Author Topic: New to the business  (Read 6831 times)

annaevans

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New to the business
« on: June 15, 2010, 06:27:24 PM »
Hello- I've been reading your post for a month or so, and have decided to ask some questions of my own. I'm new to the medical billing busines my background is in mental health/case management services. I've built a website, business cards, and dropped off a number of fliers. I'm looking to bill for psychologist, social workers, speach therapist, and occupational therapist. I'm struggling to push myself to do marketing. I'm kind of a shy person. Does anyone have any suggestions for me. Also if you have suggestions on web based billing companies, or software that I should consider?

Any and all suggested would be greatly appreciated from you guys. Thanks.
Anna Evans
Simplicity Billing Solutions, LLC

PMRNC

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Re: New to the business
« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2010, 11:36:26 AM »
Hi Anna,
You have a great advantage starting out with a specialty behind you. I hope you do not mind that I took a look at your website and if I may offer up a suggestion off the bat.. your fees posted on your website is not a good idea in general, it's certainly acceptable but it can be intimidating to providers and most physicians looking on the internet are going to go right to that page. That leads me to also say that 10% for MOST mental health providers is way above the average, but again, it's your prerogative.. I've been in this business for well over 20 years and my specialty for most of that time was mental health. What I learned over the years in pricing my services is that NO two offices are alike in any way. Providers want to know that they are receiving fair pricing based on THEIR individual needs. I never post my fees anywhere, I never give a blind quote. I might give a vague range but I always tell providers it would be more advantageous for them to allow me the chance to come in, analyze THEIR situation and come up with a fee that would work for both of us.   That is just one tip I had from quickly glancing at your site.

As for software, I can never tell someone what software I think is best, because the fact is, they are all different and the only way to truly find the right one for you is by doing a test drive and demo. Personally, my own opinion is that if I can't review a demo on my terms, when I want by opening up the demo, I skip that company over. I don't' want high pressured sales pitches, and IMO software that has to be "shown" to you means it's not going to be user friendly enough for me to play with it on my time. Some people will disagree with me but that's ok. I like to get as many demo's as I can. I like setting up my own databases, patients, etc and really diving into the features of each one.
Another thing I learned over the years is never get adjusted to ONE software. Diversity is key in this industry today. I have had billers tell me they lost a potential client because that client wanted to continue with their software and the biller was not comfortable with that and let the lead slip through their fingers. I have never turned down a client because they didn't want to use "my preference". Over the years I have become familiar with practically all the softwares out there. Sure there are ones I would rather stay away from but then I remind myself that my client (customer) is the one who's comfort level has to be appeased. In those situations many times they will see the limitations of their software in time and convert to the one I prefer, but this happens after they have gained trust in me and my services as well as confidence.

As for marketing, you need to first put away your fear and not be intimidated. A good tactic I learned to get over my cold calling fear was by going to the phone book. Open it up and find the biggest medical practices you can find, call them and just start talking... you have no expectations, and you can practice on the ones you know will probably not be interested. I know that sounds crazy but if you have NO expectations, you tend to open up more, be less fearful and at the same time you are practicing.  Just be careful because I actually got a client I never expected with this tactic :) Sending direct mail and internet marketing are great..but YOU MUST BE ABLE TO FOLLOW UP with a personal touch. If you send out 100 marketing pieces your chances are less than 1%, but if you follow up with a phone call your chances go up, and if you stay in touch with those potential clients they go up even more.

Put yourself out there but be sure what you are putting out there is professional! Networking is also a great thing. If it were not for networking I wouldn't be where I am today.

Best of luck to you!
Linda Walker
Practice Managers Resource & Networking Community
One Stop Resources, Education and Networking for Medical Billers
www.billerswebsite.com

Michele

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Re: New to the business
« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2010, 05:24:03 PM »
Great advice Linda!  Thanks for sharing.
« Last Edit: June 16, 2010, 05:27:01 PM by Michele »
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Anand

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Re: New to the business
« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2010, 01:00:48 AM »
Hi Anna,
You have a great advantage starting out with a specialty behind you. I hope you do not mind that I took a look at your website and if I may offer up a suggestion off the bat.. your fees posted on your website is not a good idea in general, it's certainly acceptable but it can be intimidating to providers and most physicians looking on the internet are going to go right to that page. That leads me to also say that 10% for MOST mental health providers is way above the average, but again, it's your prerogative.. I've been in this business for well over 20 years and my specialty for most of that time was mental health. What I learned over the years in pricing my services is that NO two offices are alike in any way. Providers want to know that they are receiving fair pricing based on THEIR individual needs. I never post my fees anywhere, I never give a blind quote. I might give a vague range but I always tell providers it would be more advantageous for them to allow me the chance to come in, analyze THEIR situation and come up with a fee that would work for both of us.   That is just one tip I had from quickly glancing at your site.

