Work from Home Medical Billing, Advice, and More!
How to Work from Home Doing Medical Billing and Coding
Due to the increased digitalization of medical record keeping, medical billing and coding professionals are a guild of individuals who can often arrange to work from the comfort of their homes. Working from home can eliminate expensive commuting costs, provide for more time with family, and generally help an individual to streamline life goals and manage a work-life balance. If you are interested in figuring out how to work from home doing medical billing and coding, here are some of the most popular steps in securing this sort of employment.
Gaining the Necessary Skills
Take classes in medical billing and coding.In addition to a high school degree or equivalent, medical career individuals such as billers and coders often start with an associate's degree from an accredited school of higher education. Many follow this with a bachelor's degree, or even a master's, or engage in other kinds of continuing education that can prove extremely useful at any stage in a medical billing and coding career.
- Programs that specialize in billing and coding focus on developing skill sets beneficial to the positions. Areas of study include: medical terminology and anatomy, medical billing software, medical documentation evaluation, government programs, basic math, keyboard and computer skills, and other administrative duties.
- Programs also seek to develop traits in students necessary for success in the field, such as efficiency and precision while processing and entering large amounts of data.
- You can find a list of accredited programs from the
Take a certification class.In addition to taking classes from accredited educational institutions, certifications are available in the medical billing and coding field as well. Institutions such as the American Academy of Professional Coders offer both credential training and certification.
Gain the appropriate level of experience.Many in the medical billing and coding field may have started in scheduling or elsewhere in a medical office and gained on-the-job experience. Some doctors’ offices may allow appropriate former experience instead while others will not.
Keep up with developments in the field.Stay current with the most recent methods and standards available in the field via workshops, conferences, and continuous practice.
Master the medical coding conventions.Universal coding practices like the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-9 or ICD-10) contain thousands upon thousands of codes that professionals needs to be able to work with quickly and efficiently.
- Current Procedural Terminology—CPT—is another set of codes in which all professionals in the field must be fluent
Learn how to use medical billing forms.Understand the uses of forms such as HCFA billing documents, explanation of benefits documents, and other sorts of documents involved in medical billing and coding. This knowledge will also help you advance your career in this field.
Beginning a Career in Medical Billing and Coding
Get hired as a medical billing and coding professional.Most of those who end up working from home in medical billing began with a more conventional job in a medical office. Starting out in a medical office helps you prove that you have the ability to work on site and that you can handle the full responsibilities of the field.
- Once on the job, a medical coder can expect to spend time assessing and coding data. Medical coders do not interact with insurance companies or patients very often. Every duty performed in a medical office has a particular code assigned to it, and each one needs to be coded properly for billing purposes.The coder will convert medical charts and records into billable code and enter the data into a coding software program that will also be used by a medical biller.
- If you think medical billing is more your speed, this position entails making sure everyone is being billed correctly. This often involves speaking with patients and health insurance companies to ensure all invoices are paid on time. Medical billers should still understand coding language to efficiently read medical invoices. The position is perfect for someone who wants to have a balance of working with people--though mostly on the phone--and also spending time assessing invoices and data.
Stay up to date on new industry standards.Completing your education and certification give you a great leg up in the field, but refining best practices, learning new methods, and constantly evolving with the industry are necessary in the field of medical billing and coding since the field has to keep pace with the ever-changing world of medical supplies and procedures.
Network consistently.While working on site and being in contact with medical professionals, do as much networking as possible. Some of the most successful home medical billers and coders perform the duties as independent contractors, so networking early on helps landing as many of those contracts as possible later
Working from Home
Ask employers about work-at-home opportunities.One of the first steps for those who are already working in a medical office of medical billing and coding and want to work at home is to inquire about any available choices that the employer grants to long-term workers. Ask about a time frame for arranging work-from-home opportunities, or what sorts of situations would allow you to work at home.
Negotiate a work-from-home position.Individuals who show themselves to be capable, reliable, and independent self-starters will eventually earn the autonomy necessary to propose working from home.
- Over time, you may shift your office job into a work-at-home role by carefully negotiating with management or making job changes within your chosen career field.
Consider changing jobs.If a current employer will not allow you to work from home, it's possible that others will. Many medical billing and coding professionals need to pursue additional opportunities while working a job in order to keep earning income while finding work-at-home options.
Think about going out on your own.If you can't find medical billing and coding jobs from home, you may be able to use the above qualifications and expertise to start your own medical billing and coding business. You'll need to figure out how to deal with legislation like the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act and other industry-specific requirements. But if you have the ability to start a business, as well as competence in medical billing and coding, you could find that self-employment is a better option for a work-at-home career.
Set up your home office.Whether your employer allows you to work from home or you start your own business, you will need to create an appropriate home space to complete the work. In order to set up a work-life boundary for a home office, it’s best to use a spare bedroom or some other dedicated space. Being able to compartmentalize these spaces at home increases productivity and cuts down on distractions.
Connect to a medical office.Since the job heavily entails translating a patient’s records with a provider into billable language for insurance companies, you must still be able to connect to a medical office to access their records. Luckily, nearly all doctors have moved to digitizing this information. The doctor’s office with which you work or are contracted will have specific network settings to share in order to ensure that you have access to the proper records and materials.
- The home computer from which you work will need the appropriate medical billing software as well. Certain area doctors or insurance companies may be specific about the software they want you to use.
- You will also still need access to a phone line that you can use for work-related purposes. Medical billers especially need to be able to contact patients as well as insurance companies directly to follow up on the status of invoices.
- Since even the most proficient medical coder cannot memorize the thousands upon thousands of medical billing codes, reference materials should always be kept on hand. Additionally, some medical billing software may have integrated look-up tools to help assist with the reference process.
Always act in accordance with HIPAA guidelines.One of the biggest additional responsibilities when working in the field from home is obeying the statutes of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. The law includes the confidential handling of patient information, so it necessitates always working with patient records and personal information from secured connections.
QuestionIf I decide to work from home, can I contract and do work for different companies and offices?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYes. You need a self-management license, which may take a while to get, but then you are free to do what you want including contracting.Thanks!
QuestionHow much does a medical billing operator position make?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerThe median annual Medical Billing Clerk salary is ,465, as of September 27, 2019, with a range usually between ,008-,090. However, this can vary widely depending on a variety of factors.Thanks!
QuestionWhat happens if I were to quit?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou wouldn't have a job, unless that's what you wanted. You can find another job if you really do dislike medical billing.Thanks!
How much does software cost for a person working at home?
What is the process of home based coding jobs?
- While having the ability to perform the job functions of medical billing and coding from home is a great perk, don’t think it makes the job easy. You are still responsible for accurately and efficiently dealing with confidential patient information in a way that fairly reflects services.
Video: A Day in the Life of a Medical Biller and Coder
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