Medical Billing Vs Medical Coding Business

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How is a medical billing different from medical coding?

This is a question people ask me about daily.   Although these are two very different jobs, understanding both is essential in becoming an expert in your field. If you are thinking of starting a medical billing company, you don’t need a coding certification but it certainly helps to understand how medical coding works.

In the beginning, I went to Clark University for medical billing and coding. I had a very strong knowledge of medical terminology, anatomy, and coding when I graduated. I did not get certified after I finished.  I had researched medical billing businesses and found out how lucrative they could be. I went on to start a medical billing company and became a certified reimbursement specialist.

There were three factors that made me take this direction:

  • I wanted to be a business owner
  • I wanted to work from home
  • I wanted to make a lot of money
  • I wanted to support my children on my own

Think about what you want, are you ready to start a business of your own? Do you want the freedom of making your own work hours? You can visit me at www.jennifergomm.com if starting a medical billing business is the right path for you.

Job Duties of a Medical Coder

A medical coder analyzes the documentation of services with a healthcare provider (physician, nurse, chiropractor etc.) and determines the appropriate procedure code (CPT- Current Procedural Terminology) or HCPCS (Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System) to match the services provided. They also use the diagnosis code (ICD10 International Classification of Disease) that has been documented by the healthcare provider.

Because of the extreme importance placed on accurate coding, medical coders must often coordinate with other members of the staff to get more details about a particular patient.

Choosing an incorrect code could result in a loss of income for health care provider. In a large professional setting where the two professions are separate, medical coders are more concerned with compliance to universal meanings of codes.

Often, a medical coder works freelance, in a facility, or a physician’s office and are paid an hourly salary. This makes it more difficult to go into business for themselves and make a lot of money.  

Job Duties of a Medical Biller

A medical biller takes the assigned codes that the coder or healthcare provider chooses and enters them into billing software and submits them to the insurance company or appropriate payer to be paid.

They follow up and complete the whole revenue cycle process (post payments, appeal denials, and bills patients) and ensures it is completed.

The biller also has daily interactions with insurance companies and patients to make sure the claims are paid correctly and timely.

Eligibility verification is another big part of the biller’s job.  Incorrect eligibility can lead to unhappy patients and lost revenue.

They have direct communication with patients and healthcare providers about understanding their payment obligations. These might include copays, coinsurance, and deductibles. As stated above, in a properly run office this is done before they are seen. 

They are responsible for choosing the correct billing format, payer id’s, addresses, modifiers, and any required documentation. Most of their efforts are spent making codes conform to specific payer requirements to describe medically necessary services for reimbursement purposes.

Lastly, medical billers are not allowed to choose the CPT code. This violates ethical practices as they might pick higher paying codes.

How Are Their Jobs Similar? 

Both medical billing and coding share some similarities. They both work in the healthcare setting. They do share some duties such as collecting documentation, collecting accurate facility and patient information. Both jobs are absolutely crucial to the cash flow of facilities and physician offices. It is also helpful for both to have a knowledge of how it all works to aid one another.  The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics classifies medical billers and medical coders as Medical Records and Health Information Technicians.

No matter the differences in the job duties, both billers and coders must be detail oriented, use correct coding, and stay compliant with the current government regulations. They need to have good communication skills as they deal with patients, doctors, and all other related staff. They need to have computer knowledge, as most of the software today is on a computer, cloud or server based. Lastly, both need to possess integrity, and the law requires the PHI (protected health information) follow HIPAA guidelines.

If after reading this, you are interested in starting your own medical billing business please visit me at www.jennifergomm.com.  I offer one-one business coaching and a monthly membership to assist you in your billing business startup.

Use Email Marketing In Your Medical Billing Business

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Email marketing campaigns are one of the most effective ways of keeping in touch with your target audience, marketing your products and moving prospects down the sales funnel. Here is how to get started.

What is email marketing for your medical billing business?

Email marketing is an organized campaign of emails sent to your potential or existing medical billing clients. The emails can include many different pieces of information, for example:

  • Newsletters
  • Marketing Emails
  • Surveys
  • Blog Notices

The first piece of advice a professional marketer would tell you is, start collecting an email list. Build a list of emails from you target niche whom you want to build trust, show your expert status, and build a relationship with so they eventually buy your product or service. Whether you are starting from scratch or you already have some emails, now is the time to start using those connections to create a marketing campaign.