As for software, I can never tell someone what software I think is best, because the fact is, they are all different and the only way to truly find the right one for you is by doing a test drive and demo. Personally, my own opinion is that if I can't review a demo on my terms, when I want by opening up the demo, I skip that company over. I don't' want high pressured sales pitches, and IMO software that has to be "shown" to you means it's not going to be user friendly enough for me to play with it on my time. Some people will disagree with me but that's ok. I like to get as many demo's as I can. I like setting up my own databases, patients, etc and really diving into the features of each one.
Another thing I learned over the years is never get adjusted to ONE software. Diversity is key in this industry today. I have had billers tell me they lost a potential client because that client wanted to continue with their software and the biller was not comfortable with that and let the lead slip through their fingers. I have never turned down a client because they didn't want to use "my preference". Over the years I have become familiar with practically all the softwares out there. Sure there are ones I would rather stay away from but then I remind myself that my client (customer) is the one who's comfort level has to be appeased. In those situations many times they will see the limitations of their software in time and convert to the one I prefer, but this happens after they have gained trust in me and my services as well as confidence.

As for marketing, you need to first put away your fear and not be intimidated. A good tactic I learned to get over my cold calling fear was by going to the phone book. Open it up and find the biggest medical practices you can find, call them and just start talking... you have no expectations, and you can practice on the ones you know will probably not be interested. I know that sounds crazy but if you have NO expectations, you tend to open up more, be less fearful and at the same time you are practicing.  Just be careful because I actually got a client I never expected with this tactic :) Sending direct mail and internet marketing are great..but YOU MUST BE ABLE TO FOLLOW UP with a personal touch. If you send out 100 marketing pieces your chances are less than 1%, but if you follow up with a phone call your chances go up, and if you stay in touch with those potential clients they go up even more.

Put yourself out there but be sure what you are putting out there is professional! Networking is also a great thing. If it were not for networking I wouldn't be where I am today.

Best of luck to you!
Linda-I could see how much you love this industry, really inspiring & of-course great inputs...All the best

Alice Scott

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Re: New to the business
« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2010, 05:18:48 AM »
Linda,
Thank you for taking the time to give such good advice.
Alice
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PMRNC

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Re: New to the business
« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2010, 09:36:07 AM »
Thank you!
Linda Walker
Practice Managers Resource & Networking Community
One Stop Resources, Education and Networking for Medical Billers
www.billerswebsite.com

annaevans

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Re: New to the business
« Reply #6 on: June 17, 2010, 03:14:35 PM »
Thank you for the good advice you gave me a lot to think about.
Thanks,
Anna Evans
Anna Evans
Simplicity Billing Solutions, LLC

megg6785

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Re: New to the business
« Reply #7 on: June 23, 2010, 10:22:12 AM »
Hi Anne,
I am brand new to starting my own business too.  I have been billing for a variety of doctors and providers for several years, but decided to venture out on my own.  I am at the same place you are and feel a bit intimidated by marketing!!  I have a website, cards and a brochure also. Originally I thought I would focus on becoming a patient advocate, but there really is no market for that, so I have changed directions to continue billing for physicians.  So I have had to revamp my material.  I am waiting for them to show up (tomorrow). My focus is smaller office of 2 providers...  I feel for you as I need pointers too to get this business rolling!!  ???

