A large majority of medical insurance billers (MIB) start their businesses at home and as the company grows, the MIB often discovers they require an assistant.
However, liking someone isn’t enough upon which to base a working relationship and in this insightful article, Nitin Chhoda examines the criteria billers should employ when seeking an MIB assistant.
The key to hiring an MIB assistant is having someone with an eye for detail. The lucky candidate will be functioning as an extension of the biller and in many instances will represent the business to the public.
The MIB assistant will need some basic skills and if they’ve never worked in the field, they’ll need to be trained.
MIBs shouldn’t balk at conducting a background check on potential employees. An MIB doesn’t want to discover that their new MIB assistant has a history of white collar crime, computer theft or embezzlement. It’s better to learn as much as possible about the applicant before making a definitive hiring decision.
Some type of experience in the medical field is an advantage, but not a necessity. Knowledge of computers, data entry or experience with numbers is also helpful. Even if the person has no experience, if they’re trainable and learn quickly, it’s possible to have a competent MIB assistant in just a few weeks.
Electronic medical record (EMR) technology is essential for secure transmittal of reimbursement claims. Few outside the profession will be versed in their use. Many MIBs choose to leave data entry to their MIB assistant and handle the actual submissions themselves. Either way, MIB assistant must be cognizant of HIPAA security standards and thoroughly understand them.
Organization, honesty and integrity are critical skills for an MIB assistant. The individual will be required to communicate with clearinghouses, insurers, patients and clients.
A good command of the language, a pleasant demeanor and a courteous manner are essential, as is the ability to be assertive when needed.
An ideal MIB assistant will have initiative, be able to solve problems on his/her own, and know when to bring difficulties to the attention of the MIB.
Accuracy and the ability to communicate through written means are also essential elements. A winning candidate must be detail-oriented, able to take direction and have a personality that complements the MIB. The MIB assistant will be much more than someone who enters data.
The individual will be an extra pair of hands, but they can also become a friend and the primary backup person should the MIB be unavailable.
Acquiring an MIB assistant is a huge step and one that will have a dramatic impact on the medical billing business. The ideal assistant will ease the MIB’s workload or allow the firm to take on more work. They represent the MIB and the company, making it essential that they have the skills to do it well.