Thank You - Question on Getting Starting in Billing & Coding

by Jill

Gina,


Thank you for this website. I have just started an on line program. I am very nervous about it for many reasons.

I am a teacher and want to get out of teaching. The past 5 years I have encountered situations where a few people have mentioned that I should look into medical coding and billing and start take classes.

Real quick story, I had just moved to Las Vegas for a teaching job at age 40 with my two younger children. I was looking for a second job to supplement my low paying teaching job. I spoke to a business owner that does medical coding and billing. He gave me information and offered me to come by his place of business. I never went, but the idea has never left me and it's been in the back of my mind.

Through out the years you read information about the profession and read how the EMR industry is up due to the new laws.

One of my children has been ill since birth and I have been around doctors, hospitals, etc. for the past 20 years in 3 different states. One of the nurses that works for my daughters doctor does billing on the side. She was sharing information about the billing process, etc. I mentioned to her I have been thinking about entering a program, she discouraged me for a while.


Off and on during the past 5 years, I have looked into different start up businesses, where I can slowly move into and leave teaching.

I have started medical coding and billing program.

I guess what I am saying, asking is, I am getting nervous, after completing the medical coding and billing program, and the information I am reading on your site, I am understanding that I will need to work for a doctor in an office or a billing company, before even thinking of starting my own business.

Realistically, I have to keep teaching till everything takes off with medical coding and billing, will I be able to gain the experience while teaching? I do believe in hard work and I do believe when you want something bad enough, you can make it happen.

I am thinking now as I write my concerns that once summer comes and I have 4 weeks off, that's when I will be able to pursuit looking to gain that experience.

I am I being realistic?

Please advise
Sincerely
Jill

Response

Hi Jill,

You have a great and inspiring story.

I’m not really saying you have to work in a doctor’s office before you start a business, but anything to gain experience in the field will be a big help. The thing that bothers me about starting a medical billing coding business is these folks - and I’m sure you’ve seen a bunch on the internet - who sell these training programs that imply you can start a business once you complete their program. They may also be selling a software program too.

We fell victim to this before knowing better. They mislead people into buying their product(s) and imply that getting a doctor to use your services is simple - and that’s one of the biggest challenges in getting started. There’s just not a lot of doctors willing to turn over such an important function to someone just starting a business who has never filed a claim before. I hate seeing people taken advantage of but these folks overselling the medical billing business and giving it a bad name.

But I digress....When I got into billing, my husband and I followed the same route. We purchased a training program and software for probably over a thousand dollars - it was a complete waste of money! We sent out flyers to every medical practice we could find the address for. I was in a different situation because my husband had a good job and could support us while I learned billing and tried to market the business. We wanted to start a business to help provide us some financial independence and less dependence on his job - you never know when you’ll get laid off these days.

What inspired us is I had a friend who had a billing business. We both had two boys the same age who went to the same preschool and liked to play together and got along well. She and her husband came over for dinner one night and explained how they got started and what was involved. It was really valuable and helpful learning from their advice. What eventually happened is I ended up working part time for their company on A/R (accounts receivable) - which is just unpaid or rejected insurance claims. It was a great situation because there wasn’t a lot of immediate pressure to get claims paid like there is with a “real time” billing. It allowed me to learn the billing process and the business end also.

With your situation you may want to consider something like that - offering to work on a doctors accounts receivable accounts. Just about every doctor has a substantial amount outstanding because of unpaid claims, most times they don’t have the staff to work on it, it’s low risk for them, and they would be happy to get paid on some of it. Seems like doctors are much more receptive outsourcing their accounts receivables then turning over all their billing at first. It allows someone wanting to start a billing service or work from home to learn and prove themselves. Our friends who write the ebooks on billing and starting a business that are listed on our Medical Billing Books page refer to it as the “Porsche Drawer” - a drawer full of rejected or unpaid claims that’s enough money for a provider to buy a Porsche.

I also think the EHR/EMR medical records movement is going to present some great opportunities - just not sure exactly what they will be yet.

Thanks Jill for visiting the site. Hopefully our experiences have answered your question(s). With your education background getting into the field will be an easy transition. And it’s a great field to be in - especially when you get to work with great doctors.

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