Is Home Based Medical Billing Business for You?
I guess it’s because I am a doctor, that many of my recent readers have asked me suggestions about starting a home based medical billing business. If you want a one word opinion on whether starting this medical billing home based business is a good idea then my answer is YES.
But there is a slight catch. No, don’t get me wrong, this business is still a great idea. The catch is in the successful execution of this business especially when you want to start a home based medical billing business with absolutely zero skills / training and are clueless as to where and how to begin.
Can Anyone Start A Home Based Medical Billing Business?
Again the one word answer is yes*. But you might have noticed the star right beside the yes, signifying that terms and conditions apply. Yeah, anyone can start a medical billing home based business, provided you are ready to undergo professional medical billing training and obtain a medical billing and coding certification.
You might be wondering why it is so necessary to get professional training and a certificate to start this medical billing business. You are anyway going to operate out of your home, so what’s the point in joining college to get certified. Is that what you are thinking right now? Well, in order to give you a satisfactory response, I will have to first explain in detail about the work that a medical biller actually does.
What is the Work Done in a Home Based Medical Billing Business?
A medical biller is supposed to handle all the billing related activities on behalf of the client (that is doctor) whose accounts are being managed. Now this process does seem very straight forward and simple when described in this manner, but let me warn you about there is more to it than meets the eye. Here is a detailed list of activities that a medical billing home based business needs to do:
1) Preparing medical bills for the services that your doctor client has offered to his / her patients. A medical biller has to be sure about the list of services rendered to each patient and also about the costs and charges that apply to each service / medical consultation / surgical procedure.
2) The medical biller is supposed to deal with all the insurance claims of the patients as well and hence has to be an expert at the paper work and procedures necessary to negotiate with the third part insurance organizations.
3) This will involve a considerable knowledge about the medical / surgical conditions, names of the procedures and the usual medical jargon that is involved in completing this process efficiently.
4) Complete record keeping of the bills, insurance claims, payments etc has to be done (either on paper or on computer). Nowadays more and more doctors prefer maintaining their patients billing records on a PC for ease of accessing it online from anywhere they wish to. This means that the person who is aspiring to start a home based medical billing business ought to be familiar with computers and with medical billing software as well.
5) The most critical part of this medical billing business is the collection of unpaid bills. Not many aspiring medical billers realize that they will have to double-up as a collection agent as well. If you take up this business, be prepared to make a lot of phone calls to patients with unpaid dues.
You will probably have to make a couple of calls to such folks before you get them to clear the dues. You will also have to keep sending them regular reminders along with a copy of their unpaid bills.
6) A systematic bill and record maintenance skill is necessary so that anytime the doctor needs to check out any details, the medical biller will have all the relevant documents ready.
7) Last but not the least, some of the insurance claims will need follow ups because they get rejected by the insurance company and hen the patient wants to re-present the documents with an explanation / with some additional documents etc.
After understanding in detail about the range of work involved in this business, you will have now realized why a proper training and certification is necessary. Moreover, no doctor will be so heroic so as risk trusting an unskilled person with the collection of their hard earned income.
After reading this post, some of you may decide that a medical billing home based business is right up your alley and you want to do this. Keep checking back in the next 1- 3 days as I will be posting a follow up article with all info about the courses you will need to take, and step by step instructions on getting your home based medical billing business started.