Maggie Funk has been in the medical billing industry since the early 2000s and has owned her own billing business since 2003. She specializes in internal medicine, geriatric medicine, pain management, adaptive behavior assessment, and behavioral health.
Maggie has some strong opinions on the current state of Medicare and what physicians can do to improve their revenue cycle.
Maggie, what’s your professional background and training, and how did you get
into medical billing?
I graduated in 2000 with a BS in Health Care Management from Park University in Missouri. While attending Park, I held two positions; a part-time job at a radiology clinic and an internship at a pediatric development center. These allowed me to see the full scope of what’s involved in running a medical practice. During this time, I discovered I had a talent for billing and insurance collections and began to pursue opportunities in the industry. As a military spouse and young mother, I felt that it would be ideal to begin a home-based business.
In 2001, my husband left the military, and we moved to the Maryland area. To gain experience, I worked full time in my field of choice. My first position was with American Resource Management, a large billing and collection company, where I worked on insurance collections for large hospitals such as Harbor Hospital and North Arundel Hospital. After leaving to find work closer to home, I found employment in the home health industry as a billing manager for Home Call, Inc. During those years, I also worked part time to pursue my dream of owning my own business.
In 2003, I was able to leave Home Call and work on my own. I have mainly focused on internal medicine practices, geriatric medicine, pain management, adaptive behavior assessment (ABA), and behavioral health. I have also worked on billing and large projects for cardiologists and other specialties. In 2015, I began teaching medical billing and coding to local colleges, which helps me to stay up to date on all specialties and billing practices.
I believe the advantage of a small company is that I take a personal interest in my clients’ success. When clients call, they speak with the owner (me). Since I am are offsite, I do not become involved in the often confusing aspects of daily healthcare provision. My goal is to help clients obtain their money as quickly as possible. MBS is dedicated to providing clients with an efficient, cost-effective service that improves their cash flow and helps them build a strong patient relationship.
Tell us about Medical Billing Solutions, LLC.
My company was established in 2003 as a sole proprietor in Woodsboro, Md. In 2005, the company moved to Falling Waters, W. Va. and became a LLC. Today, the company operates from Navarre, Fla. The company services clients nationwide, including Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Florida. We specialize in geriatric, internal medicine, adaptive behavior assessment (ABA), and behavioral health.
How do you help practices with specialty-specific billing?
I learn everything I need to know regarding that specialty. Things are always changing, and what might have been true two years ago may not be the standard today. In addition, I’m not afraid to communicate with my providers and their staff. If I don’t know the answer to something, I ask. I’ll ask the office, the insurance payer, even other billers in my industry.
What do you feel differentiates your service?
What sets me apart is that I am almost always available. Sometimes, larger services get so busy that they lose the personal touch. I’ve had clients tell me that other services would not return their calls, answer the phone, or return emails. It’s hard to be an extension of the provider’s office if you don’t pick up the phone when they need to ask you a question. Also, many of my clients have been a client since I started in 2003. I know their patients, and their patients know me by name.
How do you stay ahead of regulatory compliance, technology, and CMS rules?
I have membership to AAPC and other similar billing and coding websites. I attend seminars and classes for continuing education credits. Email subscriptions like MLN Connects help me stay updated on CMS rules. Teaching a medical billing and coding course also helps me because I am teaching codes and policies for the current year.
How has the Affordable Care Act affected your business?
I don’t think it has. If I had to say one thing, it would be that more people are insured now, so they are more likely to visit the doctor. More visits to the doctor means more claims for me to bill.
In part 2 of this post, Maggie tells us the most common complaint she hears from clinicians and gives advice on how practices can speed up reimbursement.
Last Updated on April 19, 2017