September 01, 2006
5 Minutes With
1. Where did you start your billing/coding career?
I started in the medical field while I was in high school working with my mom at an Orthopedic Group. I was a file clerk and learned several front office duties. My senior year I took a part-time job with an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon learning both front and back office duties along with insurance billing.
2. You hold 2 certifications (CPC and CDPMA) as well as teaching seminars, consulting for medical and dental offices, and run a billing service. How do you keep on top of everything as well as your responsibilities with your company?
First and foremost, I have an incredible support staff to handle the day-to-day operations allowing me to focus on the education and consulting area of my business. Secondly, time management and a passion for what I do. I enjoy working hard and have a true passion for educating physicians and their staff.
3. What was your motivation to start your own company?
My motivation came from my husband who managed his own company for several years. He realized the knowledge and potential I had and encouraged me to start my own company offering services I had been performing for years.
4. You offer many services to prospective clients - how do you and your staff stay on top of the challenges of change in the industry?
Education, Education, Education! You can't have enough! We attend seminars, industry periodicals are required reading (including the BC Advantage), and the internet. The internet is a wealth of free knowledge right at your fingertips. With search engines, new groups, message boards, e-mail newsletters and networking you have the ability to solve any problem.
5. On your website you state "Ignorance is not bliss, its expensive" - What do you think is the top issue that should not be ignored in medical offices today?
Correct Coding AND Documentation! A majority of physicians are satisfied with the performance of their practice and staff and the unsatisfied ones have an "it's not broke don't fix it" attitude until they receive their first audit. An initial insurance company audit consists of a review of random charts requested by the auditor. The #1 problem is Legibility! If the auditor can't read the chart, it's not supporting what the physician billed. The #2 problem is E&M. Does the physician's documentation support the level of service billed? There-in lies problem #3, Communication between the physician and the billing staff! When the physicians' documentation doesn't match what the biller submitted, the physician is in violation and faces recoupement of any funds paid to the physician along with fines, penalties, interest, and possible further investigation into billing practices. Physicians should protect themselves by having an independent consultant review their charting and billing practices on an annual basis.
6. You've achieved quite a lot during your career, so what's next on your list to conquer?
I currently have a project in the works; unfortunately I can't discuss it at this point. Although, I assure you the BC Advantage and their readers will be amongst the first to know.
7. Do you have any advice to give to someone new to billing and coding?
Find a specialty you are interested in, something that really motivates you. Then educate yourself by attending seminars, reading articles, and searching the internet, become a wealth of knowledge for that specialty. Also, find a mentor, someone in the field with the same passion as you who are willing to share their work experience and knowledge. And lastly, work towards obtaining certification.