Medical Billing Forum

Starting a Medical Billing Business => Starting Your Own Medical Billing Business => Topic started by: TechieRN on January 24, 2013, 06:50:00 AM

Title: Medical Billing Career Research‏
Post by: TechieRN on January 24, 2013, 06:50:00 AM
Hi There I am brand new to this forum but need some advice.

I have been able to speak with two people in the Medical Billing business and here is what I found out so far.
The first guy (Steven) I spoke to lives in Oregon and went through the billing class I have been considering on taking online but he said the class was very basic and I could learn most of what he learned purchasing a few books on Medical Billing. Steven have been in the business a little over 2 years, told me he thought it better to quit my current job so to devote all my time to building clients and building this business but made him aware that this is not possible since Steven thinks it could take 1-2 years to build clients but was very encouraging about the business in general. Steven's father passed away and left him an inheritance and he has about 20 clients but only makes about $2500 a month from his business currently but could not do it if it was just billing business supporting him but expects his numbers to increase soon. Similarly, I did let him know "I am not quitting my day job" to do this business and it would need to be built while working my current job and he agreed but said it would take me longer to accomplish but possible.
The second guy I spoke with (Jim) was the Neuro MD's biller who finally called me back after multiple attempts and me actually getting the MD to have him phone me back, which was by coincidence since I got a call from MD on my regular job with him needing assistance.
Jim has a local business here in Sarasota, FL says Medical Billing is very competitive (which is probably why he didn't phone me back right away) but room for more people to get into the business and but made me aware that my biggest challenge is getting that first client to give me a chance with no experience in the business. In the same way if an MD finds out that I work my other hospital job on the side and that Medical Billing is not my primary business they would be nervous about hiring me. Jim says he does more than just Medical Billing and some of what he does that offices ask him to do, he doesn't really collect any revenue from such as: actually assisting the office manager role at some offices, helping offices with business work-flow issues, helping with software decisions and on and on. Jim was somewhat encouraging but told me to research a great deal before investing money and making the plunge, he also said he finds little niches that have helped him distinguish himself from competitors and suggested that for me in not so many words. Jim says to not look at just Bradenton-Sarasota but also Miami, Orlando and other areas to grow the business.
Well, that is my nutshell report for now, and I still have little idea about what a typical day in my own business would look like yet but have been reading, researching and of course praying that I am moving in the right direction with starting my own business since living under someone else's whim or wane on how they wish me to conduct my job does not excite me any longer.
I would rather decide to fail or succeed at my own business, than having to deal with political games here at current job, since 3 strikes means I get fired from my current job and I already have 1 and 1 half strikes against me.
I am hanging in there though.
Title: Re: Medical Billing Career Research‏
Post by: PMRNC on January 24, 2013, 08:47:32 AM
Quote
I have been able to speak with two people in the Medical Billing business and here is what I found out so far.
The first guy (Steven) I spoke to lives in Oregon and went through the billing class I have been considering on taking online but he said the class was very basic and I could learn most of what he learned purchasing a few books on Medical Billing. Steven have been in the business a little over 2 years, told me he thought it better to quit my current job so to devote all my time to building clients and building this business but made him aware that this is not possible since Steven thinks it could take 1-2 years to build clients but was very encouraging about the business in general.

I'd have to disagree with anyone telling you that you could learn the business from purchasing a few books. I strongly disagree UNLESS you have prior experience/education.  I also couldn't tell anyone to quit their job to focus solely on any business start up. In today's economy that is a double risk for sure. I worked a full time job, sometimes up to 70 hours a week and did not leave my position until I had a few clients under my belt. Certainly there are major challenges while your working, learning another business and trying to set it up, but I'm thinking of the income you will lose by quitting and for me that wasn't possible since I was using that income to start up my business at the time.



Quote
Steven's father passed away and left him an inheritance and he has about 20 clients but only makes about $2500 a month from his business currently but could not do it if it was just billing business supporting him but expects his numbers to increase soon.