Keep Your Budget In Mind

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Email marketing is a very low-cost outlet for marketing to your ideal client, they can be customized to a specific demographic or need of the potential customer. You can reach a very large audience with a very low marketing budget.

This inexpensive form of marketing helps your track what works and what does not work. An example, if you offer a free analysis of a potential physician’s practice to suggest areas of improvement and do not get a response, then it’s time to try a different approach. If you offer a free consult on a difficult set of claims and offer a solution to one specific problem for free, and that works, then you know what to keep moving forward with. In business, it’s important to measure these success markers so you don’t keep repeating the same mistakes and lose money.

Know Your End Goal

Before starting, think of the goals that you want to achieve with your email marketing campaign. You can have several goals, each for a particular audience.This determines:

  • The type of campaign to use
  • The target audience
  • The type of content to use and how to measure success

Get Helpful Tools

There are so many low to no cost options for email marketing, such as Get Response and Mailchimp. Research has shown that an average adult attention span is eight seconds, so keep it simple and get right to the point. So make your email engaging and always giving value. A good strategy is to ask how you can help, this always opens the door for conversation so you can let them know how your service will solve their issue, and of course, images always create interest.

Use Networking Events, Social Gatherings, and Social Media Ads To Build Your List

Collecting emails being your top priority, start asking for them at networking events, create a lead ad on Facebook asking potential clients to enter their email, and the most popular “opt-in” style where you give away something for free, such as a how-to document, or ebook and give the potential client value so they give you their email. Giving a valuable incentive not only shows the knowledge you have but establishes trust in your abilities. The valuable incentive could be an eBook, a cheat sheet, and discounts on their next purchase, and so much more. Always ensure you have valuable content to create interest.

Give Value and Solve Their Pain Point

This was huge for me in the beginning, I always gave value. When electronic health records came out, I found the low-cost solution and included that in my marketing. When ICD 10 was coming down the road, I gave free resources to help physicians and get them ready. You get the point, really tap into what your ideal client’s issues are and give them solutions. You will secure a client for life this way.marketing tips

Speak To Your Ideal Client And Get Personal

Now that you are not only a medical biller but a business owner, you will have to think like a marketer.  In the beginning, I had no idea how to create a business, let alone market it. Always keep in mind what your potential client’s pain point is. Are there receivables low? Are they constantly hiring new staff and having to train them? How can you fix that? Are they confused with the new government coding regulations? How can you fix that? You can reach out to me at www.jennifergomm.com to brainstorm some of the issues in the medical billing industry today. Most email tools allow you to customize your email with header names, individual needs, and different groups.Use eye-catching graphics, words, and deals

Make Your Email Professional

Think of what colors are pleasing, it’s formatted properly, and your grammar is correct. Use eye-catching colors and images. I am a huge fan of bullet points and breaking text up. The average person only has a few seconds of room in their brain and time in their day to remember you so make it count. If your email is too wordy or starts to bore them, it will get deleted.

Add Your Social Media Buttons

If you’re in my membership then you know how important social media is. Add your social share buttons to all your email and encourage your customers to connect. It’s all about getting in front of as many people as possible to spread the word about your medical billing business.

Have A Compelling Subject Line

Many people will not even open the email if the subject line is boring, offensive, or unprofessional. Keep it simple and to the point. Here are some examples:

  • Are receivables shrinking?
  • Are you tired of training new staff?
  • Are you struggling to keep up with the new insurance regulations?
  • Are you getting paid for all your hard work?

Have A Clear Call To Action (CTA)

Make sure you let them know what to do next, have a call to action in your email. In marketing, most people will follow exactly what you tell them to do. Be sure to tell them to reply with their biggest issue, call your number to schedule an analysis of their practice, or share the email with their colleagues. Whatever it is, make sure to keep the flow of communication going.

Reach out to me at the medical billing biz hub to find out how I can help you brainstorm your client’s pain points.

 Buying Emails is Illegal In Most States

Check with your state laws, in most areas it is illegal to purchase emails and you could find yourself facing fines.

Use Autoresponders

Autoresponder email marketing is such an effective tool in email marketing as it helps you engage with your email recipients even when you are not around, and you can set up emails to go out on in a timed sequence. This always your business to run, and engage customers while you are doing other tasks.

