Entrepreneurship is something that is almost uniquely American. Small businesses pop up all over the landscape and they provide not just jobs, but needed services as well. Medical coding has always been mentioned as a small business opportunity for someone who wishes to be his or her own boss. Fortunately for these commercial ventures, there are a number of larger healthcare establishments that are willing to support up-and-coming firms by contracting out business to them. While this is highly commendable, it’s still business. Those who wish to outsource business to home-based medical coders have to keep that in mind.
Entrepreneurs have both eagerness and a desire to be of service. Those are wonderful qualities, but alone these cannot justify spending scarce dollars contracting out billing needs to them. A healthcare facility has to treat the relationship with a home-based coder as an ordinary business deal. This means that the coder wishing to do business must provide the prospective client with the information necessary to make a decision. The health care provider has every right to ask about years of experience, letters of reference, what type of medical coding software is being used by the home based medical business, and any other questions that will help identify both levels of expertise and capabilities. Anyone working from home should at least have Certified Professional Coder (CPC) credentials and several years of experience at a healthcare facility or doctor's office. The healthcare facility should also inquire about the proficiency in which medical codes the home-based professional has. Given the developments in medical coding, knowledge of ICD – 10 is something that has to be part of the professional bid.
In other words, this is not a situation where someone is being interviewed just for an opening. Rather, it is a small business seeking a contract with a larger company, and has to be able to give evidence of professionalism and competence. It may be that the home-based medical coder is a former employee. Even though this means there is a relationship that may have been highly beneficial, the healthcare facility still has to be cautious when inquiring about the services being offered. This is the wrong time to let the friendship get in the way of an objective business decision. It doesn't mean that the provider has to be heartless; simply being an ethical negotiator will suffice.
There are some definite benefits to using home-based medical coders. These people can take on the extra billing work that a growing healthcare facility experiences, and do a job that ordinarily would require having to hire full-time, and fairly expensive, employees. Depending on the terms of the contract, home-based medical coders could even provide additional services at rates far lower than those charged by other independent contractors. The use of home-based medical coders should not be ignored because of the cost savings that can be realized. It is important that any administrator maintain a professional attitude and treat the home-based professional’s bid the same way that any other bid from a professional contractor would be treated.