Medical Billing Coding - So you want to be successful in the medical billing field?, cpt, codes
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Thread Topic: So you want to be successful in the medical billing field?
Topic Originator: MIKE NIFO
Post Date November 18, 2006 @ 12:38 AM
So you want to be successful in the medical billing field?

November 18, 2006 @ 12:38 AM Reply  |  Email Friend   |  |Print  |  Top

With only 6 years experience and having moved my way up rapidly thru the system and various billing companies, I find myself today with 3 clients (one being a 4 physician urological group), working a 26 hr work week with fridays off AND making an income thats well into 6 figures...but I didnt come here to boast about me. I feel that its necessary to give this quick little background if I'm going to give some very good advice. Here we go.....

1) Don't be afraid to start at an entry level position. Lets face it, this field is extremely saturated. I started 6 years ago making 20k/yr doing payment have to start somewhere.

2) Ask questions and pay attention. A big problem that most people have is that they ask the same question 2 and 3 times. If you are payment posting and know nothing about billing most of the info is in front of you. Go into the patient account, look at what is billed, look up the codes in the CPT book, look at the diagnosis linkage and pay attention to what is paid and what is not. MOST people today are robots. They will only do THEIR job...god forbid they should learn anything new on their own.

3) Be innovative. For example, I was involved in oncology billing a while back as a collector. I was also doing payment posting and noticing some chemotherapy patients were getting denied because of no referrals. On the advice of NO ONE, I took it upon myself to create a list of all chemo patients and when their referrals expired/or how many visits were left. I put this on an excel chart and would call the primary dr's office and get referrals for the pt's that were expiring or being used up. This led to other excel projects that were given and so on. DO NOT BECOME A COUCH POTATO ON THE JOB. Be different.

4) Don't be afraid to move on from a billing co/dr's office. Lets face it...there are some places that you're not going to move up or reach your potential no matter what you do. Whether it be a supervisor who's been there 20 years (and you're smarter than) or none of your other superiors are interested in your well being (only theirs). Once you've learned what you can and the job becomes boring with no potential--you move on. I've been through 5 billing companies. I've learned payment posting in one--collections in another--and billing/credentialing in another. If you are good at what you do there will always be a job waiting for you in this industry. All of the moves I made were lateral in salary.

5) Know your math. This will become more important later WHEN you become supervisor/boss/whatever. Also learn Excel (I self taught)--doctors love charts and graphs.

6) Navigate around the billing software. If you are working in the collections dept of a billing co, tool around with the various reports the system has to offer. Get to know them and use them to advance yourself into the understanding and meaning that these provide. Again in todays society, if there 2 types of jobs to go for--one to use your brain and the other to stare at a wall all day, most people would choose to stare at a wall all day. KNOWLEDGE IS POWER...alot of you have the tools right in front of you but don't use them because you're not getting paid for it. Pretty ridiculous if you ask me.

   To sum up..there are probably 90-97 people out of 100 who show up to work just for a paycheck. They go through the "grind" of the job and are miserable all day could choose to be this type of person OR you could be innovative and smart. Learn things that are NOT YOUR JOB, if there is a problem, ALWAYS look for a solution (dont think..ah well this is someone else's job not mine) and do things that are not expected of you. LEARN LEARN LEARN...employers are paying you a salary and your medical benefits BUT they're also paying you for your "free future job training"...its just up you where you choose to be.

November 18, 2006 @ 2:15 PM Reply  |  Email Friend   |  |Print  |  Top

I always fo the extra mile. That's not the problem, I  don't have the problem with researching  for information but it's really hard out there. I always loved medical billing not just for the pay check. but when you have 10 resumes in your hand and you want the best, because i'm not the best in the field so i ask questions all the time about any position i'm in. i need to know about submitting claims because i've been on a job where the biling person won't show me because they think i wanted the job but at the time i just wanted to learn. I know how to post do collections and if I ever had a problem i call the insurance company or the patient, like i said it's very hard when no one will give you a chance to prove yourself. And because I go on any and every job interview out there but they want the person who they think will do good so i'm still looking and I won't stop because this is what I want to do just need more info.