I don't want to go too much into this aside from a simple opinion that with 20 clients certainly there should be more coming in, however I don't know what type of clients, what services, how he's billing, etc too many variables to guess it's just my opinion that 20 clients only bringing in 2500 a month would be enough to make me really evaluate what I was doing. Maybe he is paying too much in overhead? Maybe he has employee and payroll? I simply don't have enough info aside from an initial reaction to that being VERY low.



Quote
The second guy I spoke with (Jim) was the Neuro MD's biller who finally called me back after multiple attempts and me actually getting the MD to have him phone me back, which was by coincidence since I got a call from MD on my regular job with him needing assistance.
Jim has a local business here in Sarasota, FL says Medical Billing is very competitive (which is probably why he didn't phone me back right away) but room for more people to get into the business and but made me aware that my biggest challenge is getting that first client to give me a chance with no experience in the business.

Yes, as with anything it will take a new business with no experience/education much longer than most. How long depends on you of course.

Quote
In the same way if an MD finds out that I work my other hospital job on the side and that Medical Billing is not my primary business they would be nervous about hiring me. Jim says he does more than just Medical Billing and some of what he does that offices ask him to do, he doesn't really collect any revenue from such as: actually assisting the office manager role at some offices, helping offices with business work-flow issues, helping with software decisions and on and on. Jim was somewhat encouraging but told me to research a great deal before investing money and making the plunge, he also said he finds little niches that have helped him distinguish himself from competitors and suggested that for me in not so many words. Jim says to not look at just Bradenton-Sarasota but also Miami, Orlando and other areas to grow the business.

All good advice.


Quote
Well, that is my nutshell report for now, and I still have little idea about what a typical day in my own business would look like yet but have been reading, researching and of course praying that I am moving in the right direction with starting my own business since living under someone else's whim or wane on how they wish me to conduct my job does not excite me any longer.
I would rather decide to fail or succeed at my own business, than having to deal with political games here at current job, since 3 strikes means I get fired from my current job and I already have 1 and 1 half strikes against me.
I am hanging in there though.

I just want to make sure you understand that the first set of advice you got in just getting books is very very risky. You will need to look into courses and educational materials. I'm not saying to run out and get the first class you see, likewise I'm not telling you NOT to buy books and research. I'm just saying you really will need a pretty decent education to even know how to choose your software when your ready. That's VITAL to this business. If you don't know how the business works you can't properly research and demo practice management software, let alone consult with potential clients about using your services. If you have NO experience in the industry at all, you will need to instead focus a LOT on the educational part. Also you need to know the education and training is ONGOING. Right now the industry is moving towards new HIPAA/HITECH rules and we have new Coding (ICD-10) we are all getting ready for.  The industry is ever changing and startup costs won't be the only costs incurred. There will be ongoing costs associated with continued education. You really want to research online courses, on campus courses, and speak to others who might have taken a particular course.   Many of our members at PMRNC took  MedicalBillingCourse.com and were very pleased, I would say this was the most widely used course over last few years, it's different from others as it takes you through the steps of running a business where as many other courses were just medical billing in general and really didn't cover the procedures of running a medical billing company.    Michele and Alice's books at www.medicalbillinglive.com  are awesome.. EVERY single one she has is worth the money (inexpensive IMHO) and they are a very successful billing company and indeed know the business inside and out.   
Title: Re: Medical Billing Career Research‏
Post by: TechieRN on January 24, 2013, 10:41:03 PM
Linda
Thanks for responding to my post, it is really appreciated since I initially did plan on taking an online course for medical billing and seem to keep getting directed to MedicalBillingCourse.com, so will probably take that one if you think it would give me some experience and such, sounds like it would be $700 well spent   ;D
To be very honest with you, I mean I don't even know enough about medical billing business yet to even know if when i get a good look at it that I will even like it. One thing is certain, that taking a career placement test says I am a clerical person and one of the trades I would be good at is billing and plus I am detail oriented so I think that is half the battle so to speak right?
Is their a mentor on this site or would you be available for mentoring if I choose to pursue that might assist me with questions and help keep me on the right track?

