In order to start a medical coding and billing business from home, there are a few skills you need to possess, particularly if you want to be successful. Of course, you need to have a complete understanding of medical terminology and a familiarity with the codes that are routinely used within the industry.
These codes are known as the ICD-10 disease classification codes and they are used throughout the medical community in the United States. Since all types of medical offices use the same coding procedures, the entire medical billing and coding system remains organized and efficient and easy for all knowledgeable people to understand.
You should also have a strong knowledge of Medicare guidelines as well as other insurance regulations and guidelines, particularly as they relate to medical coding and billing. To acquire this knowledge, you can enroll in training courses at a local community college or online.
In addition, most experienced professionals recommend that you acquire some initial experience by working in a local medical office, hospital, or clinic as a billing and coding specialist before you attempt to do this kind of work from home.
There are also other considerations that must be thought of before you decide to start your own medical coding and billing operation. As someone working from home, you will be responsible for providing your own medical insurance benefits unless you are able to be listed as a dependent on your spouse’s coverage. You should also think about establishing a retirement fund as soon as it is practical for your business.
In addition, medical coding and billing specialists who work from home must take total responsibility for reporting and filing all of their income tax payments each year. Some professionals choose to do this on a quarterly basis, while others prefer to simply make a payment once each year.
The salary range for medical billing specialists who work from home tends to vary quite a bit, but the average annual medical billing and coding salary is approximately $42,000. As you gain experience and expand your business, you will likely find that your client base will continue to grow. This salary is just slightly lower than an LVN salary.
While home-based workers within this field are hired strictly on a contract basis, the potential does exist for your business to develop and eventually provide you with a steady, regular income.
You should be prepared, however, to have a relatively slow start in the beginning. This is true of most home-based businesses, though, so as long as you are prepared for this from the outset, you should be able to get through the tougher times and make your business a success.
Another distinct advantage to starting this type of business is that the medical field generally does not feel the pinch during any type of economic downturn. Because of this, medical coders and billers are continuing to enjoy growth within their industry, particularly since more medical offices are choosing to outsource these responsibilities to contract workers.
How to Start Your Own Medical Billing and Coding Company
Starting your own medical billing and coding company can be a smart move for anyone who has the proper education and experience. However, it is not necessarily for everyone.
When you start your own medical billing and coding company, you become the entire focus of your business. You will be responsible for overseeing all of the day to day activities, and you will be the one who holds the responsibility for making sure things get done properly. This is a lot of responsibility, particularly if you are not already experienced within the medical billing and coding field.
For this reason, it is generally recommended that only experienced professionals start their own home-based medical billing and coding business. In addition to preparing and filing both electronic and paper insurance claims every day, you will also have the responsibility for performing a variety of other tasks, including posting payments, mailing statements to patients, and completing data entry tasks using a particular type of medical billing software.
In order to be successful within this field, particularly as a newly started company, you will need to be able to convince potential clients that you are qualified to perform medical billing and coding functions. In order to demonstrate to these clients that you are perfectly qualified to be a medical biller and coder, you will need to convince them that you possess several desirable qualities.
First of all, you’ll need to be able to show that you have an in-depth knowledge with medical terminology. You’ll also need to have a good grasp of how hospital and outpatient medical offices work. It is also important for you to understand the different types of procedural and diagnostic codes on a routine basis.
As clients try to find a competent medical billing and coding company, they’ll want to feel confident that you, as owner of the company, have a true understanding of how all coding works.
In addition to being able to demonstrate your knowledge, skills, and abilities to potential clients, you will also need to be able to present evidence of your education and training. Most clients will prefer to hire someone who has been properly trained as a medical biller and coder.
There are medical billing and coding schools that offer certification and degree programs for students who are interested in this field. If you possess a degree or certification indicating that you possess the necessary knowledge, it will go a long way towards convincing clients that you are the best choice to provide their medical billing and coding needs.
You should also do your homework in the area where you live to see what kind of licenses or certifications you need in order to legally operate a business from your home. These regulations may be different between various geographic locations, but it is important to find out ahead of time what the zoning or other restrictions might be.
Make sure you complete all of the necessary forms and obtain the licenses that authorize you to conduct business while being in compliance with the law.
Medical Insurance Billing Job Outlook
Medical insurance billing is a specialized career within the medical billing and coding field. With any type of career that falls under the medical billing and coding umbrella, you have a very good chance of experiencing steady job growth as well as ongoing opportunities to increase your overall income. This continues to be an industry that regularly experiences growth, so the overall job outlook for these professionals is excellent.
Medical insurance billing positions require a unique combination of skills in order to be successful. To start, you must be familiar with insurance procedures and how to properly file insurance claims.
The usual responsibilities of a medical insurance billing professional include coding insurance claims, interpreting information from patients’ insurance cards, and staying in compliance with government and insurance regulations.
It is extremely important that professionals within this field not only have a solid understanding of these policies, but they also need to regularly participate in continuing education programs in order to remain knowledgeable about changes within the industry.
Professionals who work as medical insurance billers may work in a variety of different settings, such as clinics, hospitals, doctor’s offices, and insurance companies. They may also be employed with mental health clinics or surgical centers.
Even though most employers do not specifically require applicants for these jobs to have a particular type of degree or certification, the reality is that if you possess one of these you will be much more likely to make a positive impression on potential clients. The three different types of degrees that are most commonly sought by aspiring medical billers and coders are associate’s degrees, technical certifications, and bachelor’s degrees.
In addition to seeking out certifications and licenses within your field, you also need to possess general computer knowledge, have an aptitude for proper billing and coding procedures, and have some familiarity with different types of billing software.
Potential employers will likely test your knowledge of the various ICD-9 codes that you will need to use on a daily basis, so this is something you should be prepared for once you start going on interviews. You should also be prepared to provide a detailed description that will let clients know how you plan to handle their workload every day. Providing interested clients with this kind of specific information will go a long way towards convincing them that your company is the right one for the job.
While the knowledge of one kind of billing software should sufficiently enable you to launch a successful career within this field, the more software programs you have usable knowledge of, the better. Employers and clients tend to view this kind of diversity as a positive attribute that provides them with some flexibility in terms of the software programs they are able to choose to use within their businesses.
The health care industry, as a whole, continues to grow and strengthen with every passing year. The primary reason for this is that people of all ages and stages of life are in need of regular, reliable health care. Because of this, the projected outlook for medical insurance billing jobs is expected to be quite good for at least the next ten years.