Medical billing and coding has quickly become one of the most popular career options for people who are looking to leave behind their 9 to 5 job and have a successful career. Because it has become so popular, it is important for anyone who is looking to enter this exciting field to educate themselves about the subject not only to get a head start in a competitive field, but also to avoid the many different scams that have arisen to take advantage of people who are looking to enter the profession.
Basic Education Requirements
Medical billing from home has the advantage of not requiring a lot of schooling, however, those without the proper education will not be considered for a job as quickly as someone who has done their homework. At the very least, people looking to do medical coding from home should make sure that they have experience with computers and some form of administrative experience. Those who are lacking computer skills should consider taking a computer course at a local college.
Get Your Degree and Certification
Most people who are successful in the medical billing and coding industry usually have completed a two year associates degree course. These degree programs are extremely helpful in introducing newcomers to the medical billing industry, and employers like to see an educational background on a job resume when they are choosing from a lot of competent candidates. A degree can be the decision maker when it comes down to two very good candidates.
At the very least, most employers want to see a Medical Billing and Coding certification. Places such as the American Medical Billing Association or AMBA offer great certification tests that are widely recognized. Another place to look for certification would be the AAPC or the American Academy of Professional Coders.
Don’t Get Scammed!
There are many different organizations out there who offer medical billing and coding training and certification from home. Some of these are reputable and some of these are not. Before giving any information to any website or company be sure to do through research first. Make sure that they are as reputable as they say. Also beware of newspaper and magazine ads, just because it is in a newspaper does not mean that the company is any safer. Consult sites like the Better Business Bureau to help weed out the scammers.
Obtain a Business License
Since working from home is still a business, it is important to obtain a business license. These are very easy to come by and usually only cost about $100. Since business license laws differ from place to place, try to consult the local city or county department of revenue. Most cities and counties will have something set up to help new businesses get started.
Start by Working in an Office, if possible
Because the Medical Billing and Coding profession is such a wildly popular profession today, it has become increasingly difficult to stand out to possible clients. One of the best ways to stand out is to obtain a job in the field at an office. Not only does it help to assure customers of your expertise in the area, you may wind up being able to find some of your first clients by working for them in the office to start.
This is not always a viable option for people though, many people choose to do medical billing from home because of a need to work from home such as small children. Do not be deterred if your situation does not allow you to work a normal job, medical billing from home can still be a viable job without ever having worked in an office.
Advertise, Advertise, Advertise
Like any new business, marketing is the key to success. Marketing for medical coding from home can be done both locally and on the internet. It is a very good idea to put up a website detailing your job history and qualifications, along with very readily displayed contact information so that potential clients can just pick up the phone and call or send an email without having to dig around the site for contact information.
Another easy way to get clients is to go around to the various medical practices and just ask if they need medical billing specialists. The worst thing they can say is “No” and they may be able to refer other practices who may be in need of your services. Advertising in local newspapers and posting flyers is good too. Make sure that all advertisements are professional and make sure to put any contact information on all advertisements.
Put Money Aside for Taxes
Working from home as a medical biller in the United States qualifies as being an “Independent Contractor.” This means that you are required to set aside your own money for taxes at the end of the year. You may want to consult an accountant or read up on the guidelines for taxes in order to decide how much money to put aside. The last thing you want is to be stuck with a huge tax bill at the end of the year that you were not expecting.
Keep at it!
Starting any new business is hard, but with a little work and some perseverance, medical billing and coding can be an extremely lucrative work-from-home business. Best of luck!