I really like this forum though and like that you guys are out there as a help

Michael
Title: Re: Medical Billing Career Research‏
Post by: PMRNC on January 25, 2013, 12:22:19 PM
 
Quote
I mean I don't even know enough about medical billing business yet to even know if when i get a good look at it that I will even like it.


Michael, that was exactly why I started PMRNC, I wanted to reach people before they put out the hundreds or thousands of dollars on a business that might not even be for them. There's some articles that might give you some insight into the business before you spend even one penny at our website at www.billerswebsite.com   click on free articles.   Also Michele and Alice's books are wonderful resources that will also help you get an overview before taking a bigger leap.  Know what you are getting into. It makes complete sense. I certainly wouldn't open a pizza shop if I knew nothing about making pizza or running a restaurant <g>

 
Title: Re: Medical Billing Career Research‏
Post by: DANNI on February 10, 2013, 01:52:18 AM
Hi I am new to the forum.  I am seeking a mentor.  Can someone recommend one to me?
Title: Re: Medical Billing Career Research‏
Post by: TechieRN on February 13, 2013, 08:04:46 PM
I would like to find one myself, let me know if you have any luck.
Title: Re: Medical Billing Career Research‏
Post by: tallmanusa on February 14, 2013, 06:23:14 AM
Look at the job market for medical billers carefully.
We received over 100 applicants through our website, just during the last 30 days, experienced medical billers looking for a job. These were unsolicited, from our membership on Linkedin.
Title: Re: Medical Billing Career Research‏
Post by: TechieRN on February 20, 2013, 08:50:50 PM
I am not sure what you meant by your statement, do you mean the market is way to competitive for a person to get started in this business or what exactly did you mean?
Title: Re: Medical Billing Career Research‏
Post by: TechieRN on February 20, 2013, 08:57:16 PM
Hi There
I am aware that there are many EMRs that also have the ability to have scheduling as well as billing the patient built right into them.
My question I have is in reference to my above question, does that force the hand of the physicians and owners of medical practices to hire their own billers meaning does that put people like myself trying to start my own Medical Billing business out of a job or for us to be more creative to learn all the different EMR's out there?
I am just curious what the future looks like to those who have been in the business for quite some time?

Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions.

Michael
Title: Re: Medical Billing Career Research‏
Post by: RichardP on February 20, 2013, 10:53:28 PM
Michael - read through these links for some perspective:

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/26/health/policy/26docs.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

http://www.informationweek.com/healthcare/electronic-medical-records/ehrs-push-private-practice-docs-out-of-b/240049877

http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2012-03-12/national/35448596_1_medicare-cuts-physician-practices-doctors

http://newsroom.accenture.com/news/more-us-doctors-leaving-private-practice-due-to-rising-costs-and-technology-mandates-accenture-report-finds.htm

Economies of scale are driving doctors in private practice to join groups or groups to be purchased by hospitals.  Only 36% of doctors are expected to be in private practice at the end of 2013.  I was approached this week by an acquaintance, asking if I had any work for their sister-in-law.  Sister-in-law has extensive front office management and medical billing experience.  But her doctor just joined a doctor's group, with their own folks, and she is no longer needed.  Multiply that by thousands of times, and you have the explanation for tallmanusa's comments.

Re. your question about EMRs and PMs:  Read through these links for some perspective.

http://www.medicalbillinglive.com/members/index.php?topic=6819.msg21511#msg21511

http://www.medicalbillinglive.com/members/index.php?topic=7034.msg21003#msg21003

http://www.himss.org/ASP/topics_FocusDynamic.asp?faid=665

http://www.hl7standards.com/blog/2010/03/04/hl7-interface-an-overview/

Bottom line - Electronic Medical Records (EMRs) are used by doctors, not billers.  Practice Management systems (PMs) are used by billers, not doctors.  Data comes from the EMR to the PM via paper or electronic transfer.  Data is forwarded from PM system to the clearinghouse for billing.  Data is forwarded from (or retrieved from) clearinghouse to PM system for payment documentation (actual payment is sent to doctor).