Monitor Your Success

Like all your marketing projects, this will need constant monitoring and tweaking. Find out what works and what does not. Change it up when needed.

Whether this is your first time doing an email marketing campaign, or you are a pro, I am here for you, just reach out at www.jennifergomm.com, join my $29 Monthly Membership, or get one-one coaching. I have successfully marketed, promoted, and built many businesses from the ground up. If Facebook ads have you stumped, no need to worry, they are my specialty and we will get the job done together.

Action Plan To Start Your Medical Billing Business From Your Home

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When you are working to create an action plan for your new medical billing business, there are several questions that you need to ask yourself. Consider the following steps and questions and write down your action plan.

Evaluate Experience

  • Do you have enough experience already, or do you need to gain some experience? What education do you already have? What certifications do you want to get?
  • Begin by researching certification courses through the American Medical Billing Association and American Academy of Professional Coders. Use these resources to plan your course.
  • Move on to researching HIPAA certification, and plan your course in this area, as well. When you get your billing certification, they should also educate you on HIPAA.

Review Practice Management Software

  • Make a list of pros and cons to each option. Which do you like? Look for time-saving tips like auto post electronic payments and aging report that sort and categorize your outstanding a/r.

Prepare Your Office

  • Organize and implement a plan for your office set up. Where will it be? Do you have all of the items that you need? Keep HIPAA in mind at all times, you will need to protect patient health information or you will get fined.  A secure place for storage with a deadbolt is a must. 

Get Legal Advice

  • Decide on the legal business entity you will choose to help you in creating your billing contract. Check with your local Chamber of Commerce and with your state officials about licensing requirements. Find out what the laws in your state are for billing on a commission or flat fee basis. Some states do not allow a medical billing company to collect a commission. 

Set Your Fees

  • As I said before, check the legality of billing on a commission basis. Most billing companies bill this way so make sure it’s ok in your state. Also, a good idea is to offer two options, figure out how long it will take to get the job done and give them a salary and a commission offer. This lets the doctor or facility feel in control. 

Choose Your Niche

  • What niche are you interested in? You’ll want to research the fees and the market in your area. Having a personal connection to the specialty you are choosing is a great marketing edge.

Create Your Mission Statement

  • Define your mission. What do you stand for? A powerful mission statement will definitely make that first impression count.

Build Your Brand

  • Establish your brand and develop your logo. There are so many free sites that help you get a good logo so make it pleasing to the eye.  Remember, your logo will be everywhere.

Get Visible Online

  • Create your website and start working on getting visible online. Build your website and social media business platforms so when your customers google you, they like what they see.

Create a marketing plan

  • Start traditional and online forms of marketing, networking, and getting your business out there. Talk to as many people about your business that you can, you never know where your next client will come from.

Seek Advice and Guidance

I am wishing success for you from the bottom of my heart. I have faith in you. If I can do it, then so can you. Go forward with total confidence and build your business.

“Fear of staying the same has to be greater than the fear of change” – Tony Robbins. 

 

How to network in your medical billing business.

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I should have named this blog, networking for the introvert, because in the beginning, I had major anxiety at the thought of going to an event and selling my services to potential clients or people that could spread the word about my business. In fact, I am sure I would have been named, the shyest girl in high school.  Not today though, now I am outgoing, don’t care if someone judges me, and happily talk about my business.

So, my gift to you is to tell you how to get out there and network because, in retrospect, this was a HUGE factor in my success.

Here are the habits of successful networkers:

Meet The Head Of  The Event & The Organizers

Do your research and find out who the head of the association meeting or seminar’s President and other officers are. On your first visit, introduce yourself, tell them “this is my first visit here, I offer these services and I would love to know how I could help” For example, I met the secretary to the president of the physician association I was going to years ago, helped her with an issue, and offered my services for other docs that were in need. She then referred physicians to me.  I was thankful, grateful, and she knew it.

Give freely, with no expectation of anything in return at first, that is how you will be remembered and rewarded.

Listen & Know Your Potential Client’s Pain Points

Good listening skills are essential, there is no bigger turnoff than someone who loves the sound of their own voice and believes they know it all.  Upon meeting a potential client, I always ask, what are you struggling with right now?  What codes do you frequently use? What software do you use? Clearinghouse? Do you have trouble with patient collections?  These are just a few of the hot points in a physician’s office and trust me, this will get the conversation rolling. In my experience in business, people have pain points, find them and help them solve those issues.  They won’t forget it.

