The flexibility of working at home part time was one factor that attracted Diedre Mikkelson, owner of AccuTrac Medical Billing in Poway, California, to medical billing. Mikkelson, 35, left a prosperous mortgage-banking career to stay home and start both a family and her company in April 1996. "I didn't want a high-stress job, and I wanted to be able to stay at home with my child. I wanted the best of both worlds," she says.
Today, Mikkelson has four clients and revenues of $2,200 to $2,500 per month, working just 15 hours per week. Her typical monthly business expenses are about $300.
Medical billing services generally charge a per-claim fee of $2 to $3 or 5 percent to 8 percent of the receivables collected. How much each client is charged depends on the services provided and the type of practice. "If you're billing for a neurosurgeon who does maybe 10 surgeries a month at $40,000 a surgery," Mikkelson says, "you're not going to charge as [high a percentage] as you charge a psychiatrist who sees 20 patients a day, four days a week."