Working with medical doctors offices a good fit for CPAs talents

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 15, 2006

NATCHEZ &8212; For CPA Pamela Beacher, the new direction of her career could not be more pleasing.

After gaining years of experience in all the major areas of CPA work, including management of accounting firms, she now owns her own business, Advantage Medical Billing.

Her company, located at 118 Lower Woodville Road, offers a comprehensive package to medical offices, including insurance and patient billing, processing deposits and refunds of overpayments, enrollment in provider networks and management reports and analysis.

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&8220;I use my accounting skills to help these doctors by becoming a part of their team,&8221; Beacher said.

Business in general always has appealed to her, she said. Best of all, however, is finding ways to help people in business.

In medical billing, she finds a need for patients to &8220;hear a friendly voice&8221; and for doctors to &8220;provide a better service to their patients.&8221;

Deciding to open her own business came after five years with the accounting firm of William Gillon of Natchez, now Smith, Turner & Reeves.

&8220;A couple of months after I began to work there, they asked if I wanted to start a medical billing company,&8221; Beacher said.

She built Magnolia Medical Billing &8220;from scratch into an efficient and profitable business,&8221; she said. And she remained there from 1999 to 2004.

&8220;I decided I would go out on my own,&8221; she said. It was a big decision. And it was not easy to set up a small business, she said. &8220;I didn&8217;t know it would be so hard to set up a small business.&8221;

Beacher and her husband, Gary Beacher, a forester with International Paper, have moved around during their married life &8212; Shreveport, where she first worked in the CPA field; Eugene, Ore., where she spent four years as an office manager of Moss Adams, the seventh largest CPA firm in the nation; North Carolina, where she took some time off from work; and, finally, to Natchez.

Gary continues to work for International Paper, managing forestland near Jena, La. They have decided Natchez is home for them, she said.

&8220;We&8217;re staying. We&8217;re stable,&8221; she said. &8220;I love this small town. It&8217;s what I&8217;ve always wanted and didn&8217;t know it.&8221;

Soon after opening Advantage Medical Billing, she found her first client, Internal Medicine Associates.

One of the surprises for her has been the supply of well-trained medical billing students graduating from Copiah-Lincoln Community College.

&8220;We have a wonderful treasure trove in Co-Lin&8217;s medical billing curriculum,&8221; she said. What&8217;s more, she has worked with Co-Lin&8217;s career and technology center to identify skills graduates of the billing program should have upon graduation.

Her company helps doctors, their staff and the patients, Beacher said.

&8220;I can help them to manage better, and that helps the doctor and the staff.

&8220;I gather information that shows what needs there are, what happens when the patients come in the door until they are out again.&8221;

The telephone number at Advantage Medical Billing is 601-442-9222.