating a comfortable income for our family. If I can do it with no formal education - anyone can.
If you are wanting to get started in medical billing at home I highly recommend the Medical Billing Books written by Alice and Michele. They are great at explaining the business of medical billing, marketing, and signing your first doctor.
They operate a successful medical billing business in NY so they speak from experience. I just wish I had these resources when I was starting a medical billing business - it would have saved me a lot of heartache and money. As long as there are doctors, there will be a need for billing services.
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