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Insights for those starting, managing, and growing independent healthcare practices

Steps to start a new medical billing company and expand your client base

Make the most of market demand and set up your own medical billing business. Learn how to start a medical billing company, get the right tools, and make sure you’re properly equipped to expand your client base.

starting a medical billing business how to get clients

At a Glance

  • Starting a medical billing company is a promising business move due to the growing demand for this service.
  • It’s important to utilize professional services for back-end processes such as insurance coverage, legal counsel, and accounting.
  • Joining medical billing associations can provide guidance, resources, and networking opportunities.

Medical billing is a high-demand service, so setting up a new billing company is a smart business move. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for medical records and health information technicians — under which medical billers are classified — is expected to grow 11% from 2018 to 2028. This rate is much faster than the national average for all occupations.

This projected outlook is partially explained by the healthcare billing system's growing complexity: 45% of surveyed physicians reported that time spent on administrative tasks related to generating bills and collecting payments was a major problem for them.

Establishing a billing company may seem daunting, but you can start on the right track with the appropriate tools and resources.

Choose the right medical billing software

Software selection is one of your most important decisions when starting. Your software should be a central platform where virtually all billing operations are executed and controlled. Choosing one with all the necessary capabilities will help you satisfy your clients and avoid problems. 

First, the software should manage billing operations — end-to-end claims management and the entire patient collections process — accurately, seamlessly, and with minimal effort from you. 

Next, many practice owners expect billing companies to handle more than bare-bones medical billing. They prefer billing companies that offer practice management services and handle scheduling and insurance eligibility verification processes. 

The right medical billing software should have fully integrated practice management features. 

Finally, you won't always have one, two, or three clients. The software you choose should let you scale up quickly and be easily functional for many practices.

Procure a license

Regardless of how small you intend to start, you must obtain a business license to run a medical billing company. It's also best to get this out of the way early to avoid fines, fees, and regulatory challenges later. 

Before applying for a license, conduct thorough research on what business requirements the city/state you intend to operate is asking you to complete.

Utilize the best professional services

Multiple back-end processes are involved in running a billing company that has nothing to do with billing itself. You will need insurance policies and coverage, legal counsel to draft and review your contracts and policies, and accounting services — just to name a few. 

An accounting service can help you choose your business structure, manage your company's books, and handle your taxes. Consequently, you should partner with trusted professionals or reputable companies that offer these services — preferably with experience in the medical billing industry.

It would help if you also considered forming relationships with solid collections agencies that you can refer to clients for collections that exceed 120 days.

Join medical billing associations

If you lack the right kind of support and access to information, it's easy to make avoidable mistakes. Established associations and organizations can help by providing you with sound guidance and access to valuable resources. 

Some of the industry's top associations include Healthcare Billing & Management Association (HBMA), the American Medical Billing Association (AMBA), and the American Association of Professional Coders (AAPC). 

These associations also offer networking opportunities and some host trainings. They all have varying membership fees/dues that are typically charged annually.

Market your medical billing business

Client acquisition is crucial to the success of any new medical billing company. You may have locked down every other aspect of establishing the business, but you need at least one client to get things off the ground. 

The aim is to inform potential clients (medical practices) of your company and its services. You will need to employ marketing strategies to achieve this, with the first being to build a professional website. You should then create social media pages on different platforms you can leverage for engagement and popularity.

You should also create and publish marketing collateral like brochures, leaflets, and flyers to distribute to physicians and practices. 

The website, social media pages, and marketing materials should all contain up-to-date contact information through which interested clients can reach your company.

Once you land your first client, others will likely follow.

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Prepare your client onboarding process

Make sure your client onboarding process and tools are ready before you take on any new clients. That way, there's no delay between when potential clients show committed interest in using your services and when they sign on the dotted line. 

You should have contract templates that cover terms and conditions, party responsibilities, and termination provisions, among other things. 

You also need forms to collect requisite and essential practice information from new clients. 

Finally, consider drafting an onboarding document that covers expected client questions, such as your background, if you belong to any associations, all the services you offer, and what client-biller communication structures you have in place.

Growing your practice

Once you've set up your billing company and are operational, the next focus point is growth and expansion

Your company's online reputation significantly affects your client acquisition ability. Audit your reputation by looking for mentions and profiles of your company on the internet. Leverage positive reviews to get referrals and address negative reviews as quickly as possible. 

Increase your service offerings

Integrating services like practice management, marketing, and patient engagement into your core offerings allows you to present your company as a “one-stop solution” for practices. And the software you choose is integral to your ability to make these business-growing additions. 

Medical Billing Benchmark Report

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Written by

Tolu Ajiboye

Tolu Ajiboye is a writer and marketing consultant with over 7 years of experience helping biopharma and healthcare companies with marketing communications strategy and execution. She’s worked with multiple Fortune 500 companies, and has had her work appear in publications like NBC News and The Guardian UK. She also has a law degree.

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