What Can You Do With a Health Information Management Degree?

Health information management refers to the collection, storage, and analysis of all data related to healthcare. To provide quality patient care, it is essential that healthcare companies and organizations safely and effectively preserve and manage patient medical records. As technology becomes ubiquitous, healthcare facilities veer away from physical medical records, creating an increasing need for well-trained health information managers. These professionals are responsible for collecting, preserving, analyzing, and releasing medical records to patients and other healthcare professionals.

Health information management (HIM) programs train candidates in all aspects of information management, the use of computer software, as well as different aspects of healthcare. Health information managers may take up various roles as health information technicians, billing specialists, clinical informatics specialists, coding managers, and data quality managers. Usually, these positions require a bachelor’s degree and some may require special certifications or a master’s degree.

Below are a few careers that students with a health information management degree can pursue.

Health Information Technician

Health information technicians prepare medical records of patients for scanning. They scan documents into an electronic system and review that all patient information is correct. They also release medical records with valid authorizations, following state regulations and HIPAA—the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996.

Rasmussen College - Online
Health Information Technician (Associate's)
Health Information Management (Bachelor's)
Medical Billing and Coding (Certificate)
Southern New Hampshire University
BS in Health Information Management
Penn Foster Career School
Online Career Diploma - Medical Coding & Billing
Online Certificate - ICD-10 for ICD-9 Coders
Online Certificate - Health Information Management
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Responsibilities and Skills

These professionals prepare and scan medical documents, upload documents to electronic health records, and if needed, retrieve information for patients on request. Since patient records contain sensitive details, they must keep their records confidential.

To apply for this position, professionals must have strong computer skills, deal professionally with co-workers and staff, and have an eye for detail. They must also demonstrate a thorough knowledge of legal medical record requirements and ability to use technical equipment.

Education

Applicants for this job need to have a high school diploma or GED equivalent, plus the equivalent of at least one year of college. Previous experience as a medical record technician is a plus. Certifications are also considered, such as the Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA), Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT), Certified Coding Specialist (CCS), and Certified Coding Specialist-Physician (CCS-P).

Work Experience

Candidates must have one year of experience in health information or related activities, involving the use of computers, and familiarity with health information forms.

Salary

The average salary for health information technicians is $39,180 per year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The lowest 10 percent earned less than $25,810, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $64,610.

Clinical Data Analyst

Clinical data analysts produce critical reports and analytics relating to the financial, clinical, and other data-driven aspects of a healthcare facility. They perform data analysis, standardization, reconciliation, and data transformation, as well as prepare billings, accounts receivable, scheduling, and reimbursement.

Responsibilities and Skills

The day-to-day responsibilities of a clinical data analyst include automating internal and external reports, creating executive-level dashboards, and presenting information to help hospital executives and others understand the operational implications of the data.

Candidates applying for this job must have strong data management skills. It is also necessary for them to be able to quickly learn new applications and software, translate data into management reports and presentations, to be comfortable interacting with other individuals, to establish priorities and meet deadlines, and work with minimal supervision.

Education

Aspiring clinical data analysts should have a bachelor’s degree in life sciences, medicine or a quantitative science. While not necessary, they are encouraged to have a corresponding master’s or doctoral degree. Common graduate degrees include—but are not limited to—statistics, computer science, data science, informatics, healthcare administration, finance, and economics.

Work Experience

Candidates should have two to five years of experience working with a medical lab. Experience in the mapping of ICD-10 and Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes would be considered. Experience in using Microsoft Office Suite is also necessary.

Salary

According to Payscale, the average salary for a clinical data analyst in the U.S. is $63,500.

Clinical Informatics Specialist

Clinical informatics specialists manage a significant number of medical records. They build user interfaces and train the clinical staff to use them. More of a generalist, this role interacts with individuals providing access to records, as well as directs others who perform data entry and evaluation.

Responsibilities and Skills

This position is responsible for troubleshooting, consulting, and coordinating, as well as planning information system integration, evaluating existing systems and making recommendations to improve functionality, and directly working with staff to train and alter usage for better security, data, and patient care.

Candidates need specific skills in information technology. They must understand the function and structure of complex database technology and have a broader understanding of the commonalities and vocabulary of large information systems and customer relationship management (CRM) databases.

Education

For this position, registered nursing (RN) credentials are typically required, such as a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) degree, an RN license, and an American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) certification.

Work Experience

Various organizations require clinical informatics specialists to have several years of clinical experience in an environment certified by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO).

Salary

According to Payscale, the average salary for a clinical informatics specialist in the U.S. is $74,105.

Billing and Coding Specialist

Billing and coding specialists work in an office where they are in charge of a company’s billing and accounting needs. Their working hours depend on the company’s needs, and this position may be part-time or full-time.

Responsibilities and Skills

The responsibilities of a billing and coding specialist include handling customer service calls, obtaining detailed patient information, providing information and answering questions regarding service, rates, billing, and other matters, as well as creating and maintaining patients records. They are also responsible for resolving issues related to denied payments and communicating with clients, legal staff, or others.

Billing and coding specialists must have excellent personal skills to communicate effectively with clients, supervisors, and assistants. They must possess superb computer skills and extensive knowledge of billing and best collection practices. They must also be adept at reading, understanding, and following oral and written instructions.

Education

A high school diploma or GED is a must for this position, but a bachelor’s degree and experience in accounting or finance is preferred.

Work Experience

The more experienced an applicant, the better the pay. However, work experience is not an essential criterion for this job.