November 19, 2006 @ 11:19 AM Reply  |  Email Friend   |  |Print  |  Top

Edna, you've already gotten some very good advice on this board, some directed to you and some given to others which you surely have read.  Your continued whining about not being able to find a job is giving me a little insight as to why you probably can't find a job.  Until and unless you decide to take some of the advice that has been given to you directly or indirectly, FOR FREE, on this board, you will find that you will NEVER get a job.  If you spent half the time READING and following the advice in the posts in reply to your whining instead of just continuing to whine, you might have already found yourself earning a paycheck, instead of feeling sorry for yourself.

ONE LAST TIME and then I will have NO MORE sympathy for you:

1)  Take any job that's remotely related - front desk, payment posting, verification of benefits, etc. and make known your education and your wishes to eventually move in that direction

2)  Sign up with a temp agency.  If you live in a large metro area or any area that has a large teaching hospital or medical school, you will find that there are even temp agencies that deal in nothing but medical financial jobs, or agencies that deal in general medical with a financial division.

3)  Get in touch with your school's placement agency.

4)  Realize that you are attempting to enter a very crowded, very competetive field for which demand is SHRINKING, not growing, and therefore you will NOT find a job overnight.  It will likely take months, and yes, even years depending on your locality's job market.

5)  Be prepared to take a full-time job in a competely unrelated field as you continue to send out resumes.

6)  Consider taking a part-time front-desk job in an extended-hours clinic while continuing to work a full-time job in another field.

7)  Network - most jobs are filled because of WHO the person knew, not WHAT they knew.  

8)  Don't come across as being so needy - you'll tip your hand to a prosepctive employer that something is "wrong" with you.  For instance, I doubt anyone who frequents this board will think of you for any openings they may have, because they'll be wary of someone who gets "tons" of interviews yet no offers.

9)  There are several national billing and coding associations - find the ones that have chapters local to you and join them.

10) Join all the other assocations that aren't local to you and take part in the newslists.

11) Stop saying "WHY CAN'T I FIND A JOB!  WAAH WAAH WAAH! and start saying "I can help you fill your billing and coding needs.  I have a degree/certificate from XXX school and I have spent the last XXX months working at XXX in a related field.  Here is my contact info."  But be aware that this still not work, except for newspaper ads, unless you have followed steps 7, 9 and 10.

12) If you have not already done so, put some letters behind your name.  If your interest is coding, go for a CPC-A.  If your interest is in billing, get a CMBS or CMRS.  If you don't know what those are or how to get them, then shame on you - you clearly do not have the initiative to investigate what it takes to get ahead in your chosen field.

I'll bet if you took a poll on this board of all the people who entered the field in that last, say, five years, you'll find that all the successful ones followed a majority, if not all, of these steps.  The ones who gave up and went back to bartending school are the ones who just sat around and whined.

Now, get out there and start working on this 12-step program! :-)

November 19, 2006 @ 2:13 PM Reply  |  Email Friend   |  |Print  |  Top

thanks for saying that

November 23, 2006 @ 7:33 PM Reply  |  Email Friend   |  |Print  |  Top

good advice ro

August 15, 2007 @ 3:41 PM Reply  |  Email Friend   |  |Print  |  Top

i recently got a job to do billing for a doctor from my home and when i had the interview, he told me he cannot pay the 7-8% for billing he could only afford 3% .i told him that is fine, but now i see that i am doing alot more and the 3% is not adding up to what i fell i am spending on the job.i am a self contractor and i know he told me that the previous biller was not doing the self pay patient, i am doing it and i feel i should get something for putting the data in for them, i am trying to build courage up to tell him that if i wll not get something for inputting the data for self pay patient then i cannot do it but i feel bad because this is my first job since i finished school and i have no prior experience.I do not want to be rude and selfish, but i also do not want him to take me for granted because i am not saying anything to him,if there is any advise you can give me i would really appreciate it.thanks.

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