You see ads everywhere for home based medical billing specialists. Are they real?
Is a physician going to hire someone to perform one of the most important functions to their practice and allow them to work from home unsupervised?
The medical billing specialist is responsible for submitting claims and creating patient statements – the source of income of the entire practice and everyone who works there. The physician has to have a lot of confidence that the individual performing these functions is going to get claims paid in timely manner.
Medical insurance billing and coding can be a very complex job. Not something you hand off to a stranger who just completed a questionable correspondence course.
So How Is It Possible?
In a nutshell experience, training, and a record of producing results are important for home medical billing jobs.
There’s two ways that medical billing jobs are possible – As a self-employed medical billing service owner or as an employee with a trusting boss who allows you to work from home – and you don’t see many of those.
The most feasible way to work from home is as a self-employed business owner. A medical billing business is a viable work from home idea. However starting a business takes investment, knowledge, and hard work. In other words it’s just like any other business opportunity. (You can find more information on starting a home medical billing business at http://www.all-things-medical-billing.com .)
If you are knowledgeable and experienced, there are opportunities available for home medical billing jobs. The important thing is being able to deliver results for a doctors practice. If you are good at getting a doctor paid and they trust you – an employer is much more accommodating as far as where you work.
A lot of the smaller practices have trouble attracting and keeping employees that are good medical billing specialists. That creates opportunities for the home medical billing business owner.
It’s a matter of getting a foot in the door to have the opportunity to earn a clients trust and prove your competence – it really doesn’t matter where the billing is done – at home medical billing services or in an office environment – it’s the results that count.
Who needs Medical Billing Services?
Just about every health care provider you can think of needs billing services; doctors, mental health providers (psychiatrists, psychologists), chiropractors, dentists, physical therapists, etc.
Some of the larger billing services may not provide the kind of personal attention and service that a small home based medical billing service can.
How do You Get Paid?
There’s a variety of ways a home medical billing jobs pay; a percentage of receipts, a fixed fee, per claim, or hourly.
If you are operating a small medical billing business, it’s typically a percentage of receipts – this gives an incentive to the medical biller to make sure claims are paid. The percentage varies depending on the services offered, the specialty, and the local competition.
Skills & Knowledge
For those weak on formal training, good experience can compensate. After all your employer really cares about the results – not necessarily how you got there. But training is still important to understand the basics of medical billing and coding.
It’s important for the medical billing specialist to know all the medical billing terms and medical billing codes. You need to have a good background in this before attempting home medical billing jobs or starting a home based medical billing service.
The billing specialist should also be detail oriented, have good math and keyboarding skills, and understand the insurance claim process.
Practicing medical billing does not always require certification, but it’s important to be experienced and knowledgeable in the field. So knowledge, training, and experience are key to being successful at home medical billing jobs.
You may have seen advertisements for home medical billing jobs that make it sound like they are easy to come by. They are usually provide you with a “business opportunity” package that just brushes on the important topics and really only provides very general information you could probably find online.
Probably some of the best training is the experience of working for a billing service or in a providers office. It’s good to have some in-office experience before a provider will trust a billing specialist to work out of the office – or at home.
It’s very important that insurance claims are submitted and paid in a timely manner with with minimum denials. Providers don’t like to find out their claims are not being paid from months ago.
That’s why having an experienced and diligent medical billing professional is very important – whether its via a home medical billing job or in the providers office – whats important is the claims are getting paid and the patients are getting invoiced.
To summarize, home medical billing jobs are possible – but they’re more the exception than the rule. There are good opportunities in medical billing and coding, but there’s no shortcut to get there.
About the Author
Conrad Wysor and his wife Gina Wysor are authors of the website http://www.all-things-medical-billing.com/index.html about medical billing and issues related to medical billing and coding jobs, training, terminology, software, and starting a business.
Your Turn: Are you a work from home medical billing or coding specialist? What were some of the hurdles you had to overcome before you were able to work at home?
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