Medical Billing Forum

Starting a Medical Billing Business => Starting Your Own Medical Billing Business => Topic started by: Tsaav on December 02, 2009, 02:38:30 PM

Title: Starting a Business
Post by: Tsaav on December 02, 2009, 02:38:30 PM
I haven't been billing long, little less then a year now, but I have alway though about starting my own business. It seems to me that this kind of business I can do even as apart time thing, well as part time I mean working when I come home from another job, as of now anyway. But I want to know more on how and what is needed.

I have not had any formal training in billing, but I am a quick learner and picked up the information need for my job right now. I want to advance and learn more and eventually start a billing business. Right now all I bill for is personal care, which we really only us two billing codes. What should I learn? I was thinking about becoming a coder also, just to have that as a help. What do you guys think would be the best way to learn or where should i go to get more eduation on billing.

Thanks

Tsaav

P.S. My second thread, but this forum is filled with people that are really interested in helping out other billers with there issues. Thanks.
Title: Re: Starting a Business
Post by: Pay_My_Claims on December 02, 2009, 08:44:46 PM
insurance.....a background in insurance (benefits, verifications etc). I am not a fan of the learn as you go process...(fake it til you make it) it gives such a negative image for the at home medical billers who have been doing this for years. You have to remember that you have someone's livelihood in your hands. Errors you make can cost a physician more than just money.
Title: Re: Starting a Business
Post by: Michele on December 03, 2009, 06:51:19 AM
Charlene is right.  It is best to learn all you can before you start.  Also, start small with an account that you understand like a social worker.  Learn all you can about billing for a social worker, the codes are limited as well, then start with that and build yourself up.  There are a lot of resources out there.  We have a book specifically on mental health billing.  You can read more about it here:

http://www.medicalbillinglive.com/mental-health-medical-billing.shtml

Good luck!

Michele
Title: Re: Starting a Business
Post by: Gloriamaxx on December 03, 2009, 09:31:03 AM
I am also interested in starting my own Billing Business.  I have experience as an Medicare Insurance Biller.  I have also have a college certifications in Medical Biller Receptionist.  I have have an General Associates that is centered around Billing.  I am now in my final year as a Medical Facility Business Manager.  I have taken several coding classes also and business classes.  I just want to find a doctor and bill for him.  I have a network of Teachers and also people who are in the business as Billers and Coders.  I was just wondering what software should I be purchasing first?  Or should I look for the client first.  This is not a hobby for me.  This will be my final career.  I just want to do it at home or go to the business and bill.
Title: Re: Starting a Business
Post by: Pay_My_Claims on December 03, 2009, 01:54:50 PM
I am also interested in starting my own Billing Business.  I have experience as an Medicare Insurance Biller.  I have also have a college certifications in Medical Biller Receptionist.  I have have an General Associates that is centered around Billing.  I am now in my final year as a Medical Facility Business Manager.  I have taken several coding classes also and business classes.  I just want to find a doctor and bill for him.  I have a network of Teachers and also people who are in the business as Billers and Coders.  I was just wondering what software should I be purchasing first?  Or should I look for the client first.  This is not a hobby for me.  This will be my final career.  I just want to do it at home or go to the business and bill.

There are various software programs available, and it depends on what your needs are going to be regarding your choices. All I can tell you is I prefer web-based, and I feel eventually all server based software will be obsolete. Web-based can be very expensive. I really can't say get the client first, because you won't have time to get used to your software before you purchase it.
Title: Re: Starting a Business
Post by: Gloriamaxx on December 03, 2009, 03:17:17 PM
I don't want to limit myself.  I have found a couple of names of web-based sites....AdvancedM, AllegianceMD, athenahealth, Chartlogic, eClinicalWorks.  How do you chose which one?  What should I be looking for in a company?  Also I understand I also need a clearing house?  What should I look in a clearing house?
Title: Re: Starting a Business
Post by: margemib on December 03, 2009, 04:58:36 PM
Check out Medlook.
It used to only be a computer based software and now it is online, the price is right and if you call and speak to Jeff he will be happy to give you all the info.
I am going with this software.
http://www.medlookusa.com/
Check it out for yourself.
Margie
Title: Re: Starting a Business
Post by: Gloriamaxx on December 03, 2009, 08:32:57 PM
I have several questions?  What is the average amount for the software? Should the software be the first purchase for the business?  I use to bill for a hospital and I billed for all outpatient procedure should I stick to that?  I did physical therpist billing also. 
Title: Re: Starting a Business
Post by: Michele on December 03, 2009, 08:46:08 PM
One thing you should look for in a web based software is costs.  Not that you should automatically go with the cheapest, but we just spoke with someone today who was surprised that her monthly bill for her webbased was $3000.  When you are charged by provider, and per claim, and set ups etc, it adds up quickly. 

