Medical Billing and Coding Jobs
So what’s it like to work for a medical insurance billing services company? I’ll try to give you an idea of what to expect based on my experiences both working for and owning/operating a medical insurance billing company. A medical billing service can be a good place for those looking for entry level medical billing jobs. That’s how I got started in this business.
Typically casual or business casual. Since most who work for a medical billing service don’t deal with patients or providers face-to-face very often, there’s really no need to dress formally.
It can be a very casual and fun environment, as long as the work gets done. Those who meet with the client are usually required to dress at least business casual as the billing service wants to project a professional image to their clients.
Medical billing is a good work from home job if the situation is right. Of course you must comply with HIPAA privacy and security requirements when handling and accessing patient information. But it does lend itself well to flexible working hours. Many practice management electronic medical billing software systems are accessible remotely. All you really need is a good computer and access to the Internet.
Typical hours are 40 a week. Start and stop hours are usually pretty flexible as long as someone is available to respond to phone calls during normal business hours. As a medical billing business owner, it’s important for clients and their patients to be able to reach someone regarding a billing question during normal business hours.
When there are deadlines to be met – like at the end of the month – or new clients need to be set-up, there may be an opportunity for additional hours and pay.
Hourly pay for medical billing specialists varies anywhere from $10/hour for entry level medical billing jobs to $15/hour and up for experienced medical billing specialists. Of course this depends a lot on the size of the medical insurance billing company, metro area, experience, job market, etc. There’s more detailed medical billing specialist salary info here.
Of course if you take on a managerial or supervisor roll, the salary has a lot more potential – especially for productive and trustworthy employees. And of course if you own the medical insurance billing services company the income potential is much higher. This of course depends on the number of clients and how large their practice is.
Being a Business Owner
However starting a medical insurance billing services company isn’t for everyone. You have to have good business skills, the ability to market and present yourself well to clients, work well under pressure, and be able to manage and prioritize.
But it can be financially rewarding. If you have just one good practice that grosses $80,000 a month, at the typical fee of 7-8% (depending of course on services performed), this can reach $5,600 to $6,400 a month. Of course you do have some significant expenses servicing a practice such as this example. But as you can see having a few good clients can be very lucrative. Of course you have to produce results.
Servicing a busy practice means they depend on your medical insurance billing services company to get paid promptly and follow up on any unpaid claims. Otherwise they will find someone else to do it! It is a business after all.
Physicians are under tremendous pressure to accept lower fees for their services. To do this they must watch costs make sure every claim is getting coded, submitted, and paid promptly and accurately. This is especially difficult on smaller practices.
Here’s some of the typical job tasks an employee of a medical insurance billing services company can expect to perform:
- Data entry. Enter patient data and medical billing codes. It’s very helpful to be familiar with the treatment and diagnosis codes to recognize potential coding errors.
- Creating electronic and paper claims and submitting these claims for payment. Paper claims are simply mailed to the insurance company. Electronic claims are sent (or uploaded) to the clearinghouse service or insurance company.
- Prepare patient statements
- Post insurance payments
- Respond to patient billing questions
- Running reports
There’s more detailed description and discussion of the tasks of the medical billings specialist here.
In summary working for a medical insurance billing services employer can be a very enjoyable job. It’s also a great way to get into medical billing as a billing services company is more likely to hire and train inexperienced people as long as they have other good working traits or references.