Smile & Have Fun

Ok, so this sounds unprofessional.  Why do you need to have fun? Why do you need to smile?  Well, just like in social gatherings, people are attracted to positive, happy, and stress-free vibes. If you are sitting there, arms crossed, looking like a librarian from the 1920’s, you might not attract conversation. By nature, I am a joker.  I come from a family of jokers. I like to laugh and at times probably too loud. This definitely got attention at the seminars. I made some really good friends with the booths around me and we had a really good time at our functions. We made light of the long days and it showed. People would come over just to see why we looked happy or were smiling and that was my opportunity to start meaningful discussions about the possibility of connecting, and hopefully working together someday.

A smile welcomes, a laugh will intrigue, and happy vibes go a long way.

Introduce Yourself  To Everyone, Even If They Are Your Competition

Sometimes I can’t believe what I did in the beginning or how I knew that was the right thing to do. Looking back, I things I was doing were creating a solid foundation for the future of my business.

At my first seminar, once the crowds calmed down I had a chance to survey all the other vendors. Some were billing companies, and if you look at it a certain way, they were my competition. It’s normal to size them up and see if you measure up.

 

I truly believed, and still do, that there is PLENTY of work for everyone. There are millions of physicians in our country, they need billers, now more than ever. So I went over to everyone and stuck my hand out. I talked shop and said if they ever needed anything, let me know. Some snickered behind my back, some laughed, and some I am friends with to this day.

I was building a reputation for being genuine, who would not want to work with someone like that?

Be Interested In Everyone, You Never Know Who Might Help You

This includes the last piece of advice, introduce you to everyone but I want to take it a little further. Don’t rule anyone out!  I ended up chatting year after year to a guy that was setting up the power point presentation for our class, he worked for the hotel.  Years later, I got a client from him, his best friend was a doctor!  Who knew, boy did it pay off to not rule him out, treat everyone with respect, and make a great connection.

The best way to network, all around, is to be interested in other people without an agenda.

Connect  Others Together

Great networks connect others as well, remember it’s all about solving that doctor’s problem, a business can get stressful and you definitely remember who helped you in your time of need. I know I do. Build a loyal tribe, help them in need, and in turn, they will help you.

Many time, an account was not right for me but I had a connection that it was right for so I passed it on.  When that turned into a great match, I go the credit. Yup, reputation building again.

Leave Them Wanting More

The same theme all around, give instead of sell. You can give by listening, sympathizing, or sharing some personal connection.  Relate it to your own life, think about the people you remember along the way, why do you remember some?  They touched you, they left an impression on you, or they helped you in need. I have clients that have been loyal to me for over 15 years, this is how I started. I helped, for free a lot.  It has paid off for me one hundred times over.

Offer A Free Service

In the beginning of the electronic health records, I saw one specialty that I worked with struggled to get software. It was a low reimbursement group of docs and they did not want to sink a large amount of money into a software trend that was brand new. I researched companies and found a free one at the time, practice fusion.  I asked the secretary to the president if they would like me to do a presentation showcasing the software for free. Again, having no idea how big this was, my only concern at that time was feeding my children and paying my mortgage. They were thrilled, I did the presentation, it was a hit and again, I was recognized for my hard work.

Also, let me tell you, it was in the beginning of my success and the presentation was FAR from perfect but no one cared. I solved a huge problem for them.

Network All The Time

Networking opportunities are everywhere! If you only pursue connections when you’re in need, you will not get the same results.  Make it your everyday way of life, carry your business cards, tell neighbors about your business, help a friend’s mother understand her medical bill or how Medicare works. This is all networking. Remember, you never know who knows who. You friend’s mother could tell her doctor that you helped her, spark his interest, and the next thing you know, he is calling you to find out about your services.

It’s about changing the way you think from the employee to the business owner and a business owner has to market and network all the time or, they won’t have a business anymore. It will be a shift you will have to make and get more comfortable with the more you do it.

Don’t Give Up, Don’t Take It Personally

You may want to, I have. Somedays you think, that person was rude or they did not answer my message or call. Don’t take it personally.  We all get busy, they are not ready, or you are not the right fit for them.

