These days, most medical records are digital, which means that medical billing/coding professionals can work from their own home. Being able to work from home means elimination of costs associated with a commute, more time spent with family, and helps an individual better find balance between work and life, and can help them streamline their life goals. If you are interested in learning about work from home medical coding, here are the steps in obtaining this type of employment.
Develop Required Skills
When you’re interested in doing anything- including medical coding- you must learn the skills you need. Start by taking some classes in medical billing/coding. Typically, a medical coder has at least an associate’s degree- many also get a bachelor’s or even a master’s degree and also pursue a variety of continuing education opportunities.
A program that specializes in medical billing/coding focuses on areas such as medical anatomy and terminology, medical documentation evaluation, basic math, basic administrative duties, computer/keyboard skills, medical billing software, and government programs. In addition to this, you will need to take a certification class so that you can become certified.
Most of the people working in this field began by working in a medical office and gained on-the-job (OTJ) experience. You should also be attending continuing education classes, conferences, workshops, and anything else you can to keep you informed of the recent methods/standards used in the field.
Learn the Forms
Take the time to learn and understand forms such as billing documents, explanation of benefits, and other documents used in billing/coding. This will be benefical in helping you advance your career as well.
Begin your Career
Once you have learned all you can, you must get a job as a medical billing/coding professional. Most of the time, individuals who end up working from home began with a traditional position in a medical office. When you start in a medical office environment, you prove that you can work on site and are able to handle the responsibilities of this field.
As a medical coder, you will assess and code the medical data. You will have very little interaction with patients or insurance companies. Everything that happens in a medical office will have a code attached to it. A coder converts medical charts/records into billable code and enters the code into a program that a medical biller will use.
As a medical biller, you will make sure that everyone is properly billed. This means that you will be interacting with patients and insurance companies to make sure the invoices are paid on time.
Medical billers do have an understanding of coding and can efficiently read the invoices. This is great for those who enjoy working with people and also assessing data and invoices.
Even though you’re working- don’t stop learning. You must take the time to refine best practices, evolve with the industry, and learn new methods. After all, the field has to keep up with the ever-changing world of medical supplies and procedures.
Finally, you must also make sure to do as much networking as you can- this will help you to be more successful. After all, many times, work-at-home medical billers/coders work as an independent contractor- so, when you have done this networking, you’ll be more likely to land contracts later.
Work from Home in Medical Billing/Coding
Now that you have the education and the experience, it’s time to start asking about work-at-home opportunities. If you’re working in a medical office, ask your employer about the opportunities offered to work-at-home.
Chances are, if you have proven that you’re reliable, independent, and capable, you will earn the opportunity to do your work from home. It will take you some time, but eventually, you’ll be able to negotiate with management about making changes to your job.
Of course, there’s always the chance that your current employer does not offer work-at-home opportunities. However, you can always consider changing jobs to an office that will allow you to.
In addition, there’s always the option of going off on your own. You’ll have to learn how to deal with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act and other requirements specific to the industry.
Once you’ve determined if you’re working for your employer from home or you’ve decided to go off on your own, you need to set up your home office. You might consider using a spare room or other dedicated space. You don’t want your work to take over the family room or your bedroom- you need your work separate so that you can avoid distractions.
This also means that you need a computer dedicated to this job and the software necessary to complete the work. Make sure that you check with the physician you’re working with and the insurance companies to find out if there’s a specific software you need. You’ll need a phone line dedicated to work as well so that you can contact insurance companies and patients about their invoices.
These days, so many people are moving to work-at-home positions. Parents want to spend more time with their families and working from home allows them that opportunity. If you’re interested in work from home medical coding, these steps will help you reach that goal.