Medical Billing Service Owners
Education and Training Requirements
Since medical billers use computers, online services, and special software, classes in computer fundamentals and computer programming are important. Communication and English courses will help you develop phone skills. Accounting, math, and business management classes will teach you how to keep accurate financial records. Although a medical background isn't necessary, some familiarity with health issues and the health care industry will help you to understand insurance, doctors' offices, and treatments. Take a course in health to gain this familiarity. Membership in a business club will allow you to meet local small business owners, and teach you about some of the demands of home-based business ownership.
Medical billers come from a variety of different educational and professional backgrounds. A college education will assist you in soliciting clients, and in performing the billing duties, but it is not required. Some background in medicine and health care can be helpful to you, but a degree in business management, or in English, can be equally beneficial. You can also benefit from office experience and an understanding of administrative procedures. Some community colleges offer medical claims billing classes; conferences and workshops in medical billing are also offered by Medicare, private insurers, and clearinghouses.
Other Education or Training
The billing software you choose for your business may include special training. Additionally, some professional associations provide continuing education classes and webinars. For example, the American Medical Billing Association offers seminars such as "Ways of Getting Paid: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly," "Cloud Computing: The Benefits and Risks of Operating on the Cloud," and "Private Payor Headaches: How to Reduce Them," and online medical billing training courses. The Healthcare Billing and Management Association also provides continuing education opportunities. Contact these organizations for more information.
Certification, Licensing, and Special Requirements
Certification or Licensing
The Healthcare Billing and Management Association offers the certified healthcare billing and management executive designation for billing service owners, senior managers, and compliance professionals who pass an examination and accrue 60 continuing education credits. The American Medical Billing Association offers the certified medical reimbursement specialist designation to medical billing professionals who pass an online examination. Contact these organizations for more information. Many medical billing professionals work without any kind of certification or licensing at all, but certification can help you in promoting your business to clients.
Experience, Skills, and Personality Traits
Previous experience handling billing or related duties in a medical office will be useful for aspiring medical billing service owners.
Medical billers need the patience for filling out long, detailed forms, transforming treatments and diagnoses to codes, and maintaining client records. You should be organized, and have an understanding of spreadsheet programs, word processing programs, and online services. Obviously, a head for figures is important, but people skills are also very valuable. Medical billing service owners must deal sensitively with patients and their families in discussing payments and insurance deductibles, but must be firm and persistent when dealing with insurance companies. They also have to keep up on laws affecting insurers, doctors, and billing methods.