I’ll tell you, I had a doctor that I had a great connection with at a seminar, we talked shop, he seemed really impressed. I reached out by mail, no response.  I called his office and he was actually rude and when I hung up the phone I though, I’ll never work with this guy.  Yup, six months later, he called me, apologized and said he really needed me. He has been a loyal client to date and had referred LOTS of clients to me.

Don’t be pushy, and definitely know when to pull back. After the doc was rude to me, I did not contact him again but the moral of the story, don’t give up and don’t take it personally.

Again, Don’t Take It Personally

Yes, this subject calls for a title of its own, you have to build a thick skin. Some people are rude, not just in business, in life and you have to learn how to deal with them. The very first seminar I went to, hardly anyone talked to me. Yes, I went home and cried but you know what?  It made me stronger, it made me work harder, and it taught me to not take it to heart when someone does not like me or my business. Don’t dwell on these people or situations that are not lifting you up. Push those people aside and live the life you deserve.

Follow Up, Follow Up, and Follow Up

The meeting/seminar is over, your home, and now reaching out seems scary.  FOLLOW UP!  This is huge and today we have so many resources that make this easy.  We did not have LinkedIn years ago so this follow up was a letter or phone call.  Now, thru social media you can easily follow up, stay connected, and most importantly, be ready to help when they need it.

It’s all about fostering a relationship, you’re follow up should contain value, share a relevant article, help with a billing issue, or introduce them to someone.  

Why you should build a WordPress website for your medical billing business

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I know what you are thinking, I do medical billing so why should I be concerned about where my website is or SEO (Search Engine Optimization) or having a blog. If you have followed me for a while, then you know I have done it all in my business from building a website to running a Facebook ad. I always recommend WordPress to my coaching clients and I’ll tell you why.

What is the first thing you do when you need something, perhaps a new washer dryer, computer, or car?  You google it.

Think about your clients, how will they find you?  What will they see when they google you?  Wouldn’t it be nice if they found you on their own, saw you were an expert in your field and called you to inquire about your business without you having the cost of marketing?

 

This is organic reach and it’s free.

 

What if you kept a small blog, updated your potential clients and posted this on all your social outlets?  Again, this is a huge way to get in front of anyone needing your services and giving them insight on your knowledge and expertise. We are living in an era where the internet rules the world. It is important to have a solid website, and WordPress can offer you the tools you need to develop a website that can stand tall in the market and is more recognized by Google. It is also one of the most popular blogging tools and blogs are a great way to get free eyeballs on your business.

 

So, let’s look at some of the top reasons why you should use WordPress for your business:

 

WordPress is simple and easy to set up, update and manage.

 

You don’t have to be an HTML coder or an internet champ to use WordPress. All that is needed to create your website on WordPress is a web browser and an internet connection. With this platform, you can have your website up in just about two minutes. WordPress is a perfect starting point for businesses and when you are ready to customize your site, you can easily do it even if you do not come from a technical background. Using the friendly visual editor, you can update all your content, be it blog posts, pages or custom posts.

 

WordPress comes with thousands of professionally designed themes.

 

WordPress brings to you several themes, and many of them are available for free! These themes let you professionally design your website, without the expense or pain of hiring a professional designer.

 

WordPress is quite versatile.

 

Regardless the nature of your business, WordPress is up for the task. It is capable of handling everything from blogs to business websites and even e-commerce. From a business point of view, this is a great asset as the scope of your website is not limited. You are free to branch out new projects and add additional functionalities.

 

WordPress is SEO friendly.

 

Organic SEO is the buzzing word in the industry today. It is something we get to hear a lot these days and the good news is that WordPress has many options that can help you get an edge over your competitors in the search engine results. WordPress offers you certain features as well as plugins that can monitor the analytics for you and drive traffic to your site.

 

WordPress is an open source program.

 

Another feature that makes WordPress perfect for your business is that unlike many other website building platforms, it is an open source program. Open source refers to a program that is available to the public for use and/or modification from its original design free of charge. This means it’s free from limitations and commercial restrictions allowing you to use it the way you want and host the site wherever you want. You do not even have to be scared that changes in someone else’s business plan or model will impact you.

 

WordPress is not expensive.

 

WordPress is one of the most cost effective websites. You are definitely getting the most out of the yearly cost.

 

WordPress offers many features.

