When we first started our medical billing business back in 1994, we would have done anything to sign up a new provider. Our second account was a chiropractor who wanted us to submit only his workers comp claims for $3 per claim. Workers comp claims must be filed on a special claim form and were much more work than commercial insurance billing, but as I said, we would have done anything to get our business started. We took on that account even though we were well aware that we weren’t making a profit doing it.
At that time our NYS workers comp claim forms were a 4 part carbon paper form that we had to order from the workers comp board. They had to be typed each time with as few errors as possible. Of course when you are typing with carbon paper (if you are old enough to remember carbon paper) you tend to make twice as many errors as you normally would. Then we had to correct each error on 4 pages. So needless to say, this was a rather stressful job. The provider was located about 25 minutes away and we had to drive to his office each time he had claims ready. Then if we didn’t have enough blank forms available we would have to drive to the Medical Society (another 40 minute round trip in the other direction) who would give us a few forms.
The reason we took this job was to gain experience. We were green! We needed experience. We needed to submit insurance claims. We needed to learn how to talk to doctors so we first needed a doctor we could talk to. We learned lots from that experience. I’m embarrassed to say how much we learned. The first claims we sent we put one claim in each envelope. We weren’t sure you could send more than one claim in an envelope. Not only did we send one claim in an envelope to the insurance companies, but we sent the copies of all the claims to the workers comp board one claim per envelope too. But we also learned to work with workers comp claims. We learned to type with less errors. We learned to talk to doctors. We learned our value. We learned to ask for referrals. We learned much more than we would have if we didn’t take that account because we weren’t making any money doing it. All education comes at a price and doing those claims for $3 per claim gave us some priceless education.