The U.S. healthcare industry is facing a number of challenges such as rise in healthcare costs, ‘meaningful use’ of EHRs, shortage of primary care physicians, introduction of ICD-10 and so on. In such a complex situation of chaos and confusion, a professional medical billing and coding company can support healthcare providers in streamlining their medical coding and medical billing processes and gaining financial stability. Reliable medical billing providers have become the need of the day with an increasing number of providers depending on their services.
Starting a coding and billing business is not that easy even though it brings considerable profit. Here are 5 preliminary steps essential for starting the business.
- Gain Appropriate Education – Finish training in billing and coding from an accredited college or university. Accredited programs must comply with the curriculum standards set up by regional educational boards. You can search for accredited schools and programs by visiting the U.S. Department of Education Database of Post-secondary Institutions and Programs. Most accredited programs provide coursework in medical terminology, billing software, billing procedures for various insurance programs including Medicare, Medicaid and other payers, transcription process and equipment and customer service. Normally, these programs take 12 to 24 months to complete. Home-based educational programs are also available.
- Have an Office Space – Create a quiet office space in order to store your equipment, files, reference books and materials, chair, work desk and other materials associated with your work and work smartly. If you are not able to create such a space or buy it, lease an office space for rent. You can approach local real estate agents to find out details about available office spaces and rental costs.
- Obtain a Business License – You should apply for a business license, Employer Identification Number (EIN) and register your business in order to start a business. If you are forming a limited liability company, corporation or partnership, register with your state’s secretary of state office. If you want to register your business as a sole proprietorship or apply for a business license, visit the clerk’s office that manages the county where you live. To apply for an EIN, visit the website of Internal Revenue Service. Once you get the EIN, use it while filing tax returns.
- Buy Enough Resources – Purchase various equipments and software needed for your business such as digital recording software, medical billing and coding software, invoicing and book keeping software, transcription software and so on. Medical equipment and software may be found online or in medical supply stores while invoicing and book keeping software may be found online or in office supply stores. You may require a computer, fax machine, printer or dedicated business phone line in addition to this. You may also need to hire billing and coding experts and transcriptionists to have a strong workforce.
- Take Efforts for Marketing – The final step is to market your services to physicians, clinics, hospitals and other medical professionals. You can create fliers and brochures that give details such as your business name, contact information and expertise, attend medical conferences, medical trade shows or other events that medical professionals in your area may participate and join local business organizations to learn about upcoming small business events. Find out prospective clients and contact them directly or by mail to explain your services and set up an introductory meeting. Online marketing is much more effective in this era of internet. Develop your own website with an attractive website design, do proper SEO (for getting good SERP ranking and bring in the attention of clients) and use social media. You can also create effective PPC campaigns.