 

WordPress offers some powerful attributes, such as email harvesting, blogging, dropdown menus and commenting. You can also add various plugins with just a few clicks for additional functions such as social media feeds, slideshows, event calendars, video albums etc. Hence, it can be said that with WordPress you can plan and develop with confidence.

 

WordPress has been around for a while.

 

If you don’t know, WordPress is more than ten years old. During these ten years, it has been tested, refined and enhanced, and in the process, has evolved into a top-notch web publishing platform.

 

WordPress is compatible with mobile internet.

 

In this high-tech era, you cannot assume your clients will visit your website only from a full-screen computer or laptop. Mobile internet is the need of the hour and the usage of mobile internet is booming. If your site is not compatible, it may not look good on smartphones and customers might not continue showing interest in your website. There are several WordPress themes that are designed to be mobile friendly or are responsive, which means your visitors are free to visit your website on their smart devices. Not only this, The WordPress dashboard is created to work on full-screen computers as well as smart phones so that your website can be managed from anywhere, anytime.

 

Free support is at your fingertips.

 

Have you ever run into any sort of issue while using WordPress? Well, there are several videos and articles available that can help you with these issues. Whether it is about troubleshooting plugins or installing themes, WordPress offers you documented solutions to most of your problems. The time that can you save on troubleshooting these issues can be spent doing other creative things in WordPress. If you are one of those DIY sorts, you can save money by reading and fixing, instead of hiring someone to fix these issues for you.

 

WordPress is loved by Google

Google, the king of search engines, loves WordPress and this is a great plus! You might wonder why? Well, it’s because:

 

  • Google really likes text-based websites, and WordPress is text-based.

 

  • Google loves sites that are mobile friendly, and WordPress can be made as responsive as possible for all the smart devices.

 

  • Google really respects websites that come with logical architecture, and WordPress is indeed designed in a very logical manner.

 

  • Google loves Search Engine Optimization, and WordPress is SEO friendly and helps you rule over your competitors.

 

  • Google is fond of blogs, and WordPress is popularly known as a blogger’s tool.

 

WordPress is definitely the website to consider when building your medical billing business website.

 

You can reach me at www.jennifergomm.com join my $29 monthly membership or the one-one coaching packages.

10 Things I Wish I knew Before Starting My Medical Billing Business

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My medical billing business journey has definitely been full of incredible highs and a few lows.  It’s a journey filled with bumps, detours, and unexpected curves. In business ownership, it is essential to have a support group or mentor to support and let you know that all these bumps you hit are actually incredibly useful lessons in your entrepreneurial journey. You will learn from those lessons, and make necessary changes. Surprisingly, business owners wear these mistakes as badges of honor.

Trust me, some mistakes I could have gone without and cringe when I think about it, but would I be here today if I had not done it the same way? I honestly don’t think so.  

Here are 10 things I wish I knew before starting my businesses:

1. Business Ownership is 24/7

You actual “work” is a small portion of what you actually do, the rest of the time is spent developing strategies, marketing, bookkeeping, invoicing, payroll, customer service. So in short, you suddenly become a web designer, social media expert, psychiatrist, you name it!

It is a lot more than going to your 9-5, working, and then going home and forgetting about it all. IT NEVER LEAVES YOU!  Now, in my opinion, most people don’t get rich by working for someone else. The payoff of all that hard work, at the end of the day, is the freedom you have to decide how your business runs, who you are going to work with, and the SIZE OF YOUR PAYCHECK.

To maintain a successful business, you learn how to juggle all and eventually outsource. Some suggest growing slowly is a good way to learn, I did not take that route. I grew very quickly and was thrown into it all.  

2. Serve Your Customers

Of course, you want to make money, in the beginning, I took any paying job I was offered. It becomes easy to focus on just that and lose a sense of serving your customers. You can be the best medical biller on the planet, I have no doubt you are, but if you become preoccupied with the money, your client will lose out. Eventually, they might look elsewhere. I read a quote the other day that really got to me, it was  ‘pretend your services are bad”.  If you are thinking huh? This quote made me stop and think, you do always need to improve your services, focus on your customers, and realize you can really make a difference in someone else’s life.

When I started my billing company, I knew that I could streamline the billing process for physicians, increase their revenue, and give them time to focus on patients. Don’t lose sight of the mission of your company, this can easily happen when the cash flow starts coming in.