For billing purposes, you need to know Practice Management systems, not Electronic Medical Records.  It will be the rare doctor who does not already have his EMR / PM system up and running (that includes the single doctor with a billing program who submits paper forms).  You need to be flexible about the kinds of systems you can work with.  That means knowing how to find your way around more than one Practice Management system.  This subject has been covered fairly extensively in other threads here.

Questions to help focus your attention:  If a doctor already has an EMR / PM system(s), why should he hire you as a biller if you wish to force him to use your system(s)?  Even if you don't want him to use your system(s), why should he hire you if you don't know how (or won't learn how quickly) to use his system(s)?  As is the case with any hiring situation, you have to give the employer a reason to want to hire you.  You have to have something that the employer wants and is willing to pay for.

But how to prove you have something the doctor wants if you've never done any billing before.  If you truely are a RN, you know doctors.  Doctors have billers.  Ask for contact information re. the doctors' billers.  Contact the billers where appropriate.  Offer to work for free so you can watch and learn what they do / watch and learn their PM software.  This doesn't have to be for 40 hours per week.  But it should be enough so that you actually learn from them what it is that you need to learn (that is, find out what you need to know that you don't yet know).
Title: Re: Medical Billing Career Research‏
Post by: PMRNC on February 21, 2013, 10:16:39 AM
Good INFO you got :) 

Just to add to that info simply... today's Medical biller MUST be diversified meaning they are ready, willing and able to take on an account w/out long drawn out data conversions, or the time it takes to learn a new software.. that's why I encourage all new billers to get out there and demo and play with all of them.  One of my long time friends I met way back in the late 90's started off her billing company with ONE software, she now has 77 clients, staff and she has no ONE software, some she utilizes remote access, some are web based, etc. Gone are the days where you CHOSE a software, talked the doctor into just going with yours, etc etc. Today's doctor needs you to be ready to go immediately with NO hit to the revenue stream. If you are new to the business completely it IS going to take you longer but I encourage you to learn ALL about practice management and NOT just "medical billing".   I make the bulk of my money doing consulting but I wouldn't be able to do the consulting if I only had the basic education of just billing.  Get to know the entire industry, think outside the box and be diversified and ready for any task.
Title: Re: Medical Billing Career Research‏
Post by: RichardP on February 22, 2013, 04:40:19 PM
Here is a bit more information I think everybody should be familiar with.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/20/business/a-digital-shift-on-health-data-swells-profits.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

From the article:

The biggest players drew this incredible huddle around the rule-makers and the rules are ridiculously favorable to these companies and ridiculously unfavorable to society. ... The records systems sold by the biggest vendors have their fans, who argue that, among other things, the systems ease prescribing medications electronically. But these systems also have many critics, who contend that they can be difficult to use, cannot share patient information with other systems and are sometimes adding hours to the time physicians spend documenting patient care.
Title: Re: Medical Billing Career Research‏
Post by: PMRNC on February 23, 2013, 10:27:29 AM
Quote
The biggest players drew this incredible huddle around the rule-makers and the rules are ridiculously favorable to these companies and ridiculously unfavorable to society. ... The records systems sold by the biggest vendors have their fans, who argue that, among other things, the systems ease prescribing medications electronically. But these systems also have many critics, who contend that they can be difficult to use, cannot share patient information with other systems and are sometimes adding hours to the time physicians spend documenting patient care.

And that, ... grouped with the ACA and Medicare SGR is how I made MOST of my money in last 18+ months :) 
Title: Re: Medical Billing Career Research‏
Post by: RichardP on February 23, 2013, 01:32:41 PM
And all you needed to know to earn that money was what you learned in billing class, right??  ;)