Also, you need to look at functionality.  There are a few free web based softwares but the functionality is not good. 

Charlene is right, if you don't get software before your client you will be scrambling.  Many web based softwares come with clearinghouse connections and you can easily connect thru them.

Michele
Title: Re: Starting a Business
Post by: Pay_My_Claims on December 04, 2009, 08:43:10 PM
One thing you should look for in a web based software is costs.  Not that you should automatically go with the cheapest, but we just spoke with someone today who was surprised that her monthly bill for her webbased was $3000.  When you are charged by provider, and per claim, and set ups etc, it adds up quickly.  

Also, you need to look at functionality.  There are a few free web based softwares but the functionality is not good.  

Charlene is right, if you don't get software before your client you will be scrambling.  Many web based softwares come with clearinghouse connections and you can easily connect thru them.

Michele

Wow 3grand...thats an employee salary. The DME company that I work for is looking at a web based software program and the  cost for the premium package about 2400 a month. It's ridiculous how much they charge you.

Title: Re: Starting a Business
Post by: margemib on December 05, 2009, 06:30:07 AM
Medlook online is a good price and also is very soon going to be upgraded to Medlook 4 which has a lot of functionality and very good support whenever you need it. I did not mean that the whole thing about it was that it was a good price that is why I say check it out for yourself. You can download a trial version in you computer which is equal to the Medlook online so you can check it out yourself and form your own option. In that price upgrades are included.
Margie
Title: Re: Starting a Business
Post by: Gloriamaxx on December 06, 2009, 04:51:23 PM
I am a little confused.  Sorry.  I understand getting the software to download on my computer.  The software is only price only right?  After the software is download I know I need so type of web-base to send my claims electronically.  Or is their any other kind of way?  I am sorry but if I am just starting out how can I afford a web base at any price?  What is concerned as being low or high price?  Can I consider coming into the business office if they have the software and bill from their office?  How do I get the claims to bill?  Sorry I have billed before but from a hospital setting?

Please help.  Just need help.  I hope my questions are too wild.
Title: Re: Starting a Business
Post by: PMRNC on December 07, 2009, 06:25:06 AM
If you are starting your own business it is imperative you have start up funds. You will need more than just your software. The costs you can then incur later with clients will be clearinghouse fees, forms, etc. Depending on what software you purchase you might also consider training and I highly recommend a support plan as well. You are also going to need many other items to start. It's like any other business. For example, you wouldn't purchase a restaurant and not the ovens while you wait for people to enter the restaurant.  There are some of us who will connect with offices and use their PM software but I would suggest you have a vast amount of experience first because you do not want to charge your client to learn their software, one of the advantages to outsourcing for providers is cost, so you have to keep that in mind.
Title: Re: Starting a Business
Post by: Gloriamaxx on December 07, 2009, 08:30:51 AM
I do have experience in the billing and also schooling to go with it. I am still in school doing the coding part of the field along with the coding I am also taking several business classes.  I wanted to do the billing part time for now.  Get 1-2 doctors if possible and bill for them.  I have joined Michigan Medical Billers Association to get more knowledge.  I also have the advantage of my professors not only teaching billing and coding but working in the business.  I was thinking about interning somewhere a couple of days an week to get a feel of billing again.  I want to have my business but if need be I can go to the Doctor's office and do the billing or try remote billing.  I know I am good at billing, coding and research. 
Title: Re: Starting a Business
Post by: PMRNC on December 07, 2009, 12:44:10 PM
There really is no market for physicians hiring "employees" to work from home, there are too many costs and liabilities associated with an employee working at home. I would suggest looking into your own business and starting out slow. If you are only looking for a "job" than you might want to consider a nearby office or practice and in many cases you might need to start out at entry level.

This article explains the differences between a "at home job" vs. "Owning your Own Business"
 http://www.billerswebsite.com/jobvsbiz.htm
Title: Re: Starting a Business
Post by: Steve Verno CMBS, CEMCS on December 07, 2009, 07:04:16 PM
Ive been in the business since the great flood.  As a coder and biller, I work from my home.  I dont do it as my own business, I do so as an employee of my provider.  I started working in the office.  The doctor trusted me and said, rather than drive 600 miles one way, be away from my family for a week at a time, work out of my home.  He picked up all of the costs to do my work.  He pays the postage, for office supplies and for my internet.  I am sent daily e-mails of things needed to be done along with scanned EOBs and correspondence.  