3. Manage Your Cash Flow

Yes, cash flow will enable your business to run.  When times are good, it’s easy to think that the money will keep coming in. Years ago, I decided business was good and I’ll redo my kitchen.  What a beautiful kitchen it was.  Two months later, my biggest account got sold to a big corporation with an in-house biller. My nest egg was gone. Boy, did I learn a newbie lesson.  Managing the money coming in, the expenses, and keeping a cushion are essential.  Make a budget and stick to it.

4. Consider Keeping Your Day Job Until You Are Financially Able To Make It

In the beginning, the business can be stressful and not having enough money to survive?  Well, you can’t be successful if you are filled with stress and worry all the time.

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach, but you should consider doing something like keeping your current job for as long as you can. This gives you time to build an emergency fund, conduct market research, and start gaining some traction. Even when it’s to make to take that giant leap you need to hire the right team and constantly develop your skills.

5. Never Stop Marketing

NEVER STOP MARKETING.  I can’t stress this enough, even though I have doctors contacting me, have given work away because I have too much, and get tons of referrals I never stop updating my websites, posting on social media, and developing new marketing plans.  

Don’t ever fall into the thinking that you have plenty of business, therefore I’ll coast for a bit mindset. Things can change fast and you always want to be prepared.

6. Check Out Your Competition

This is crucial in business, see what the top experts in your field are doing. Find out who they serve and why.  This is much easier today because we have the internet, years ago you did not have a bird’s eye view of your competitors.

What comes up when you google your competition, spend a few hours checking it all out so you will be clear about what you would and could offer.

7. Don’t Put All Your Eggs In One Basket

A big lesson I learned three years in, one of my biggest accounts sold out to a big corporation that had an in-house biller. I lost over half of my income.  From that, I learned two really important lessons.

Keep your accounts diverse with big, small, and in between clients. Never rely on any one client for your some income. You may have a client get a cheaper offer (let the go if that is the case, you get what you pay for!) they might sell, or change the direction of their business.

8. Your Time Is Gold, Optimize, Outsource, and Automate  

Yes, you will burn out fast by doing it all.  Been there, and got a one-way ticket to burnout village.  Your time is worth everything so find ways to free up that time. I hated patient statements, it took hours.  Printing, checking, stuffing envelopes, and going to the post office. Early on, I started using Billflash (statement mailing company). Took me a few minutes to look over the statements and then upload a file.  Boom, the patient was mailed or emailed a bill with a nice return envelope. This saved tons of time off my week. It was worth every penny.

Another huge time saver for me, electronic reitts (insurance payments). I will not work in an office without them. What used to take 10 plus hours years ago, takes me 20 minutes today.

Marketing falls into this category as well.  Upwork, Guru, Fiverr, and SimplyHired, are all great.   Want a logo, website tweak, or SEO issue taken care of?  No problem.  I also use a remote VA, let them handle little things that would take the hours away from your day. This is smart business, and you are a business owner now, so think like one.  

You need to keep the focus on your clients at all times.

9. Get Personal With Marketing, Engage With Your Audience

Your customers don’t want to do business with some faceless, nameless organization. Get personal on all social media outlets, websites, and newsletters. Connect with them, let them know why you are in this business, why you want to help them, and how you can solve their pain point.

This always keeps you in touch with what your customers are looking for as well, I like to ask, ‘what is your biggest struggle right now’?  That gives me insight on how I can help. When you do help, it builds confidence, trust, and makes you an authority figure.

Way back, I did a very generic website, I still see this today. It did not reflect what I am about at all. Get your mission statement and post it up near your workstation. Remember is and let it shine in your online presence.

Reach out to me at www.jennifergomm.com and join one of my programs so we can work out a plan for you to connect with your potential clients.

10. Enjoy Your Business

I know what you’re thinking. There is so much work to do!  Years ago,  I was so deep in the building, marketing, and getting doctors part of my business that I missed out on enjoying victories along the way.  I skipped vacations, parties, and weekends away. DO NOT DO THIS!  Remember to keep that balance, life is short and take the time to enjoy the little moments.

It is hard in the hustle/startup phase of the business but recharging your batteries is crucial   Celebrate your wins and don’t work yourself to death.

