The idea of being self-employed is very empowering.
But as with any new business, you should consider some things before launching your business.
You need to understand your options and how a home-based work will fit with your goals and needs.
The first step to the right decision is learning what starting a medical billing business at home involves.
Before you start your own medical billing business, you should learn about the needs of medical facilities and doctors in your area.
With your research, you can assess the chances of success as an entrepreneur better.
You should ask doctors the following:
- What is your daily patient volume?
- Do you handle your own billing or go through an outside company?
- If you use an outside billing company, do they only handle submitting insurance claims or also deal with other aspects of your accounting?
- Are there specific software programs that you use or would recommend?
People who are starting their home-based medical billing business can find many offers.
Some of them sound too good to be true.
The Bureau of Consumer Protection has some valuable advice on identifying scams.
For example, you may want to get in touch with the following groups to learn if there were any complaints about the company you are doing your research on:
- The Consumer Protection Agency.
- Your State Attorney General’s office.
- The Better Business Bureau in your area.
Besides, before you sign any agreements with a medical billing provider, you should consult with an attorney and let them review the paperwork.
Article Table of Contents
Consider a Specialty
The medical billing field offers a variety of options.
Medical billing is used by everyone, from family practitioners to nursing homes.
If you are planning to launch your home-based medical billing business, you may want to focus on a specific area.
If you already have experience in one area of healthcare, you can pursue providers in that field.
When you are trying to get the first client, any knowledge or experience you can demonstrate will help you greatly.
If you focus on a narrower field of healthcare, you will also decrease the need to know a large volume of billing codes.
Narrow single-specialty practices can include:
The specialty you would choose could also determine the scope of work you would be doing in your medical billing business.
Doctors generating smaller copays must have a higher volume of business to be successful.
Therefore, healthcare providers with lower fees may have more work for you than doctors with a higher cost per visit.
It could be beneficial if you are looking for a higher volume of work.
However, if you are at the start, a greater scope of billing and coding can be overwhelming.
To your benefit, starting a home-based medical billing business is relatively inexpensive.
Since your home is your office, you can avoid additional expenses you’d face if you were working in a regular office.
However, you will need some basic supplies, including:
- Phone, printer, and fax machine.
- Computer with an Internet connection.
- Medical billing software.
- Clearinghouse (a company that electronically receives and transmits medical billing claims).
- Reference materials (ICD-10, CPT, and HCPCS Expert 2000 coding books).
- Medical insurance forms.
Picking Billing Software
Considering, you have a computer, one of your largest expenses to start your medical billing business will be the billing software.
There is a variety of options that range in price.
To pick the right software, you need to consider the following:
- How many years has the software package and/or developer been in existence?
- Do you want basic software or a package that includes lead generators and other assistance?
- When consulting those references, is the program easy to use, and is the technical support convenient and readily available?
- What references can the developer of the software package provide?
Create a Work Environment
The fact that they are working at home is one of the pitfalls for many people who are starting their home-based medical billing business.
You have to create a work environment that is efficient for you.
For this, you may have to accommodate a room devoted to your medical billing and coding.
It should be away from any distractions, such as family or chores.
Working at home requires a higher level of discipline than working in a traditional office.
If you are new to experience, take some time to make adjustments.
Earning an Income
Anyone who is launching a home-based medical billing business has three main ways to charge the healthcare providers they work with:
- An hourly fee.
- A per-claim fee.
- A percentage of the money they collect from their billings.
The chosen option depends on the healthcare provider you are working with and the type of medical billing and coding service you are providing to them.
Growing Your Business
You may think that working from home won’t involve much interaction with the outside world, but that’s not true.
To grow your medical billing business you need to market yourself and your services.
If you already have clients, ask them if they know any providers looking for a medical biller.
If you are starting from scratch, don’t hesitate to use the contacts you already have.
It can be your family’s doctor.
It may seem awkward to ask them if they need your services, but it’s ok to mention that you started your medical billing business and see if they have any referrals or tips they can share.