December 18, 2008
If you own a TV, you have heard about the state of our economy.If you own a medical billing business or are thinking about beginning a medical billing business, or wishing to pursue a career in the field of medical billing, you might be wondering how the state of the economy is going to affect this industry.Since I am deeply involved in this industry, I have some information and predictions to share with you.
Let's break this down into 3 economical categories that affect all of us:Career Viability/Future Growth, Business Cost/Feasibility, Income.
Career Viability/Future Growth - Is it safe to place your eggs in this career basket?
Not too long ago, I wrote an article entitled "Medical Billing:Business or Career Provides Security to Those Opting Out of Economically Failing Industries"because I was personally witnessing a new trend in the type of persons who were registering as medical billing students and inquiring about operating their own medical billing businesses.It was not a coincidence that there was an influx of persons entering into the medical billing field coming from all area's of the "housing industry."In this mix, we welcomed real estate agents and brokers, contractors and persons in the mortgage lending industry, three of which held ownership in their own mortgage lending companies, to medical billing education and business ownership.
From approximately 2002 - 2005, we witnessed another trend.During this time, we welcomed individuals who had been "climbing the corporate ladder."Their companies had downsized and their jobs had been eliminated.This area still accounts for a healthy mix of our medical billing students and business owners, as companies continue to downsize and eliminate jobs.We also saw an increase in RN's and LPN's at this time.
There is a reason why people on entirely different and unrelated career paths turn to the healthcare industry.It is a viable career choice.The healthcare industry continues to grow and is projected to realize substantial growth over the coming years.Why?Well, in a nutshell - it's because of the baby boomers.Google "baby boomers healthcare" and you will see tons of articles about how the "aging baby boomers are creating jobs in health care."
Here are a couple of snippets from an article of the same name, "Aging Baby Boomers Create Jobs in Health Care":
"Over 75 million Americans comprise the baby boomer generation, and many have reached an age where health care is starting to become a major concern."
"The oldest baby boomers are already in their sixties and the health care industry is beginning to feel the effect of their age."
"The end result of this aging generation on the health care industry will be the creation of several new jobs out of necessity. The US Department of Labor estimates that the health care industry will experience growth that is well above average compared to all other industries over the next two decades."
The Cost of Gas:How many of you operate a business from home or a business that you set up in an office very close to your home and are happy about eliminating the outrageous cost involved with commuting to and from a job?
The Cost of Child Care:How many of you are "work at home moms or dads" who have managed a schedule that allows you to care for your business and your children, who are happy about eliminating the outrageous cost, not to mention the pangs of guilt, involved with childcare?
Some of you know my personal story because you have read the 4 Chapters I wrote about "Addressing Fear When Beginning a Business".I was a stay-at-home-mom in the 80's when it was "oh so un-cool" to be one.There was such a stigma associated with that term!So much so that "stay-at-home-mom" was replaced with the term "Domestic Engineer."Moms, by the numbers, were trading in their aprons and over the shoulder spit-up protectors for business suits and commutes.I can't tell you how many times someone would ask me "what I do for a living" and to my response of "I'm a mom", they'd say&"Oh, you mean, uh - you don't have a job?"Pardon Me?!In the 90's, the term "latch-key kids" was coined.The later 90's and into the 00's we saw the affects of children caring for themselves and we began to hear that "it takes a village to raise a child."Why do I bring this up?Because, when you are considering the "cost/feasibility" of a "home-business", shouldn't you also take into consideration the non-monetary, emotional cost of not being at home?
As far as the monetary cost/feasibility of beginning a business, with regard to medical billing, it is important to realize that this requires an initial investment and isn't something that is suited to "begin on a shoe-string."Expect to invest approximately $5K - $8K or more, depending.Operating costs are quite reasonable and within your control, as it is up to you when or if you will hire employees, operate from home or commercial office, etc.
There isn't a week that goes by that I am not asked how much can be made in medical billing business ownership.My canned response?"I know a married woman who works from home supplementing her husband's primary income who brings in approximately $1500 per month AND I know another individual/CEO who operates a multi-million dollar medical revenue management company with an upper 6 figure income AND I know so many in between."
As far as the average salary for a Medical Billing Specialist employed outside the home, according to PayScale.com:
Median Salary by Years Experience - Job: Medical Billing Specialist (United States)