Honestly, I could go on and on. These are just a few pieces of advice I wish I had. No one is mistake free in business and when it happens to you, go easy on yourself. I took these hits very hard, that is one HUGE thing I would change. You have support in the medical billing business hub, $29 Monthly Membership and One-One Coaching Program.

Reach out and let me know how I can support you!

 

 

How can I find the right medical billing program?

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Medical coding and billing jobs are in high demand and growing according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That is great news if you are thinking of starting a medical billing business from your home.

 

Like all other “work from home” promises, you should look for qualified coaches, programs, and tools to help you.

 

Quality online medical billing courses do exist so be sure to do your research and choose one that is legit.

 

Watch out for these red flags:

 

  • Programs promising instant success, without doing all the hard work necessary to start a business or get certified.
  • Programs that are not taught by certified medical billers, coders, and or successful medical billing business owners.  
  • Programs that don’t specialize in medical billing.
  • Programs that don’t have a large social media following or credentialing.
  • Programs that cost more than $2500.00.
  • Programs that offer a “certification” from a company not recognized in the USA.
  • Programs that don’t offer payment options.
  • Programs that don’t have references; you should be able to talk to past students.

 

You want to look for programs that prepare you for the certification exams recognized by the industry. They include:

 

AAPC – The American Academy of Professional Coders

AMBA – The American Medical Billing Association

AHIMA – The American Health Information Management Association

 

Make sure your program includes all areas of billing including:

 

  • Anatomy
  • Medical terminology
  • Coding
  • Insurance rules and regulations
  • Billing software programs

Do your research, ask how long the school has been around, if it’s accredited, ask about instructor experience, and if they help you get placed in a position upon completion. Ask if there is a refund policy. The time you put into researching the program you choose will ensure your success upon completion. If you are ready to start your own business and would like to know how I went from zero to six figures in just two years, visit me at www.jennifergomm.com and join my membership or one-one coaching program.

How to thrive in this economy by starting a home based medical billing business.

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There are two industries that seem to defy the tough economic times. These are IT and health services businesses. Medical billing happens to be a combination of the two.

Watch the on-demand webinar to find out how I started my business and reached six figures in two years.

Why is it lucrative?

Most medical billing companies operate on a commission basis.  They generally get 4-10% commission on all revenue that they generate for the practice or facility.  For a company that has multiple clients, this income really adds up.  Also, you maintain complete control of how your business will run, how big it will get, and who your clients will be.  Gone are the days when you worked for one boss and had to put up with mistreatment just to collect a paycheck.

In these economic times, is this a good business to start?

Many healthcare providers are now outsourcing the billing due to ever changing regulations and in office time management.  These constant regulation changes make it hard for the organizations to stay profitable. Outsourcing is helping them cut costs and increase their efficiency. Common areas that outsourcing is being done include medical claims processing, accounts receivable management, and patient statements. Moreover, given that healthcare is rarely affected by the economic pressures, you can be sure to be in business even during an economic recession. The healthcare billing industry is booming, making this a job with longevity.

The demand is being fueled by:

  • Ever changing insurance regulations
  • Increase in cash flow
  • In office time management
  • Technology experience requirements (most billers are not proficient in computers)
  • More focus on patient care
  • Reduced stress in the workplace
  • Reduced errors
  • Less need for in-house staff

Do I need a certification?

Although a certification will definitely make you a standout, it is not a requirement. Many medical billing business owners do not have an official certification but they have enough experience to qualify as a competent business owner and medical biller.

You can get a certification in this business at a very low cost, the American Academy of Professional Coders and the American Medical Billing Association offer great certification programs and are considered reputable in this business.

Why is it a business for you?

This is a business that you don’t need a college degree to start, has very little overhead costs, and you can run right from your own home.

This is a business that is great for single moms, retirees, and anyone that has a desire to become an entrepreneur. The business gives you the flexibility of setting your own hours.  Although most insurance companies are open Mon-Friday, 9am-5pm you can decide to make important phone calls at that time but do your other work at night or on weekends.

The best part about starting your own medical billing business is, you can also operate the business remotely anywhere in the world.

Would a coach or mentor be helpful?

Absolutely!  To avoid many mistakes in business, and also in the medical billing field, it would be advantageous to have a coach or mentor to turn to for advice. You can join my membership and get all the benefits of my webinar, book, and direct email to me to map out your action plan in starting your business.

You can also sign up for one-on-one coaching