If you don't know that's OK! Most beginners to the home based medical billing industry don't either but this website was created to give you the up-to-date (2005) expert advice that the sellers of these medical billing training courses won't tell you!
Who Am I & Why Should You Follow My Advice?
That's a fair question and I would be rather shocked if you didn't want to know. Please understand that the following answer to your question is not an attempt to satisfy my own ego but rather to show you that I am not some “QUACK" that just dispenses unfounded theories or hype. My name is Paul Hackett and both my business clients and customers have dubbed me “The Medical Billing Mastermind".
I've been in the home based medical billing business for 8 years, built all my businesses from scratch, have helped hundreds of medical billing beginners start their own home based medical billing businesses and I am the one that most veterans in the industry contact when they need answers. I have earned my trust within this industry by only giving useful and truthful information about this field. Now that you know who I am and what I represent lets get down to the meat of the issue!
Here's What A Medical Billing Course, Medical Billing Training Program or Medical Billing Correspondence Course IS NOT.
Sure it would be easy for me to tell what a good medical billing course should be comprised of (and I will in the next section so you can see both sides of the coin) but I know from experience that by telling you how they shouldn't be will make a more dramatic impact on you so you will remember them instantly when researching an online course. Here goes:
1) Your Medical Billing Course shouldn't be taught by anyone other than experienced medical billers or a successful home based medical billing business owner.
2) Your Medical Billing Training/Course shouldn't be given by an EC (Educational Clearinghouses are schools or learning institutions that don't specialize in any one profession but instead teaches everything under the sun like accounting to zoology). The BIGGEST problem with EC's is that you are not taught the in-depth and focused education that you need to be professional and efficient in this industry.
3) Your Medical Billing Course shouldn't take you 2 years to complete (If you are also studying to be a nationally certified medical coder as well it can come close to that depending on the school).
4) Your Medical Billing Course shouldn't be really short in length (1 day to 2 weeks. What will you really learn in that amount of time? NOTHING!)
5) Your Medical Billing Course shouldn't be overly expensive (learning to be a home based medical biller is not rocket science so a medical billing training course shouldn't be more than $700. If you are going to take courses at a local college, specialized medical billing/coding trade school or a vocational school then the price tag will be more. If your course includes classes on becoming a certified medical coder the cost will also be more substantial).
6) Your Medical Billing Course shouldn't promise any Certification (only certain organizations can award you with certification and you will have to pass a very lengthy and extensive exam to earn their designation).
7) Your Medical Billing Course shouldn't push you to learn the material at their pace (everyone learns differently so attaching time limits to a course is detrimental to the learning process).
8) Your Medical Billing Course shouldn't give you only one payment option (everyone's financial situation is different and a good course will be flexible enough to accommodate their students circumstances).
9) Your Medical Billing Course shouldn't restrict you from speaking with other students and alumni that have taken their course (referrals is the best way for potential students to research the outcome of the course and it should be a school/courses pleasure to supply you with ten referrals and more if you ask).
Here's What A Medical Billing Course SHOULD BE.
Now that you are aware of what a medical billing course shouldn't be like this is what a well-rounded medical billing course curriculum consists of:
1) Introduction To Medical Billing
2) Medical Office Procedures
4) Code Usage
5) Billing and Reimbursement (including electronic submission)
6) Software Usage
7) Operating Procedures Of A Medical Billing Business
8) Effective Marketing Practices Of A Medical Billing Business
Anything more than the above is overkill, which will lead to information overload (a sure way to hinder your motivation and make you feel like quitting). Anything less than that and you will not know enough about the business for you to pursue it professionally. Most beginners don't know these medical billing course facts and usually have to spend more money on another course to get them to where they need to be (what a waste of money, time and energy).
What Is The Best Online Medical Billing Course?
If you do a search for medical billing courses, medical billing training, medical billing correspondence courses, etc. I am sure you will find at least 230,000 results. Now that's overwhelming and it's why most people end up choosing the wrong type of course.
If you are looking to start a home based medical billing business then your best bet is to take an online medical billing course that will give you a great education, a certificate of completion and is convenient for you take. When I wrote my book I didn't specifically endorse any particular software vendor, medical billing courses, clearinghouse or medical billing opportunity vendors. Instead I listed all the reputable firms/vendors that have strong histories of supporting the home based medical billing industry so that my readers wouldn't get scammed when trying to choose a company to work with.
However, in late 2004 several people emailed me requesting that I give them a clear recommendation as to which course to choose because they were still overwhelmed even though I only suggested a hand full of companies to research. So I set out on a personal quest to find one or two online medical billing training courses that I could confidently endorse to make things a lot easier for them.
