Do You Really Want To Do This?
Part of the scope of this website is to provide readers with ways in which to generate income online. It would be accomplished mainly from work from home jobs and/or business opportunities.
Thanks to the Internet one type of potential career track involves taking online medical billing and coding classes.
Just think, a person could earn a certificate/diploma from an online school in as little as 6 – 8 months, if he/she worked hard in the training that is offered.
This individual eventually “graduating”, life could look good as he/she works from home and earns almost $40,000/year, perhaps even more according to some “sources” (wink-wink) in that profession.
Well hold on there, my friend! This type of job which from the outside looks to be nothing but a bed of roses has some sharp thorns hidden and if you’re not careful you will be pricked.
Over the past 5 – 7 years what has been recognized online as potential scams are jobs advertised as medical billing and coding.
In this article based on my own experience I will attempt to tell you that getting this type of home job is not what it appears to be. Something akin to an ocean of water in the middle of an Egyptian desert – nothing more than a mirage.
If this opportunity already smells a bit fishy to you as an alternative let me also make mention of what is my top recommendation for learning how to run a legit online business from home.
No, this opportunity does NOT smell like fresh cod that has been left out in the sun much too long!
My experience taking classes at an online medical billing/coding school! Wasted ($$) money!
Back in 2009 being a caregiver for my now deceased mother and having no choice but to try and earn money working from home, I saw an advertisement that offered “certified” training for a person to become a medical billing and coding specialist.
The opportunity was offered by an online school called “U.S. Career Institute”. Reading the spiel on the website and then drinking of the cool glass of “Kool-Aid” offered by this school I went all in.
The promise of working from home for a doctor, setting your own hours, being a part of the growing healthcare industry and most importantly earning $$ in a job from home while also watching my mother daily seemed too good to be true.
You all know about those last five words in the sentence above about some work-from-home opportunities, don’t you? “Too good to be true”?
Well regarding online scams if something is “too good to be true” then 99.99999% of the time it is! And by the end you will regret getting involved in such an opportunity.
So, for about 6 – 8 months, I worked my tail off going through the educational training, which was to be honest, intense!
My enrollment in this school also cost me around $2,000 at the time.
I ended up learning a lot about the human anatomy, various terminologies as well as procedures on how to correctly fill out medical coding and billing forms.
I earned my little diploma/certificate even getting an overall grade of 97 on the combined tests and there were a lot of them.
“Professors”, (wink-wink) sent their congratulations online via emails and official school documents on my achievement.
Reality just up ahead!
At U.S. Career Institute following my graduation I then was eligible for the school’s training and job placement services.
It was performed by another “professor”/staff member whose role was to provide you with the proper guidelines for going out and finding companies/hospitals/doctors that would hire you as a contractor/freelancer working from home in the healthcare industry.
Here was my training regarding job placement that was offered by this school:
I was given a list consisting of one person living in upstate New York who had started her own work from home business with a doctor/practitioner.
I remember even talking to this person. She stated that it took her a good year to find ANY doctor who would be willing to hire her for the job of medical billing and coding.
Acting like it still was the year 1996 it was also suggested to me that by way of advertising, I go out and have designed for me professional looking business cards to pass out saying that I was a certified “medical billing and coding specialist”.
Okay here is the problem with this type of position working from home. To be blunt the sobering facts:
No licensed physician within the healthcare industry is going to put his reputation/career/job/practice on the line hiring some individual who he/she does not know to work from home taking care of all medical claims, coding and billing forms.
One miscoded form which would represent a legal diagnosis of a patient coming from his/her doctor could lead to major legal problems for that healthcare provider.
Especially if the mistake originates from some person working from home who has earned a diploma from “Schmuck Online School of Medical Coding and Billing” located in Nowhere Ville, USA!
Can you spell M-A-L-P-R-A-C-T-I-C-E? End of that doctor’s career!
Needless to say, I never earned one penny as a medical billing and coding specialist.
Even though I live in the Triangle area of North Carolina where such prestigious pre-med schools such as Duke, Wake Forest, (up the road) and UNC exist, as I was to eventually find out no healthcare physician in his/her right mind would hire me; a graduate of an online school in which I earned a diploma in about 8 months.
If you are interested in becoming a licensed medical billing and coding specialist do NOT look for schooling online. Many of these programs are total frauds.
It was a friend of my sister, herself a physician’s assistant who later told me that the only way I would have received any job within this industry, (and she said definitely not working from home) would have been for me to enroll in classes at Duke University, as I live in the city that the main University is located.
A reputable school like Duke does have course curriculum which provides training for a person to receive education and a degree within the field of medical billing and coding. You would also receive training in the University’s curriculum in other areas as well.
So, what does this all mean?
Practically all of these online programs designed to provide training for a person to be a medical billing and coding specialist are cleverly disguised frauds.
Unless verified otherwise, none of these online programs have received approval from the AMA, (American Medical Association) that would grant them the official license to train individuals within this industry.
Most of the “faculty” involved with these programs are about as certified as I am to be a rocket scientist!
This represents the underlying ugliness of the Internet. Scam online programs are everywhere, uncontrolled by any organizing authority.
Face it, a number of human beings living on this Earth simply have no moral scruples. They will do whatever it takes and by whatever means necessary to criminally take advantage of, usually monetarily, naïve individuals.
I include myself as being a victim in the past of fraud, and worse than what I went through trying to become a medical billing and coding specialist with the hope, then, of working from home.
If I were you when seeing such a program advertised online run, not walk away from it!
It will not be worth the amount of money needed to invest in such a folly, nor the time spent going through the training.
Again, if you are looking for a legit way to earn money from home, I make mention of my top recommendation for learning how to run a business from home!
Thank you for reading this article! If you have any questions or thoughts, please feel free to post them in the comments’ section below: