My guest today is the author of a new book called How to Start Your Own Medical Billing Service. Gina Thatcher has been medical billing since 2002 and has owned and operated her own medical billing company since 2005. In the eleven years that she’s been in the business, she’s amassed a wide range of tips and tricks for starting and succeeding in the field of medical billing. She’s boiled down those tips into a to fast-reading 106 page book that’s just right for the small business entrepreneur looking to start their own medical billing business.
Oh, and since Gina’s my sister-in-law, I’m contractually obligated not to mention that she turned a jacuzzi in her house into a ball pit. So I won’t.
So let’s dive right in.
Tell us a little about your book.
I have been in the business of medical billing since 2002 and owned my own medical billing service since 2005. I decided to write this book in 2010 and spent about 3 years compiling information for this book. All the information in my book comes from real life experience. It includes chapters on what you need to get your medical billing service started, how to market, how to write a professional contract, how to determine and negotiate your fees, and how to choose medical billing software and a clearinghouse. It also gives you great ideas for additional services you can provide to generate more income such as transcribing or consulting.
The world of medical billing is an ever-changing one. Policies and procedures are constantly being updated. In my book I will teach you how to stay on top of them. Healthcare providers and their staff do not have the time or resources to keep up with insurance companies and their seemingly constant policy changes. Many medical providers outsource to professional medical billing services, like the one I will teach you to be. The book takes you step by step to start your medical billing service. I also share my secrets of medical insurance companies and patient collections with you. You can and will be successful!
What is medical billing and what does a medical biller do?
Medical billing can include many different things. The main objective as a medical biller is to get the provider of healthcare services paid as much and as quickly as possible, from the insurance companies and from the patients. A medical biller files claim forms electronically or by paper to the insurance company for reimbursement. Once the insurance adjudicates the claim they will send an explanation of benefits. The explanation of benefits will detail the processing of the claim. If the insurance determines the patient is responsible for any portion of the services provided then it is the responsibility of the medical biller to collect the balance from the patient. The medical biller also appeals claims when they are denied, updates codes, and be responsible to know all insurance company updates and policy changes.
How do you get paid?
There are different ways to be paid as a medical biller, all are described in my book. I prefer and recommend being paid on a percentage basis. You will be paid a percentage of the amount that was collected from the insurance companies and patients. I charge providers on a monthly basis. At the end of the calendar month once all the deposits have been posted for the month, I charge based on what amount was collected by means of medical billing. I do not receive payment for money collected at the time of service. If the patient has a copay and pays before their visit I do not charge my percentage for that because I did not collect it. If the patient does not pay their copay at the time of service and I sent a patient statement to collect it after the services are rendered then I will charge the provider for that money collected.
Who pays you?
The healthcare provider.
How did you get into medical billing?
To be perfectly honest, I was in the right place at the right time. I started at an entry level position and worked my way up, through several different healthcare settings. I wrote this book so others wouldnâ€™t have to do it that way. It does help to have a medical background when marketing providers, but it is not necessary as long as you are knowledgeable about the services you intend to provide.
Why should someone become a medical biller?
You have the potential to earn a lot of money doing medical billing. It is a great self-employment opportunity because the start-up costs are low and the keep up costs are even lower. You can work your own hours and from your own home if you like. I personally enjoy getting a new client with a â€œmessyâ€ accounts receivable. It is a challenge for me and I get to show the provider that I can collect on money that he never thought he would be reimbursed for. Once the â€œmessâ€ is cleaned up the provider can feel confident that all the services he is providing are being reimbursed as fast and as fully as possible.
What is something that someone reading your book will learn that they wouldn’t learn starting up a medical billing service any other way?
My book details how to choose what services you want to provide, how to market to providers, how to write a professional contract, how to determine your fees (with real numbers and examples), how to choose the right software and clearinghouse, ideas for transferring paperwork between you and your provider. These are all things that Iâ€™ve learned by being a medical biller and owning a medical billing service, first hand. Sometimes I did things wrong the first time, those were my mistakes. I wrote this book to help others start the best business they can the first time. When you purchase my book you wonâ€™t have to do trial and error, I have already done that for you. I have compiled what I feel to be the best advice I can give anyone wanting to start their own business in this field. I also wrote a chapter including ways to deal with private insurance companies, appeals and recoupments, and patient collections. Most of this information took me years to learn. Throughout the book I discuss additional services you can offer to generate even more income for your medical billing service.
How can someone find out more about you, and your book?
The book How to Start Your Own Medical Billing Service is available on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle formats.