There are dozens of jobs that come under the general heading of medical records and health information technician. Some examples include medical billing specialist, medical insurance coder, medical records manager, and public health registrar.
What these jobs have in common is that they are clerical, office positions in the medical field that require little to no direct contact with patients. They involve compiling, processing and maintaining patient records, nowadays generally in digital form, so as to facilitate the smooth functioning of the health care system.
Nature of the Work
A medical records and health information technician generally works in a conventional office setting, spending most of the day at a desk working on a computer. It is most common to work standard business hours, but in a setting such as a hospital that operates 24 hours there will be a small number of jobs that fall under the broad heading of medical records and health information technician that require working other shifts at any time around the clock.
Everything involving patient care generates records and paperwork, from the physician’s notes, to the forms filled out by the patient, to communication with the insurance company, to results of X ray and laboratory tests, and more. Medical records and health information technician workers in one way or another compile, organize, store, and communicate all this information, so that people dispensing medication know what to give, insurance companies know whether what’s being done is covered under the patient’s policy, the hospital knows whom to bill and how much, etc. The better these jobs are done, the less likelihood there is of error that can jeopardize a patient’s wellbeing, or lead to financial confusion and conflict.
Workers in these jobs should be proficient in English, and comfortable with computers and other office technology. An attention to detail is necessary. Depending on the specific job it may be necessary to have knowledge of the health insurance system and procedures, and/or of legal and ethical matters relevant to the practice of medicine.
Education and Training
Because medical records and health information technician jobs vary significantly, different levels of education are necessary for different jobs. For most positions, at least an Associate’s degree is needed, with a Bachelor’s degree preferred. But certainly it is possible to work in the field with only a high school diploma.
Relevant coursework would be in such areas as anatomy and physiology, biology, medical terminology, medical classification and coding systems, data analysis, and health care reimbursement methods.
In addition, most jobs require some form of certification, which generally means passing an examination, and then receiving continuing education and being regularly retested and recertified. The American Health Information Management Association, for example, offers a Registered Health Information Technician credential. There are also credentials available from other bodies including the American Academy of Professional Coders, the Board of Medical Specialty Coding, the Professional Association of Health Care Coding Specialists, and the National Cancer Registrars Association.
Experience with other jobs in a health care setting can make one a more attractive job candidate.
Medical records and health information technician jobs are generally not high paying, as white collar jobs go that comes under the policies provider for podiatry modifiers changed and know has more requirements that a person has to go through during the time of applications and interview.
Typical is anywhere from about $24,000 to about $40,000 annually, with the highest positions requiring the most education and experience paying perhaps $50,000-$55,000.
Medical records and health information technician jobs are growing a bit faster than the average job, with the government estimating about 20% more such jobs in the next decade. The unemployment rate for people working or seeking work in this field is only about 3%.