PMRNC

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Re: New to the business
« Reply #8 on: June 23, 2010, 10:50:47 AM »
While you are marketing you could ask potential clients to allow you to leave your card and a brochure on advocacy services you offer. You would be surprised, if you help a patient they are going to remember and tell that provider, and so on. You can make it an extension of your services. Most medical billers when starting out only focus on the obvious and you have to think outside the box!
Linda Walker
Practice Managers Resource & Networking Community
One Stop Resources, Education and Networking for Medical Billers
www.billerswebsite.com

Pay_My_Claims

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Re: New to the business
« Reply #9 on: June 23, 2010, 11:30:18 AM »
Hi Anne,
I am brand new to starting my own business too.  I have been billing for a variety of doctors and providers for several years, but decided to venture out on my own.  I am at the same place you are and feel a bit intimidated by marketing!!  I have a website, cards and a brochure also. Originally I thought I would focus on becoming a patient advocate, but there really is no market for that, so I have changed directions to continue billing for physicians.  So I have had to revamp my material.  I am waiting for them to show up (tomorrow). My focus is smaller office of 2 providers...  I feel for you as I need pointers too to get this business rolling!!  ???

what type of marketing are you doing?? Also I would be careful about marketing businesses that don't relate to medical billing. you come off as a "sales person". I had a friend who tried to obtain a client, when he wasn't interested she tried to offer him some of her other "discount" services.

Michele

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Re: New to the business
« Reply #10 on: June 23, 2010, 09:03:19 PM »
Don't be intimidated by marketing.  I was and it held me back.  Now I'm not and there is nothing stopping me.  You've got to step outside of your comfort zone and just keep your eyes on the goal, landing the account.  You can waste being nervous after!

Seriously you just need to decide you are going to do it, and then go get it done.  The providers aren't nervous, and they are people just like you and me.  This is business, you are a business person and so is the provider.

Best wishes!

Michele
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PMRNC

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Re: New to the business
« Reply #11 on: June 24, 2010, 06:49:40 AM »
Quote
what type of marketing are you doing?? Also I would be careful about marketing businesses that don't relate to medical billing. you come off as a "sales person". I had a friend who tried to obtain a client, when he wasn't interested she tried to offer him some of her other "discount" services.

Well, I would agree you probably don't want to sell those lost clients jewelry or baked goods, but patient advocates and claims advocates actually get most of their business from physicians. There have been a few who were not ready to outsource but were overly enthusiastic to learn about the other services I could provide. But then again, that's why I limit my use of the "Medical Billing" stereotype.
Linda Walker
Practice Managers Resource & Networking Community
One Stop Resources, Education and Networking for Medical Billers
www.billerswebsite.com

annaevans

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Re: Outside of the box?
« Reply #12 on: June 24, 2010, 04:02:02 PM »
Wow, I would love to go outside the box and provide advocacy services to their clients. I'm exceptional resource finder when I worked in mental health. I was thinking some how providing that service to the clinicians' through a resource page on my website. I'm extremely knowledgeable about learning disabilities, and the school system in Texas. If anyone of you have any questions I'd help you guys for free with your children. It definately something to think about, but first I must get a client. Again everyone thanks for your great idea.
Anna Evans
Anna Evans
Simplicity Billing Solutions, LLC

PMRNC

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Re: New to the business
« Reply #13 on: June 24, 2010, 04:35:50 PM »
Anna, I think it's a great extension for your business. The only tip I would give you is to be sure that when patients from a provider need your services you have a separate contract with the patient, NOT the provider! with that type of service you could even create an online contract, you could create a link for "patients" to purchase the service but you want to be careful not to collect any PHI via the website unless you are using encryption security, it's just easier to accept the payment, have the patient agree to the terms and then you can arrange a consult.  I know a billing company not too far from me that handles these types of services and they are pretty busy, 90 percent of their business comes from their clients OR word of mouth via doctors in the area. she has her business cards in all of the doctors offices. 
Linda Walker
Practice Managers Resource & Networking Community
One Stop Resources, Education and Networking for Medical Billers
www.billerswebsite.com

tonya_l

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Re: New to the business
« Reply #14 on: June 28, 2010, 09:53:53 PM »
Hi - I am new to this site and am finding it full of information. I have been in the medical billing business for about 5 years now and am thinking about going out on my own. I have no idea where to start. Can anyone tell me the first steps to take and approx what the start up costs will be? I will be billing from home and am not sure how that works with the software I purchase. I am looking into Medisoft and trying to figure out how I connect or if I have to connect to the doctors offices. There is so much to the business part that I am afraid I will jump into something to fast! Any information or suggestions would be greatly appreciated...thanks...Tonya