Medical billing is experiencing unprecedented growth compared to other professions. A variety of misconceptions and unrealistic expectations have accompanied that development.
In this revealing article, physical therapist and electronic medical record (EMR) specialist, Nitin Chhoda, examines the misconceptions associated with a medical insurance billing business.
As the demand for medical insurance billers (MIBs) has grown, so has the number of scams promising individuals enormous incomes with no experience needed.
Despite advertisements to be found in multiple media outlets, there is no such thing as a home-based biller.
No medical provider will allow sensitive information to leave the office for someone to toil over like medical billing homework. While there aren’t home-based billers, there are medical insurance businesses that are operated from the biller’s home.
Despite claims to the contrary, a career in medical billing requires specific skills. MIBs must demonstrate a level of competence to become certified that requires a myriad of specialized knowledge. Would-be billers can’t learn as they go and should seek appropriate educational venues.
MIBs will need a working knowledge of ICD-10 and CPT codes, anatomy, clearinghouses, and both commercial and government-funded insurance programs.
Short Hours, Big Pay
Medical billing isn’t a way to get rich quick. Don’t expect to make $40 an hour or $50,000 in the first year. Those claims are the tools used by scammers. MIBs typically make $11-$20 an hour, depending on their level of experience. Entrepreneurs should be aware that the company may not make a profit in the first year, or even the second.
Launching a new business is time consuming. Operating a business from home provides individuals with the flexibility to set their own hours, but shepherding a new business to success is time consuming. Fledgling business owners should be prepared to put in a lot of long hours. Medical billing is a year-round job.
Certified medical billing people that choose to go into business for themselves are responsible for every facet of their enterprise and they must be self-starters. There will be no supervisor watching a time clock or conferring assignments. Working at home is convenient, but it can also be distracting. MIBs will need to be organized and learn to manage their time wisely.
MIBs do more than just type numbers in a form on a computer. They verify information, check for appropriate coding and transmit reimbursement claims.
Medical billing staff also monitors claims that have been paid and those that haven’t, along with posting payments to client accounts and providing friendly reminders for patients with balances due.
Billers shouldn’t expect to sit home alone with their computers. They have to interact with others in person and via phone.
Medical insurance billing is one of the fastest growing career opportunities available and unscrupulous individuals have taken advantage of that to sell impossible dreams and expectations. Anyone who wants to launch a medical billing firm should begin with the necessary education and be willing to put in long hours to grow a respected and reputable business.