When someone visits a doctor or a specialist, they receive a bill in the mail or the bill is sent to their health insurance. The doctors are usually not involved with this type of paperwork. Some doctors or specialists are so busy that their receptionists simply do not have the time to sort out which bills need to go to whom and it then becomes viable for them to outsource this function.
Medical billing jobs are of such a nature that the person fulfilling this function could comfortably work from home instead of being tied to an office with its office hours. In order to do this type of work by yourself from home, you will need to have the right software and experience in this line of work to make a success of it.
Requirements for Medical Billing Jobs
In order for a medical professional to hire you, you will need to know quite a bit about the following:
- Medical terminology
- How to complete specific forms, what they are called and what they are for
- The specific codes in the medical industry for various medical procedures
- Excellent computer knowledge
- Good typing skills
- Good communication and people skills
- Strong organization skills
In order to learn a sufficient amount of information to do this job by yourself, it is advised to first spend some time working in a medical billing office before attempting to do it from home as you will have more credentials to build rapport with your potential clients.
Challenges of Medical Billing Jobs
As the person who sends out the bills, it is often up to the medical billing clerk to send out notices as well to patients who are under a lot of stress and who have not paid their bills. Getting money out of someone who has already had to go through so much may not be the easiest task and it needs to be handled with empathy and tact as these patients may be good clients who have just fallen on difficult times and you do not want to alienate them.
Dealing with health insurance companies who are not paying can also be a challenge. Submitting and resubmitting forms and then having to constantly follow-up can become frustrating. It is also not always easy to have to tell someone that they are now liable for a hospital bill if their insurance has rejected their claim.
How to Make Medical Billing Jobs from Home Work for You
Once you have gained the experience and knowledge that is necessary for you to go out on your own, you need to build up a database of potential clients. Without the medical profession on your side, you are just someone sitting at home hoping for the phone to ring.
Marketing is extremely important for your business as well as for any other business out in the economy. If no one knows that you are out there and what you can do for them, then no one will be calling. It is not the end of your business if you are not a natural sales person, you can still do your own marketing with the credentials that you have; it is all about building relationships. In your work as an office based medical billing clerk, you no doubt came into contact with medical professionals. You need to give them something that they will not be getting from the next medical billing business around the corner. With the medical industry being such a lucrative one, money is not always the issue. Having the knowledge that a part of their business can be outsourced gives the medical practitioner the freedom to focus on their business and growing their own business. This convenience and the service they get from you will be the main benefit for them. If you can save them time and get the money in that is owed to them in good time, their business will be more lucrative and so will yours.
Watch out for marketing companies that say they specialize in marketing medical billing services. These services are not guarantees and if you are just starting out, you may not have the money to invest in all the external marketing. Word of mouth and the excellent service you give will spread the word so much faster than any expensive external marketing campaign.
Working from home as a medical billing officer or clerk can be a rewarding career and it leaves you with more time on your hands for yourself and your family. It should not be something that becomes all-consuming. The best way to go by yourself is to build up your contacts from within a billing office and then taking those relationships with you when you set off on your own.
Where to Get the Training
There are many online training courses that you can take to supplement any training you may have already gained on the job. Having a medical billing certificate on your wall will also help you to build relationships with potential clients much faster than just having worked at a billing office. When you are doing an online course, you need to make sure that they cover the subjects that you will need and use the most such as:
- An introduction into how a medical billing office functions
- Office forms and understanding how they work
- How to use and understand all of the medical procedure codes
- Understanding the process of an insurance claim and how it works
- Software that is used in the medical profession
- Procedures within a medical billing office
- Marketing methods and procedures
Once you have mastered these subjects you are halfway to success. Any other subjects over and above these are just a waste of your money. These can be done as supplementary subjects further down the line, but to start out with, this list of subjects can make you competent enough to run your own office.
Medical Billing Scams
There are many scams out there that promise you can make so much working from home doing medical bills from your computer and then they charge you a small fortune to join and you have to go out and find your own business in any ways. Beware of these scammers and the false advertisers who claim they can do all of your marketing for you so that you can just sit back and watch the money roll in. Unfortunately with the current economic environment it is not quite as easy in the market and everyone who is trying to cut down are looking at better and cheaper ways to make money.
There are many medical professionals who are outsourcing to save themselves running costs in their offices, but there are just as many individuals out there who are no longer working in billing offices that have started their own home base billing office. You need to always be one step ahead of the others. No one can do this for you and you will be wasting precious funds on external advertising instead of doing it by yourself.
The advertisements for a medical billing career are often business opportunities and not jobs. When you are doing a medical billing job, you are given work to do, which you then complete and take care of within a set time with a set amount of resources. When you respond to these business opportunities, you will need to know how to do your own marketing and get your own clients in before you can start making money. It is true that you can make a lot of money, but the amount of time and effort you put in, will equate to how much you earn in the end.
Watch out for online courses that are taught by anyone who does not have any experience in a medical billing office. The course should also not include everything from bookkeeping to typing. These courses may cost more and not go into enough detail to make the student competent by the end of the course.
Working from a Medical Billing Office
Many larger medical firms and hospitals have their own on-board medical billing office because they have enough volumes of patients coming in and out of their doors that it warrants them spending the extra overheads to set up their own billing offices. Getting into one of these offices may not be as easy as it may seem, especially in the current economic environment. To ensure success at application, you need to make sure you studied the right subjects and that you can prove your efficiency with a computer and a keyboard.
To be able to work in one of these offices, you need to have very good typing skills which include proficiency in speed typing with a high level of accuracy. You need also need to know how to work on a computer and you will need training on the medical software that is used if you have not been trained on the specific program before.
Making the Choice
The choice between working from a billing office and working from home is completely and individual decision based on personal circumstances. Both of these options require the necessary skills and knowledge as well as dedication and compassion. Do not fall for get rich schemes, no matter what the level of desperation.