Our second interview of the six-week home business interview series is with Ameera Ali, founder/owner of Accuracy Billing Agency, LLC, a medical billing service that specializes in providing Medicaid and Medicare billing and coding services. I’ve had several sisters contact me privately asking for information about getting started as an independent medical billing or coding specialist. Since the only information I can provide would be based on general information obtained through Google research, I was greatful that one of my closest friends (who is a medical coder telecommuting from home) told me about Ameera’s home-based business and offered to introduce us, masha’Allah.
In this struggling economy, healthcare continues to be a fast growing industry. Medical billing is a technical skill you can learn, and coupled with basic business skills, you can offer a valuable service to healthcare institutions right from your home. Ameera kindly took time from her very busy schedule to share with our readers how she got started as a medical biller, and provides advice about how you can break into this industry. She also offers a very convenient online course teaching others medical billing and business basics which she explains in detail at the end of the interview.
How long have you worked as a medical biller?
What were you doing professionally before you started your business?
Working as a Medical Billing [Specialist] for N.C Medicaid.
What motivated you to start your own business offering medical billing services?
I wanted to control my own financial growth. I had out grown my positions as a “employee”, I have my own goals as to how I want to expand medical billing on a entrepreneur basis in order to that I had to become a entrepreneur first.
Who are your typical clients (e.g. Do you primarily work with hospitals? Private practices? Dentists?)?
My Clients are all in the Mental Health field, Psychotherapist, Psychiatrist.
What kind of education, certification and/or training is required?
Certification is not mandatory in Medical Billing, just the training. In Medical Coding, you will need to be certified through the AAPC or AHIMA.
When you’re employed by someone else, there is structure already in place for you to follow. As an independent service provider, you have to come up with your own work schedule and way of getting things accomplished. Has this ever been a challenge for you?
It became a challenge for me when I had my last to children 16 months apart and I did not want to put them in childcare so it is like having 3 jobs “in the home”! One of the benefits of being a Medical Biller is your hours are your own; you can work at your own pace. Sometimes I work in the middle of the night, but 90% of the time I’m done by Isha [and] that includes the care taking of my family. I also have staff to assist me.
What advice would you give to someone interested in working as a contract medical biller or coder for hire?
If they are “already” a trained biller or coder and want to start their own business, I would advise them to take the medical billing training course that I offer – they will only need the consulting portion which is 1 session. My website is www.medicalbillingagency.net. If not my course, they will need a small business course in order to understand what is expected from them when being involved with healthcare.