Medical Billing – Hidden Costs

It isn’t easy to get into the field of  medical  billing and not get hammered by all the costs. It’s bad enough having to deal with the costs that you are told about up front, but when you get hit with costs that nobody told you about, that’s when things can get very frustrating. The purpose of this article is to prepare you for what you’re in for should you decide that you want to get into the  medical  billing profession.

The first thing you’re going to need is software to do your billing with. This isn’t a hidden cost as the company will tell you right up front what the software is going to cost you in order to do your basic billing. That is the key word here, basic. See, the stock  medical  billing packages don’t really come with a lot of extras. As a matter of fact, many things that you would think would be standard turn out to cost extra.

For example. In most packages, if you want inventory control features, that’s extra. If you want the ability to post payments from Medicare automatically from a downloaded Medicare batch file, that’s extra. If you want to be able to send your claims electronically or any other carrier, that’s extra. If you want to be able to print purchase orders or sell over the counter items or do barcodes, that’s extra.

And then there are the services. When it comes to  medical  billing, there are quite a number of services. For example. When you send out a bill, part of that bill included the procedure code for the item being billed. Well, these procedure codes are updated regularly. In order to get the updates, you have to subscribe to a service. Guess what? You got it, extra. Another part of  medical  billing is that whenever you send a bill, you have to also include the diagnosis code for the procedure. Because there are new illnesses all the time, these codes are also constantly updated. In order to get these updates, again, you have to subscribe to a service. This is also extra.

And then there are forms. Forms are big business all by themselves and nobody is going to give you these forms for nothing. So while your software may come with the capability to print the data to these forms, the forms themselves have to be purchased from a forms manufacturer. Sometimes, the software manufacturer will be able to provide you with these forms, but it is probably better to go straight to the manufacturer as the software company will have to charge you a premium for these forms since they had to get them from the manufacturer themselves. These forms include HCFA 1500 forms, CMNs and a few odds and ends. They all add up, especially if you do a lot of billing.

So after all the smoke has cleared, your $5,000 software package may end up costing you an additional $1,500 in extras. How much you’ll spend on forms will depend on how much billing you actually do. So make sure you allow for these extra costs when starting your  medical  billing business or you may be in for a very unpleasant surprise.