I forgot to add in my post above that there is a lot of interesting information contained in the comments that follow the article I linked to.
Title: Re: Medical Billing Career Research‏
Post by: TechieRN on February 23, 2013, 03:04:42 PM
Richard and Linda
I just wanted to say thanks for the great info you both have posted, I am still reading some of the articles Richard posted and it will take me some time to get through it all.
I am taking Richard's advice and putting out some feelers and requests to some of the MD offices I have done business with in the past, to see if I can work 'work for free" shadowing medical billers then my ultimate goal is to try networking with medical offices I have associations with to try and land at least my first client, then hopefully once I get my first client, I will get a name started for myself.
I am still a bit apprehensive in starting into this Medical Billing business field after hearing about the competitiveness of this business and such but believing there that is still room in this business for me.
Michael
Title: Re: Medical Billing Career Research‏
Post by: PMRNC on February 23, 2013, 03:09:12 PM
Quote
And all you needed to know to earn that money was what you learned in billing class, right??  ;)

Heavens no.. I never took a billing class in my life.. taught a few, helped write a home study.. my background comes from the OTHER side ;) started out back in 1989   even when I started my own business there were still doctors using the old peg board :)

If anyone ever has the opportunity to work in the claims department of any insurance carrier, I urge you to do it. The training is INVALUABLE and extensive. I was with 3 of the top 5 carriers and each one contained training NO less than 3 months. Everything from terminology to coding. When you work on the other side you don't need to go further in marketing than telling doctors you worked on the other side.. since 1997 I think I've only done about 5 mailings.
Title: Re: Medical Billing Career Research‏
Post by: RichardP on February 23, 2013, 07:30:04 PM
That was meant to be a joke.  Perhaps you understood that??
Title: Re: Medical Billing Career Research‏
Post by: RichardP on February 23, 2013, 08:03:03 PM
TechieRN - if you know medical terminology at all, you can run circles around someone who does not know the terminology and has only had a medical billing class.  If you have an interest in the technology at all, you can become a killer consultant by learning the problems that doctors / doctors groups / medical facilities / hospitals have to solve by implementing the new EMR rules.  There will be work out there for a long time, helping various groups make systems work, and then making them talk to other systems.  If you can help them do that, and know medical terminology to boot, you have the potential to be in great demand.

If you haven't done so yet, read through the comments (there are a lot of them) at the end of this link - reposted from above.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/20/business/a-digital-shift-on-health-data-swells-profits.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

That should give you a feel for how badly they need someone who can make the systems work.  Knowing the technology, and knowing medical terminology, will allow you to listen more carefully to what the doctors say they need - more so than someone who doesn't know medical terms.

And if you are under 35, go to work for Epic.  Either at headquarters, or out in the field helping organizations customize the system to their needs.

http://www.epic.com/about-index.php
http://www.hospitalemrandehr.com/2011/08/21/why-do-people-dislike-epic-so-much-including-me/

The Epic system, as well as G.E.s Centricity system are built on top of variations on the MUMPS database that is the basis of the U.S. Veteran's Affairs health-care system.  You will see reference to this in some of the links I posted (note that these are EMRs, not PMs).    That VA database is actually provided free of charge to anyone who wants to use it.  But, since there is little to no profit in software distributed for free, commercial companies are ignoring this.  Educate yourself on the software and help doctors install and use it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VistA
http://www.ehealth.va.gov/EHEALTH/CPRS_Demo.asp
http://www.vistapedia.com/index.php/Main_Page

Want to find work so you can earn money?  Make yourself useful so that you have something that doctors will pay you for.  There is a technology sea-change going on out there.  The old approach to billing is being phased out.  If you are young enough, educate yourself and ride the sea-change to success.
Title: Re: Medical Billing Career Research‏
Post by: Billergirlnyc on February 25, 2013, 07:11:32 PM
Hi There I am brand new to this forum but need some advice.

