In this installment of medical billing, we're going to look at the software company itself and cover some basic things that they should do when looking for a programmer to create the software that will eventually be sold to the public. Unlike other industries, this will require certain knowledge that most programmers don't have and will need to get in a hurry.
As a programmer, if you're a good one, you're going to have a basic knowledge of how to write structured code, how to interact with databases and so on. Any decent programmer worth his salt is going to have these skills. Otherwise, you don't even want to look at the person. So that is the first thing you need to do when hiring a programmer. Make sure they have the basic programming skills. Your department manager should know what they are. Trust his opinion.
But you're going to have to go even beyond this knowledge if you're going to find a programmer who is capable of writing code for a medical billing software package. For this, you're going to need to bring your billing manager in on the interview process because unless the programmer manager is familiar with all the aspects of medical billing, he's not going to know what questions to ask the candidate.
So what questions DO you ask? Well, for starters, you should ask the programmer if he has any prior experience working for a medical billing company or a similar company in the medical industry. Maybe he's worked for Medicare or Prudential. While they don't actually do medical billing, they are in the industry and thus will give the programmer some knowledge that will be of use.
If the programmer has no experience in the medical billing industry, then the next thing you ask him is if he has had any experience working for a company that deals with government regulations. Why? Much of the medical billing industry is regulated, meaning that there are certain things that you have to do, no choice in the matter. The software too, will have to do certain things a certain way, especially when it comes to creating specifications for electronic billing. If the programmer has any kind of experience with government regulations, this will be a big asset to your company.
If the programming candidate has no medical billing experience and no government regulation experience, then the next thing you want to ask is if the programmer has had any experience working for companies that create software where money is either paid out or taken in. Why? Because that is basically the whole nature of medical billing. You're sending out claims, getting paid for them and posting the money to your account. So there is a lot of bookkeeping involved. If the programmer has accounts payable or receivable experience, this will be a big asset to the company.
The truth is, finding a programmer who has experience programming for medical billing companies is not easy. Most of them don't leave these jobs because they pay very well and are very secure. But if you keep at it, in time you'll find just the right person for the job.
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