A lot of us get frustrated by medical bills: the extra charges or confusing billing codes, struggling to get your insurance to pay and calling billing clerks to clear up mistakes only to sit on hold. But where others see frustration, Aleshia Silva saw an opportunity to do better.
Aleshia started her career in the medical industry doing entry charge, and after learning the ins and outs of medical billing, was given the opportunity to start a medical billing department entirely from scratch. There, she found her niche, and realized by owning her own billing and consulting company, she’d be able to continue that same work. “I love being able to get (medical providers’) claims paid, help a patient who can’t pay off an entire balance at once, help out a provider's office and provide practices with the necessary tools to run effectively and efficiently,” she says.
Without time management, juggling so many hats would be just as chaotic as it sounds.
What inspired you to pursue your current job?
I started off in the medical industry doing charge entry. I liked knowing that aspect of the medical billing, but I wanted to do more. After learning the ins and outs of medical billing, I was given an opportunity to start a medical billing department from scratch. This was an amazing experience for me, since I had always been at a practice where the policies were already in place. After building a medical billing department, I soon realized there were probably other practices that were in the same position that my provider was in: lack of an experienced medical biller, no financial policy in place, no compliance manual, etc. I thought that by owning my own billing and consulting company, I would be able to do the same thing I did for her for other providers as well.
What does your position involve on a daily basis, and what types of responsibilities do you have in your position?
My position involves every aspect of the business; from marketing, closing sales to writing up proposals. You name it, I do it. Although it can seem like a lot for just one person, I have to fall back on the key element for any business: time management. Without time management, juggling so many hats would be just as chaotic as it sounds.
What is your favorite part of your job?
I love every aspect of my job. I love being hands on and knowing how things run, as well as how to go about tweaking little things here and there to make processes run more smoothly or productively. If I had to choose one favorite aspect, I would say it’s the fact that I’m helping providers. I love being able to get their claims paid, help a patient who can’t pay off an entire balance at once, help out a provider's office and provide practices with the necessary tools to run effectively and efficiently.
What challenges keep you awake at night?
Some of the challenges that tend to keep me awake at night include worrying if something got finished and everything I have to do the next day.
Is work/life balance ever a problem with you? If so, what is one no-fail tactic you use to create balance?
Sometimes it’s out of sync, because I work from my home. Although I have an office that’s separated from the rest of the house, it can be a struggle as to when to turn the "work" hat off.
Was there ever a moment in your career where you’ve thought, “I can't believe I have this job?" What was it?
I think about this all the time. I can't believe I get to wake up and go to work doing something I love to do and talk to people about it. It’s an incredible feeling to know that you’re doing something that’s making a difference.
What are some of the rules you live by?
- Don’t stress over things that I cannot change.
- There’s always tomorrow.
- Don’t try to do everything in one day
- Stay on task.
- Use time management.
- Take breaks.
What qualities does a woman need to possess to be successful in your line of work?
A will to learn. You will need to learn all you can about the medical industry. There are always changes regarding billing, coding and documentation. Even now, there are changes with implementing electronic records (EMR/EHR) and ICD-10. Providers want people to have the experience where they do not.
What one piece of advice do you wish you could tell a 21-year-old version of yourself?
Advertising is the hardest thing you could possibly do. Also, communication and speaking lectures are great to help you get over that initial hump when networking with others and speaking to potential