So using the criteria I mentioned in the “What A Medical Billing Course Should Be" section to base my conclusion on I got referrals from students (on all levels of the courses), spoke to course alumni, spoke to the owners of the company and then finally took into consideration the price. So Far (December 2005), out of the 34 courses that we have taken and reviewed I can only professionally endorse ONE online medical billing course and here's why:
1) This Medical Billing Course Is Comprehensive Without Going Overboard. Here's the course outline:
Chapter 1: Introduction to Medical Billing
- About Medical Billing
- The Basics Overview
- Gathering & Entering Data
- Paper Claims Processing
- Electronic Claims Processing
- Posting Payments
- Billing Your Clients
- Chapter 1 Examination
Chapter 2: Understanding Office Forms
- Essential Office Forms
- Patient Demographic Form and Completion
- Insurance Cards
- Insurance Verification Form and Verification Procedures
- Chapter 2 Examination
Chapter 3: Understanding the HCFA 1500
- The Basics of the HCFA 1500 Form
- Step-By-Step Instructions for Completing a HCFA 1500
- Online HCFA Form Completion Exercises
- Commonly Made Errors
- Chapter 3 Examination
Chapter 4: Understanding Codes
CPT (Current Procedural Technology) Coding
- Proper Usage
- Resource & Reference Material
ICD (International Classification of Disease) Coding
- Proper Usage
- Resource & Reference Material
- Chapter 4 Examination
Chapter 5: Understanding the Life Cycle of an Insurance Claim
- The Collection of Claim Data
- Claim Information Data Entry
- Claim Submission (Paper Claims, Electronic Claims, Secondary Claims, Claims Attachments)
- Posting Payments (Full Payment, Partial Payment, Deductible)
- Chapter 5 Examination
Chapter 6: Working with Practice Management Software
- Clinic Data
- Physician Data
- Patient Data (Demographics Information, Insurance Information, Procedure Information, Diagnosis Information)
- Claim Generation
- Report Generation
- Chapter 6 Examination
Chapter 7: Practical Experience Using Your Practice Management Software
In this chapter you'll get all the hands-on experience you can handle. You will be actually entering data, generating claims, posting payments, running reports, etc.because that's what you'll go through during the “daily operations" of your medical billing business.
***You will be supplied with everything you need to complete this part of the course (For Free) such as: Top-notch medical billing software, software training workbook, a mock data manual for data entry purposes and a supply of HCFA 1500 forms. *** - Chapter 7 Examination
Chapter 8: Operating a Medical Billing Business
- Naming Your Business
- Setting Up Your Business
- Office Equipment & Essentials
- Services You Can Provide
- Relationship Selling
- Steps to Creating a Business Plan
- Steps to Writing a Proposal
- Chapter 8 Examination
Chapter 9: Marketing Your Medical Billing Business
- Promoting Your Business
- The Benefits of Selling Benefits
- Targeting Specialties
- Your Market
- Revenue Enhancement
- Sample Documents (Brochures, Flyers, Post-cards, Letters, Contracts, etc. . . )
2) Every Instructor And Moderator Is A Medical Billing Business Owner.
This is the only online medical billing training course that can boast of this accomplishment. Learning from those that are in the trenches everyday is the best form of education you could ask for. Not only will the staff understand what you're going through today but they have the practical experience to properly guide you into the future.
3) You Can Complete Each Chapter And The Entire Course At Your Own Pace.
Some people take a few weeks others take a couple of months to complete the whole medical billing course but that's OK because the course owners understand that people learn differently. They want to make sure you grasp the all the concepts before you move on which makes for a well-informed business owner and professional biller.
4) You Get Alot Of Bonuses That Most Courses Charge Extra For (if they offer them at all). Here are some of them:
- Course includes study guides
- Course includes “Free" software so you get the hands-on experience you need
- Course includes Internet Resources in addition to the course materials
- Course includes “FREE" telephone, online forum and software technical support
5) The Investment Is More Than Reasonable and Very Flexible. Here's what I mean:
- The entire course with all the bonuses is only $584.00
- You'll get $99.00 off the cost if you purchase the whole course upfront so the total investment will be $485.00
- You have the option to pay as you go. Pay only for the chapter that you're on and when you've taken the exam and are ready to move on just pay for the next one
6) You Will Receive A Certificate Of Completion Once All Chapters Are Complete and The Exams Are Successfully Passed.
If you possess an over-all score of 95% or better you will be awarded with a “Certification of Special Distinction" (a great marketing tool when you begin to market to physicians).
I really enjoyed sharing my knowledge and experience with you and I hope that you learned what to look for when choosing an online Medical Billing Course.
Here's To Your Success,
Paul Hackett “The Medical Billing Mastermind"
Paul G. Hackett is the owner of Stelo Medical Management and author of the ebook entitled “Medical Billing Book For Home Based Beginners". His book is the beginner's first line of defense against the scams in the medical billing from home industry. Visit http://medicalbillingbook.tripod.com