I have been able to speak with two people in the Medical Billing business and here is what I found out so far.
The first guy (Steven) I spoke to lives in Oregon and went through the billing class I have been considering on taking online but he said the class was very basic and I could learn most of what he learned purchasing a few books on Medical Billing. Steven have been in the business a little over 2 years, told me he thought it better to quit my current job so to devote all my time to building clients and building this business but made him aware that this is not possible since Steven thinks it could take 1-2 years to build clients but was very encouraging about the business in general. Steven's father passed away and left him an inheritance and he has about 20 clients but only makes about $2500 a month from his business currently but could not do it if it was just billing business supporting him but expects his numbers to increase soon. Similarly, I did let him know "I am not quitting my day job" to do this business and it would need to be built while working my current job and he agreed but said it would take me longer to accomplish but possible.
The second guy I spoke with (Jim) was the Neuro MD's biller who finally called me back after multiple attempts and me actually getting the MD to have him phone me back, which was by coincidence since I got a call from MD on my regular job with him needing assistance.
Jim has a local business here in Sarasota, FL says Medical Billing is very competitive (which is probably why he didn't phone me back right away) but room for more people to get into the business and but made me aware that my biggest challenge is getting that first client to give me a chance with no experience in the business. In the same way if an MD finds out that I work my other hospital job on the side and that Medical Billing is not my primary business they would be nervous about hiring me. Jim says he does more than just Medical Billing and some of what he does that offices ask him to do, he doesn't really collect any revenue from such as: actually assisting the office manager role at some offices, helping offices with business work-flow issues, helping with software decisions and on and on. Jim was somewhat encouraging but told me to research a great deal before investing money and making the plunge, he also said he finds little niches that have helped him distinguish himself from competitors and suggested that for me in not so many words. Jim says to not look at just Bradenton-Sarasota but also Miami, Orlando and other areas to grow the business.
Well, that is my nutshell report for now, and I still have little idea about what a typical day in my own business would look like yet but have been reading, researching and of course praying that I am moving in the right direction with starting my own business since living under someone else's whim or wane on how they wish me to conduct my job does not excite me any longer.
I would rather decide to fail or succeed at my own business, than having to deal with political games here at current job, since 3 strikes means I get fired from my current job and I already have 1 and 1 half strikes against me.
I am hanging in there though.

All fields are competitive. It's all about finding your niche and working from that, then expanding your business once you've mastered one part of it - of course this is how I do things. Find your own within that.   

I'm curious you say you're a nurse, why haven't you looked into becoming a certified coder via AAPC or AHIMA? I'm a coder (AAPC) and I hold the RHIT certification from AHIMA (another good option for nurses- I think). I've met and know tons of nurses who make excellent coders, because it's already ingrained in them from their studies and on the job skills. I mean the one's I've met at CEU's only had to really learn how to use the CPT/ICD-9 books, those who were straight coders. Some others did what's been suggested which is interned where they worked or use to work in the billing dept to learn the billing aspects. I would look into a program that perhaps offers both. I know the AAPC has a billing course as well. I learned all my billing in a doctors office for a large group with  multiple modalities years ago. I don't think anything beats hands on experience, when it comes to being a medical biller. But, again I think nurses have an advantage when it comes to coding, especially those who are use to writing in patient's charts, etc. It's just a suggestion. For me, this is where the competitive edge comes in. I can hire coders (and I do) but I became one simply so I knew every single aspect of service I offered my clients. I don't think anyone has to become one (it's definitely not needed), but if you're a nurse it just seems like a natural progression ( to me), if this is the field you plan on going into.

Good luck and keep us posted.
Title: Re: Medical Billing Career Research‏
Post by: TechieRN on March 04, 2013, 04:41:12 PM
It is funny you inquired about this, since I am trying to find out more about learning medical coding too and might be able to get an 'in' here at the hospital where I work, I am trying to talk with people.
I am beginning to think that I might have a better chance at the coding piece (more lucrative too) but can a person do coding from home or do a home business for coding as well or is it being hired to do so and being able to work from home. I am just looking for flexible options is all.

Thanks again for your input, I don't take it lightly and do appreciate it greatly.
Title: Re: Medical Billing Career Research‏
Post by: RichardP on March 04, 2013, 08:43:36 PM
Consider all the vendors pushing EMRs and PMs in the cloud - Software as a Service (SoS).  No matter where they are in the world, doctors, nurses, coders, billers - all who have been given access - can get into these systems and work on the stuff there.  So, as a coder, you could access the patients charts and read the doctors notes and do the coding and send that off to the PM system(s) for the billers to look it over and send on to the clearinghouse.  You could do this part from anywhere.

