How to Start Your Medical Billing and Coding Business
April 28, 2014
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If you've been working as a medical biller and coder for a while and are thinking of taking the leap into building your own medical billing and coding business, here are some basic steps to get you started.
Building the Foundation
It's best to launch your own business after you've had some years of experience, but if you are new to the field, your first step should be to complete your training from an accredited program. Most medical billing and coding programs take one to two years to finish, and there are online options you can do at home. You will also need to become certified so you have the credentials to show to potential clients. Presenting a professional image will be crucial to establishing yourself in the marketplace.
Medical billing and coding is a great business to run from home, but if you're unable to work without distractions or if you hope to expand and hire employees, you'll want to consider leasing a small office space. Even if you think you might expand in the future, it is wise to initially stick with a home office to minimize start-up costs.
Regardless of where your office is, you will need some basic materials such as a computer, printer, fax machine, phone, transcription equipment, filing cabinets, bookshelves, desk, comfortable office chair, reference materials and basic office supplies. Because you'll deal with confidential patient records, your office should have a lockable door to comply with HIPPA privacy regulations, even if you live alone, and a dedicated Internet connection — no Wi-Fi.
Making it Official
To comply with general business regulations, you'll need to decide on a business model and get an Employer Identification Number. The most common organizational structures for a start-up home business are a sole proprietorship or limited liability corporation. You'll want to do more in-depth research on these before you make a decision. You'll also need to register your medical billing and coding business and apply for a license. Check with your county clerk's office to learn about your local requirements.
Selling Your Brand
Unless you have a background in sales and marketing, this is the part that may be a little tough at first. You want to primarily market your services to hospitals, clinics and doctors' offices. Create marketing materials such as brochures and business cards with all your pertinent business information, and be sure to include your credentials in your brochures or fliers. You can also look for potential clients through local business networking events or try to attend medical-related conferences and trade shows in your area.
Most importantly, be patient. Getting that first client is the toughest, but as long as you do a good job, word-of-mouth will help you build your business. If you follow this basic plan, you'll have your own thriving medical billing and coding business before you know it.
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