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Medical Billing—A Viable Career or Work-at-Home Scam?

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Medical billing can be a great career choice that can provide a high level of job security as health care resource consumption continues to rise with the aging Baby Boomer generation. It is also a job than can provide a tremendous amount of flexibility for the employee because it is a job that can be easily done at home.

There are many successful medical billing and coding professionals who have developed a home business by providing services to independent physicians. These professionals did not buy a list of health care providers that needed their help, though.  Rather, they put a tremendous amount of effort into networking and forging relationships to build their business.

Other medical billing professionals work at home as an employee of an insurance or healthcare-related organization because their work can be easily assigned and completed electronically.  However, there is a catch to landing these plumb assignments as well; you need to have experience doing the work. In addition, most employers who have telecommuting programs won’t grant the privilege until you have at least six months of work history with them and have demonstrated your professionalism, reliability, initiative and technical capability.

Be Informed and Use Caution

If a home-based medical billing career is something you’d like to pursue, make sure you thoroughly research the industry as well as any company or organization that you’re considering working with. There are a few rules of thumb to follow to keep from being a victim of a scammer:

1.      Don’t respond to ads in the back of gossip magazines, advertising shoppers, local papers and job search websites, especially if they promise great earnings with little or no experience and they only provide an 800 number to contact them.

2.      Don’t send money. Legitimate medical billing companies will not require you make an investment in the business in order to sign on.  This is a sure sign of a scam; and the scammer profits through all of the “investment payments” that hopeful work-at-home candidates send their way.

3.      Check out any company or organization with the Better Business Bureau and your state’s attorney general. These resources will be able to tell you if the company has any complaints filed against it and if the company has a favorable rating.

4.      Check out online medical billing community forums.  You can post questions about opportunities you see and get feedback from others in the industry.  You can also “lurk” and read the comments of others, which may help you identify some of the scams to avoid.

Despite all of the scams, the medical billing industry is a viable career option; it just may not be as quick and easy as some would lead you to believe. Most of the valid medical billing work-at-home opportunities advertised are opportunities for you to start your own business and assume all the risk that goes with it. They are not jobs where you draw a salary and benefits from an employer.  There are also legitimate companies that can provide education and support to individuals who want to start their own medical billing business. However, they don’t make unbelievable and unsupported promises to their clients.  As with many other things, the rule of thumb is that, “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”

Further Reading:

Medical Billing Opportunities

Work at Home Schemes

Work at Home Scams Thrive in Current Economic Environment

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