Medical Billing Opportunities: Fact or Fraud?

Federal Trade Commission:

If you’re looking for a home-based business that can help you pull in $20,000 to $45,000 a year using your computer, a work-at-home opportunity doing medical billing may sound like the perfect choice. But before you part with your money, consider this: The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has brought charges against promoters of medical billing opportunities for misrepresenting the earnings potential of their businesses and for failing to provide key pre-investment information required by law.

Ads for medical billing business opportunities appear on the Internet and in the classified sections of local newspapers and “giveaway” shopper’s guides. In the “Help-Wanted” classified sections, the ads may appear next to legitimate ads for hospital medical claims processors, leading consumers who respond to think they’re applying for a job, not buying a business opportunity.

The ads lure consumers with promises of substantial income working from home full- or part-time – “no experience required.” They direct consumers to call a toll-free number for more information.

If you call, a sales representative will entice you to sign up by telling you that the processing of medical claims is a lucrative business, that doctors are eager for help with electronic claims processing, and that you – even without any experience – can do this work from the comfort of your home.

Medical billing scammers charge a fee of $300 to $500. In exchange, they claim to provide everything you supposedly need to launch your medical billing business: the software program to process the claims and a list of potential clients.

But the reality is that few consumers who pay for medical billing opportunities find clients or make any money, let alone earn the promised substantial income. Competition in the medical billing market is fierce, especially for those who are new to it. Many doctors’ offices process their own medical claims. Doctors who contract out their medical billing often use established firms, not individuals working from home.

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