Getting that first client can be the hardest part of setting up your own medical billing service. However, it is possible to get the first one and then the next one and the next one.
The best way is word of mouth. Doctors like to talk! Once you have one client, they will tell two friends and they will tell two friends and you will begin to see your billing service grow. As you are using word of mouth, do not forget associations. There are three major groups that represent billers:
They have regularly scheduled meetings and these are a good source of knowledge as well as possible referrals. It is also important to network with other medical professionals via seminars, conferences, health fairs, luncheons and other health related events. The more active you are, the more opportunities you will have to meet potential clients.
Within these groups, consider joining committees so that you are a friendly face to the movers and shakers of the health community.
Don’t discount your other contacts either. Your accountant, attorney, insurance and real estate agent – they probably all have card files full of provider contacts. Don’t be afraid to put your new business out there!
Research the Local Market
Before setting up your business, make sure that you will have the opportunity to gain these clients. The Electronic Medical Billing Network of America estimates that for every 1,000 doctors in any given area, 2 – 3 will actually need your services.
Become a Specialty Medical Biller
If you pick a niche such as mental health, mobile laboratory, dentists, occupational and physical therapists, transportation companies, durable medical equipment and many others, you can be the go-to medical biller in your locale. The providers of that specialty may be more trusting of someone they see as an expert in their own area of expertise.
Create a newsletter outlining coding changes and other new or different items that relate to medical billing and coding. Send this to existing customers to build confidence in your expertise. It can also be used to “cold” call new doctors with an introductory letter and a resume describing your services. They may want to sign up based on your expertise shown in the newsletter.
By creating brochures and other good marketing tools, you can go to the provider’s office directly and engage their staff to get your information in the door. You will want to be aware of the culture of a provider’s office, as it is unique. The staff can include receptionists (either medical or clerical), medical assistants and possibly an office manager. Depending on the hierarchy of the particular office, you will have to determine who it is that you need to approach.
Have a website that has a proper SEO and good keyword searches so that you rank well in searches. You can also have a social media campaign to target local providers.
Ads in newspapers and local medical publications are a good place to start. Drawing attention to your company with special offers and introductory rates for new clients is a good idea.
Know What Your Competition Is Doing
And do it better! Find your strengths and build on them. Find out your competition’s weaknesses and capitalize on them. Consider customer surveys to determine what you are doing well and where you are lacking.
Starting a business is challenging and rewarding. With a little bit of creativity and a whole lot of tenacity, you can get your medical billing service off the ground and attract clients.