What's a Medical Billing Consultant
And How Do You Become One?

There are fantastic opportunities for medical billing consultant jobs. But what does the title actually mean, and how do you break into the market?

Let's say that you've been in the medical billing field for quite a while, and have decided that it's time for you to go out on your own. You may want create your own medical billing practice, complete with 5 to 20 employees and dozens of customers.

Either way, chances are that during your search for opportunities in medical billing and coding you may have considered medical billing consulting.

What do consultants do?

Medical billing consultants sell their expert advice

Consultants are everywhere, in every industry. There are PR consultants, sales consultants, business consultants, even relationship consultants. But what exactly are they?

Consultants are experts in their field who sell their expert advice. In other words, consultants provide very expensive advice - but it's usually also very good advice.

A medical billing consultant is an expert in medical billing, who sells his or her advice to those who need it.

Who needs a medical billing consultant?

Every medical provider who bills insurance has to figure out, at some point very early on in their business, how they're going to actually complete and send out claims and finalize the billing process.

There are many important decisions for a provider to consider when figuring out whether or not to outsource their billing:

  • Do they outsource their billing, coding, or both?
  • Do they really want to deal with the headaches of billing and coding?
  • Do they want to invest in a billing and coding practice management system?
  • How important is having everything done in-house?
  • How much money will it cost to hire a qualified biller and coder?

An experienced biller is the best source for the answers to these questions.

A constantly changing world

But medical billing consultants are not only needed when providers start new practices. Due to the ever-changing world of medicine and medical billing, there are always new questions popping up regarding all aspects of medicine.

Because of this, medical billing consultants will find that their services are necessary all the time - throughout the entire business lifetime of all medical providers.

Furthermore, if you get in good with a few good providers, they'll continue to come back to you for advice again and again!

How can you become a consultant?

You'll need to build a reputation to be able to sell your expertise

But how exactly do you get this kind of job?

Firstly, you have to know your stuff.

No one is going to want your medical billing advice if it isn't any good. You have to be able to prove that you know what you're talking about, either by holding many certifications in medical billing or coding or by having great recommendations and a great reputation.

Secondly, you have to decide on your market. It's easy to say you're a medical billing consultant, and that you know everything there is to know about the medical industry.

Chances are, though, that this is not true. You may know a good deal about all parts of the medical industry, but what's more important is having reliable, in-depth knowledge of one or two specific parts of the medical billing industry.

Example: if you began your career in laboratory billing, and know more about lab billing and its intricacies than anything else, you need to market yourself as a laboratory billing consultant.

If, on the other hand, you have more knowledge of HIPAA regulations, you need to market that aspect of your expertise.

Here are other areas, including billing, that you may want to consider:

  • Billing and the reimbursement cycle
  • Coding (per specialty)
  • HIPAA compliance
  • Practice Management
  • Specialty Practice Management (such as Pediatrics)
  • In-house lab services
  • Report management

And finally, you have to market yourself. Once you figure out what type of consulting you want to do and have your recommendations or certifications, you need to find a way to reach out to your prospective clients.

Some options include cold-calling businesses to see if they need consulting, stopping by practices with marketing materials, or trying to have one or two good references try making some connections for you.

Another option, which is especially viable in today's world of technology, is starting your own medical billing consulting blog.

This can be as simple as setting up a blog for yourself and creating a paypal account, or it can be as intricate as a full-blown website, complete with free advice, recommendations, and advanced graphics.

See more of our tips for marketing a small business.

Keep it real

Whatever you decide, make sure that you don't get in over your head and decide that you can handle any type of medical billing consultant opportunity without any problems.

It's likely that you'll have to do a good deal of research and make a few phone calls every now and then to get the right information for your clients.

Don't tout services that are too complicated for you to provide, or that you honestly aren't qualified to talk about. Keeping it real will not only help your reputation, but also help you keep your sanity, and your business.

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