But what if you have questions about what a doctor has posted to the patient's chart?  Or a question about how to code something?  Can you get answers to questions as easily from home as you could at the job site?  That is going to depend on how the communication within the software is set up.
Title: Re: Medical Billing Career Research‏
Post by: Billergirlnyc on March 08, 2013, 03:49:29 PM
It is funny you inquired about this, since I am trying to find out more about learning medical coding too and might be able to get an 'in' here at the hospital where I work, I am trying to talk with people.
I am beginning to think that I might have a better chance at the coding piece (more lucrative too) but can a person do coding from home or do a home business for coding as well or is it being hired to do so and being able to work from home. I am just looking for flexible options is all.

Thanks again for your input, I don't take it lightly and do appreciate it greatly.

Great! I'm glad you're thinking about going this route as I think it's truly a natural progression for nurses. You'll make an awesome coder. You can work from home. I know coders who work for various hospitals and they work from home. I hire coders to do work on a temp basis when one of our larger clients overwhelms us quarterly and they telecommute with us. We, of course, make them sign all the necessary paperwork, and they have access to web-based software/EHR etc.  And if there is EVER a question about how to code something you'd contact the doctor or follow the protocol set by your client or employer.  Facilities like hospitals usually have a different set of protocols to follow when coders have questions. I use to spend a lot of time w/the nurse utilization review dept when I did work for a hospital, as it was almost impossible to speak directly with the ER doctor, etc. They would act as liaisons. In the case of having a client (say a surgeon) then you two come-up with the protocol if one hasn't been established on their end - these are just simple steps to take if you have questions about a patient's medical notes/records and these steps can be done regardless of where you're at physically. Make sure it's simple so it doesn't delay your work load. Some places give tests for coders (we do) and some have weekly and monthly quotas, for example code 100 charts a week. I've seen it. Lots of companies hire coders to do work for them on a telecommute basis. So there is money to be made.

I really think you being a nurse and then a certified coder is only going to make you look sweeter to a potential client.  You really shouldn't have to do much besides take the prep course to become a coder, but I know nurses who skipped it and just took the test. I'd definitely contact either AAPC or AHIMA (both are great) and get more information. It's up to you which one you choose. I will say I find more nurses go through AHIMA (just a personal observation) than AAPC, again this is not to say nurses don't go through AAPC, they certainly do, but AHIMA is big w/hospitals so I think that's why I notice the nurses more through my AHIMA membership meetings, CEU's, etc. As you were saying that you may have an "in" with the hospital you work for. I say GO for it! Let them pay for you to take any courses required or pay for the test. If I were smart when I worked with the hospital I would've let them pay for mines, haha. Oh, hindsight is a mother, but be sure you know if they have any requirements if they pay for it, like: signing a contract or you'll be required to work for a year or so after you pass the test/get certified. Just know everything and be sure it lines-up with your goals/plans.
Title: Re: Medical Billing Career Research‏
Post by: davidharvey on March 15, 2013, 07:00:14 AM
I am also new to this even I want know about medical billing service. Before reading this post I have no clue about it but now I know little bit about it. Thanks for starting this thread...(Y)
Title: Re: Medical Billing Career Research‏
Post by: davidharvey on March 15, 2013, 07:01:56 AM
I am also new to this even I want know about medical billing service. Before reading this post I have no clue about it but now I know little bit about it. Thanks for starting this thread...(Y)
Title: Re: Medical Billing Career Research‏
Post by: TechieRN on March 27, 2013, 09:11:22 PM
You are very Welcome!
Registering and posting on the www.medicalbillinglive.com/forum was one of the best ideas I have had, since I have received a plethora of information and am thankful for the support folks like Richard and Linda just to name a few.
Title: Re: Medical Billing Career Research‏
Post by: PMRNC on April 30, 2013, 06:25:15 PM
Here are a few more articles to help:  http://www.billerswebsite.com/articles.htm