An entrepreneur who has a solid understanding of how insurance policies work and knows how to navigate the maze of hospital and doctor billing procedures can make an excellent living as a medical reimbursement specialist.
Katalin Goencz runs MedBillsAssist, a medical reimbursements company based in Stamford, Connecticut. She was kind enough to walk us through her entrepreneurial experiences in forming and running her company.
Katalin, it sounds live you've started a great business in the area of medical bills assistance and medical claims denial services. What does that entail exactly?
We pretty much handle everything related to helping people with their medical bills. We solve medical claim problems, write appeal letters, track large medical bills, advise people about their medical policies, write Medicare appeals, and more. We work with patients, providers and corporations as well.
What were you doing before MedBillsAssist? How did you get started?
I started the business in 2002. This is my first business.
Before this, I was working for a local hospital filling a similar role.
I used my own money to start the company. It's a nice niche. There is only minimal competition in my business.
Has your experience in running the business been different from what you expected?
It is very different in so many ways. Time is a precious thing. It is difficult to keep a tab on it. Being a small business owner, there are so many unproductive activities I need to get involved in. It takes time and I had to learn to start hiring professionals to help. The challenge there is finding the right professional for the right price.
Is there anything you wish you had done differently?
I am not sure I could have done this differently. My line of business is so new that there wasn't much information out there to do market research.
What have you done that has been very effective in helping to grow the business?
The big surprise to me was that no one wanted my services at first.
It took some time to figure out that limited marketing to a wrong audience will not bring me clients. I had to rethink my business model, target audience and figure it out how to reach potential clients. I had to learn marketing and types of marketing on my own. It was a lot of trial an error.
Finally I determined that networking is the most valuable way of promote and grow my business.
I have tried newspaper advertising, niche advertising, published articles in business journals, did a TV interview, speaking engagements, but at the end the only three things proved to be effective.
Those were networking, the professional association of Claim Assistance Professionals (www.claims.org ) and the traditional old way of getting referrals from present clients. Having a properly optimized website has also been another source of business leads.
Do you have advice for others who want to start a similar business?
Yes, I have many tips to offer.
Anyone who isn't exceptionally organized should not even think about becoming a claim assistance professional.
Get your license first.
Network, network and network some more.
Be always considerate of others, don't judge.
Finally, don't make promises without checking all the facts and local laws, the small print.
That's super advice for anybody who wants to start a medical reimbursements company. Thanks so much for joining us for one of our entrepreneur interviews. We wish you great success as you grow your business to the next level.