Billing is a hassle in any business, but it’s even worse for medical clinics and private practices. Due to insurance verification processes and claims submissions, getting paid for your medical services can eat up a large chunk of your time.
Medical billing assistants are invaluable members of a medical team for this reason and many more. However, they can be expensive to hire — and finding a talented candidate isn’t easy.
Keep reading to learn more about how to find a skilled medical billing assistant and why you should consider hiring a remote assistant instead to perform these duties.
What is a medical billing assistant?
A medical billing assistant is a type of medical assistant who specializes in medical billing and other administrative responsibilities.
This type of assistant works in clinics and private practices on their own or to support the rest of the medical office administration staff. In a smaller clinic, the medical billing assistant will often be the only administrative team member.
The average medical billing assistant salary is $46,660 per year or $22.43 per hour.
If you want to hire a billing assistant at a more affordable rate, consider trying a Healthcare Virtual Assistant from Hello Rache for a flat rate of $9.50 per hour instead. You can book a call with our team to discuss how this works and see whether your practice would be a good fit.
What does a medical billing assistant do?
The tasks a medical billing assistant can perform vary depending on their experience, but we’ll discuss a few common examples here.
Their main tasks consist of billing insurance companies and patients for medical consultations, procedures, or services. Additionally, they can keep your billing documents organized.
Your assistant will manage payment information while following privacy regulations. They’ll also spend time reviewing insurance claims from patients.
If you train them adequately, a medical assistant can also take care of your bookkeeping and track your clinic’s expenses. However, you’ll need an accountant to perform more advanced financial reports.
A medical billing assistant can also help out by communicating with patients whenever the need arises. For example, they can handle setting appointments and giving reminders if another clinic assistant or receptionist is overwhelmed with other work.
Finally, you can ask your medical billing assistant to update or review patient medical records. For example, they can transcribe your charting notes to help ensure that everyone in the clinic goes home for the day on time.
What qualities should a medical biller have?
Not everyone makes a talented medical biller. Here are the skills and qualities to look for when hiring a medical billing assistant:
Medical billing assistants spend most of their workdays in front of a computer.
They’ll need to navigate a variety of software to handle patient billing and insurance claims. Additionally, they’ll need to learn your EMR/EHR system if you want them to upkeep patient records.
Find someone who’s adept with computers and with billing software — or who’s tech-savvy enough to learn how to use these tools quickly. Otherwise, it can take a long time for your new hire to become a productive member of your team.
2. Understands medical terms
Medical billing requires knowledge of codes and medical terms. These are completely different from the terms a billing assistant would learn in another industry.
Finding a skilled billing assistant is easy, but finding someone who’s also comfortable with these terms may not be as simple.
If you hire someone who doesn’t have these skills, you’ll have to spend time training them until they’re comfortable handling billing patients without you.
3. Can multitask
The best medical billing assistants can take over other administrative responsibilities in addition to billing tasks. Depending on the volume of patients your practice handles, you can save on administration salaries if you find a medical billing assistant who can do a little bit of everything.
For example, a medical billing assistant can help out in your front desk area when there’s an influx of patients.
The last thing you want is to hire someone who needs micromanaging and hand-holding, especially after an already lengthy onboarding and training process.
Your ideal candidate for a medical billing assistant role should be capable of learning the ropes and working on their own relatively quickly.
These workers won’t always depend on you to complete their tasks. Ideally, you can trust that they know how to do their jobs correctly and without constant supervision.
Benefits of hiring a virtual medical billing assistant
Did you know that you can hire a virtual assistant to remove the need for an in-person billing assistant? Let’s explore four of the biggest benefits of virtual assistants for your private practice.
1. Easier hiring process
It’s much easier to hire a Healthcare Virtual Assistant than a full-time employee.
Going through job listings and the interview and onboarding processes often take from a few weeks to several months, especially if there’s a labor shortage in your area. Hiring a virtual assistant means you can skip these steps entirely.
You can hire a Healthcare Virtual Assistant at Hello Rache within a few days and get help in your clinic much sooner. That’s because we take care of finding, vetting, training, and hiring healthcare professionals from the Philippines who want to work from home.
Not only is it easier to hire a HVA, but you also get rid of the vetting and supervision process. At Hello Rache, we track and monitor every virtual assistant using online tracking software. You can rest easy knowing your virtual medical billing assistant will stay on track, even when you’re no longer directly supervising their work.
2. Cut administrative costs
You can save on both the salary and overhead required for a medical billing assistant if you hire a Healthcare Virtual Assistant instead.
Billing clerks earn an average of $20.55 per hour in the US, which is only slightly less than the $22.43-per-hour average of medical record specialists. This means that even candidates who have little to no experience in the medical field will set you back $42,744 each year.
And that’s only the salary. You’ll also need to spend on other overhead items, such as:
- Office space and furnishings
- Job benefits and perks
- Training expenses
- Paid time off and sick days (during which you’ll have no one catching up on billing tasks)
Hello Rache Healthcare Virtual Assistants cost just $9.50 per hour flat, with no overhead or hidden charges. You’re not even required to provide them benefits or paid time off since we handle that side of things for you.
You only pay a Healthcare Virtual Assistant for the hours you need and the hours you receive.
3. Get medical professionals
Virtual medical billing assistants aren’t just billing clerks. They’re healthcare professionals, such as registered nurses, who have experience in the healthcare industry.
They know the medical field and understand important medical terms. As a result, you won’t need to train your virtual assistant to familiarize them with your field of work.
A Healthcare Virtual Assistant won’t take long to become productive. Within a few days, they can learn your processes and start performing adequately. They’re also HIPAA-compliant, which means you won’t have to get them up to speed in that department.
Additionally, you can work with the same HVA every single day to develop a long-term working relationship with them.
4. Remove the burden of administrative duties
Virtual office assistants are skilled at other tasks and can do much more than medical billing. As such, they can remove the burden of administrative duties from you and your team.
For example, virtual assistants can handle data entry. And thanks to remote technology, they can also answer your phone calls and emails, which means they can schedule appointments for your patients.
If you need help making travel arrangements, your virtual assistant can help with that, too.
Plus, virtual medical assistants can perform transcriptions and even help with live charting during patient appointments. So, you can focus on listening to your patients and helping them with their healthcare needs while your virtual assistant performs live charting for you.
And because the HVA will work remotely, the live charting process will be much less intrusive for patients than if you ask an employee to perform this task in person.
With a virtual medical billing assistant on your team, you can finally optimize how your private practice operates and shorten your workdays as needed. Everyone on your team can benefit from your virtual assistant’s help.
Improve your billing processes with a virtual medical billing assistant
You don’t need to hire a new full-time employee to manage the billing side of your private practice. Not only can virtual assistants perform these tasks just as well as (if not better than) a regular employee, but they’ll also help you save money and space.
Book a call with the Hello Rache team if you’d like to get started with your own Healthcare Virtual Assistant.