Should I get my medical billing certificate from AAPC or somewhere else before I start my own business?

by Erin M
(Springfield, OR)

Hi! I am contemplating starting my own medical billing business and I was wondering if I should get my medical billing certificate from AAPC or some other institution before I start.


I have been working in medical for over 20 years. I have experience doing coding, A/R, prior authorizations and have worked at a health insurance company in Health Services (PA and Nurse Case Management Dept)as well as every front office job in a medical clinic.

Given my experience, do you think furthering my education would be helpful? My idea is to focus on small practice, single practitioner outpatient mental health providers. I've done billing for this type of provider in the past and it was the simplest and easiest to get paid billing I've ever done.

My thought is that practitioners of this type could be part time, have no staff and still have a profitable business with quick claim turnaround times and professional customer service for their clients. I live in Oregon and these types of practices are especially common in rural communities where semi-retired professionals will see some patients, but the population does not support a full time mental health professional.

Obviously, I will not limit my clientele to rural areas - or even Oregon when it comes down to it - but that's where I'm starting. Do you think this is a viable idea or too narrow of a focus? And do you recommend getting a certificate before I begin. Thanks so much for your time and expertise. I am loving your website!

Response:

Erin,

Sorry to take so long to respond to your submission.

Sounds like you certainly have excellent experience in the field and very good feel for your potential clients. I think AAPC is probably the best organization in billing/coding to get credentialed.

When I got started, I didn't have situations where being credentialed would have mattered much to the client. They were more concerned with our experience getting claims paid and getting their A/R under control. Most of our potential clients are smaller practices that had situations where their billing was either a mess or they had lost the person responsible for the billing.

Probably the biggest challenge you will find is more in marketing your billing services and convincing potential clients to give you a chance. But if you can get a foot in the door - or market your extensive experience - that may give you an advantage.

Hope this helps and hope you are successful if you decide to go for it.

Gina

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