I did have to go through the local requirements to work out of my home.  That included a county certificate of occupancy.  Register with the State Division of Corporations and an inspection by the local fire marshall. But these were local requirements and I work for other providers as a 1099 employee as a consultant and instructor.  All of this may not be required where you live.  At tax time, I get a W-2 form for taxes from the provider.  All of the other clients I help send me a 1099 form and I end up paying Medicare and SSI taxes because the IRS says I own my own business, hence the red tape from the State and local folks.   BUT, for my provider, I work for him out of my home as his employee.  IT took 6 years to build up the trust to allow me to work from home.
Title: Re: Starting a Business
Post by: Pay_My_Claims on December 07, 2009, 07:40:09 PM
If you are starting your own business it is imperative you have start up funds. You will need more than just your software. The costs you can then incur later with clients will be clearinghouse fees, forms, etc. Depending on what software you purchase you might also consider training and I highly recommend a support plan as well. You are also going to need many other items to start. It's like any other business. For example, you wouldn't purchase a restaurant and not the ovens while you wait for people to enter the restaurant.  There are some of us who will connect with offices and use their PM software but I would suggest you have a vast amount of experience first because you do not want to charge your client to learn their software, one of the advantages to outsourcing for providers is cost, so you have to keep that in mind.

Great Reply!!
Title: Re: Starting a Business
Post by: joecorso28 on January 29, 2010, 05:55:04 PM
I have had formal training in billing and coding and am certified in both, my understanding is that soon billing and coding certification will be mandatory, but I am from New Jersey or some say Joisey, I cannot find a job and I see most billers and coders are uncertified, I am presently targeting small practices with a number of options.  Frustrated yes, I am the only surviving member of my class, everyone else gave up long ago.
Oh yes, I graduated last June!
Title: Re: Starting a Business
Post by: QueenAlicia on January 29, 2010, 07:39:10 PM
I have formal training as well which I got back in 2008 and started my business last year.  It's been really slow getting everything together but it is coming along. Start up funds are a big plus.  I could have been up and running fully if I had paid attention to other softwares. I am looking into other courses just to keep my mind fresh on all the procedures.
Title: Re: Starting a Business
Post by: Michele on January 30, 2010, 10:54:10 AM
Are you looking for a job in a provider's office, or are you starting a billing service?

Michele
Title: Re: Starting a Business
Post by: PMRNC on February 03, 2010, 08:35:55 PM
Quote
I have had formal training in billing and coding and am certified in both, my understanding is that soon billing and coding certification will be mandatory, but I am from New Jersey or some say Joisey, I cannot find a job and I see most billers and coders are uncertified, I am presently targeting small practices with a number of options.  Frustrated yes, I am the only surviving member of my class, everyone else gave up long ago.
Oh yes, I graduated last June!

Certification is only going to be as good as the course used to obtain the certification. There is NOTHING in the works for "A" mandatory certification. Yes there are organizations out there claiming to offer national certifications.. Offering them nationally <g> There is NO ONE NATIONAL CERTIFICATION. Again.. the certification will only be as good as the course you take and the education coming with it.

BTW. In NJ it is mandatory to register your medical billing company. It's just registration and you have to follow their procedures in doing so.
Title: Re: Starting a Business
Post by: rebeccagomez88 on February 08, 2010, 02:44:27 AM
I have a question re education vs experience. I am a student at AIU online working on getting my AA/AS in business administration (with a concentration in medical billing and coding). I previously attended CTU online where I was offered an AA/AS in health sciences/medical billing and coding. The problem is that I know I am going to need to know how business works and how to run one just as much as I'm going to need the education in billing and coding and this confuses me. Why? I have read that sometimes your experience (or lack there-of) is over looked due to the degrees that one has acquired from such extensive education. The curricullum differences between the two schools is extremely confusing also. So, between those two courses, I figure I will be going to school for the next three years to earn degrees in a career field that I thought I only needed certification for. I need serious advice, please.  ???
Title: Re: Starting a Business
Post by: Michele on February 08, 2010, 08:05:28 PM
I'm not sure what you are confused about.  Your post indicates that you feel you need the education in both business & billing/coding, but then you say your confused.  There is no 'right' or 'wrong' answer.  Everyone is different.  For some, training is all they have and they succeed.  For others all the training in the world wouldn't help!  Yet others go to school and come out successful.  Personally, and I truly mean that personally, I find that it is really dependent on the person.  A fast learner with no training can be taught.  A person with a lot of education but who's not teachable, to me is no good.  I've had a couple interns from medical billing courses and one knew nothing, and I mean nothing, the other was great.  So I also think the education can vary greatly and it's important to get a good one.

If you have the three years to spend, that's ok.  Some don't have the time.  Maybe you could work part time doing billing to get experience while you are going to school.  You have to decide what is best for you, education, certification, training.

Sorry, I wish I could be more help, but not knowing any more about you and your situation makes it hard.  :(


Michele