How Do I Find Legitimate Home-Based Medical Billing Jobs?

According to the Federal Trade Commission, medical billing and coding job ads are among the top work-at-home scams, especially in an economic climate where money is tight and unemployment rates are high. Con artists offering these too-good-to-be-true opportunities make their money when they get you to pay for “starter kits” or bogus medical billing certificates. They entice with offers of large incomes for full- or part-time jobs they claim can be accomplished from a home environment. Their training packages may include bill processing software, a list of potential clients, as well as technical support. Typically, these client lists are outdated and the billing software may not work. Such training packages and extras can wind up costing job seekers up to thousands of dollars.

The harsh reality for those looking to work from home is that there are few legitimate opportunities in the field. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the vast majority of medical billing and coding jobs do not occur in a home setting. In fact, most medical billing professionals work in office settings, hospitals, or other health care facilities. The medical billing field is competitive and most physicians process claims and bills in their hospital office or practice. In addition, for those with hopes of starting a home-based position, outsourced medical billing jobs are typically handled through well-established large firms with their own office settings.

However, with that being said, there are a few legitimate home-based medical billing jobs available. These jobs are typically given to medical billing professionals with years of experience working in a healthcare setting along with a clientele familiar with his or her expertise. There are also medical billing jobs offered through legitimate healthcare organizations’ online databases and forums. But even these job posts should be scrutinized.

Ways to assess the legitimacy of home-based medical billing job offers include the following:

  • Ask to see a list of users, past and present, who have bought the medical billing program. The list should be sizable. Make sure to get user contact information. Make phone calls or send emails to users on the list before doing business with work-at-home job providers.
  • Consult with an attorney, accountant, or any other business advisor that you trust. Check out the sponsor with the Better Business Bureau, your State Attorney General’s office, as well as your local consumer protection office.
  • Ads for medical billing from home jobs typically include a toll-free number where potential clients encounter high-pressure salespeople. Ask the right questions and make sure to get the answers in writing before doing business with work-at-home job sponsors.

Questions to ask medical billing and coding from home jobs sponsors include:

  • What tasks will I have to perform in a medical billing from home job? Ask the salesperson to list every step of the job.
  • As a work-at-home medical biller, will I be paid a salary or by commission?
  • Do you have any documents proving that your claims are true?
  • What is the total cost of the work-at-home medical billing training package, including supplies, equipment, and membership fees?

Remember, there are legitimate home-based medical billing jobs available, but you’ll need to get the appropriate certification training from an accredited school first. In addition, you will need to gain necessary work experience at a doctor’s office or other health care facility setting, like a hospital. Once you have reached this point, it is still extremely important to do ample research about work-from-home positions to avoid falling victim to a scam.