Salary

The average salary medical billing and coding specialists—which is nestled under the health information technicians title—is $39,180, according to the BLS, and ranges between $25,810 and $64,610.

Release of Information (ROI) Specialist

Release of information (ROI) specialists generally provide different types of information to the appropriate parties for an organization. They typically work in an office with regular business hours, and may report their progress to a supervisor within the department.

Responsibilities and Skills

They are responsible for providing excellent customer service when clients approach them with queries in-person, over the phone, or through other digital means. They also collect documents to be scanned into electronic health records. They perform quality control checks to ensure the accuracy of a patient’s name, account number, medical record number, and document titles. Then, they analyze each chart for completeness. When patients and third-party requestors need medical records, they are the ones who release them.

ROI specialists must be proficient with data entry software and must possess good interpersonal and computer skills. They should have a thorough knowledge of word processors, database queries, and spreadsheet programs.

Education

A high school diploma is generally required for this position. Industry certifications are also helpful.

Work Experience

Prior experience in the field is highly beneficial.

Salary

According to Payscale, the average salary for ROI specialists in the U.S. is $13.99 an hour, which is between $24,177 and $38,721 per year.

Coding Manager

Coding managers work in hospitals or other medical facilities where they supervise medical coding staff members who oversee patients’ medical records. They serve as a technical resource for staff members and ensure that all relevant information is accurate, up-to-date, and meets professional coding standards.

Responsibilities and Skills

A coding manager leads the coding staff in a facility. Their responsibilities include managing the coding staff, monitoring their productivity levels, providing education and support to the coding staff, and troubleshooting coding issues. Coding managers are also responsible for monitoring budget, utilizing operational resources, and participating in program development.

Professionals applying for this position must be proficient in current software and network security details as they relate to the medical records they maintain. They should have an in-depth understanding of Medicare and various other payer coding, billing, and reimbursement guidelines. They should also demonstrate strong leadership and communication skills.

Education

A bachelor’s degree is required for this position, but a master’s degree preferred. Certifications such as CPC or RHIT/RHIA or CCS-P/CCS or a combination of these is required.

Work Experience

A minimum of five years of experience with coding and medical records are generally required for this position.

Salary

According to Payscale, the average salary for a coding manager in the U.S. is $68,737.

Data Quality Manager

A data quality manager ensures that a company’s products meet client or consumer demands. If an item does not meet quality standards, the quality manager must be able to spot the mistake and correct it immediately. As a leader of the quality management department, a data quality manager meets with a company’s management team to come up with creative and effective ways to manage product quality.

Responsibilities and Skills

A data quality manager leads the quality management department at a company. On a day-to-day basis, he or she assists in the ongoing assessments, coordinates and delegates program activities, assists in the development of departmental goals, studies healthcare industry standards, and stays current on industry changes.

Decision-making and leadership skills, critical thinking, creative problem-solving, knowledge of financial markets, and the ability to build and maintain positive relationships are some of the skills required by a data quality manager.

Education

This position requires a bachelor’s degree in business administration, health information management, or other related healthcare fields.

Work Experience

Data quality managers typically have eight to ten years of industry experience in data and information management within a data warehouse.

Salary

Payscale reports an average annual salary of $58,286 for data managers in the U.S. and the BLS reports an average yearly wage of $87,020 for database administrators—two professions similar to data quality managers.

Medical Credentialing Specialist

Medical credentialing specialists ensure that medical staff members’ credentials and licenses are valid and up-to-date. They usually work in a medical facility, such as a clinic, hospital, or private practice. They ensure that practitioners adhere to staff policies, department regulation, and government laws.

Responsibilities and Skills

A medical credentialing specialist is responsible for managing, gathering, researching, screening, and updating physician credentials for appointment and reappointment, reviewing for excluded providers, preparing summary evaluations of practitioner credentials for committee review, and updating national provider identifier (NPI) information. They may also need to research potential new employees to ensure that they possess the necessary licenses and credentials.

Medical credentialing specialists must have strong research and organization skills, auditing abilities, communication and interpersonal skills, and the ability to think critically and work independently. Additionally, they must be adept at time management, and organizing and managing multiple responsibilities.

Education

Education requirements vary between a bachelor’s degree or only a high school diploma. However, all credentialing specialists should be certified.

Work Experience

Prior experience in a healthcare setting or in a medical staff office preferred.

Salary

According to Payscale, the average salary for credentialing specialists in the U.S. is $17.60 an hour, which is between $29,352 and $52,060 per year.

Collections Specialist

As the name suggests, a collections specialist is responsible for the collection of debt owed to their organization. They work in a call center and use different means to contact individuals who have defaulted on debts or have not paid past bills. They perform appropriate audits to ensure compliance with government and state rules and regulations.

Responsibilities and Skills

A collections specialist monitors and maintains assigned accounts through regular follow-up, makes collection and billing calls to reduce the loss of assets of a company, provides education to all appropriate personnel, and visits assigned facilities to review, monitor, and audit the provision of Medicare services provided within the facility.

Professionals in this field should have a sound knowledge of the application of state standards of care, strong interpersonal skills and communication skills, as well as solid written and verbal skills.

Education

It is not a requirement for a collections specialist to hold a college degree; however, many professionals in this field do.

Work Experience

A minimum of two years of experience in healthcare data entry and at least one year of previous healthcare-related billing experience is required for this position.

Salary

According to Payscale, the average salary for medical credentialing specialists in the U.S. is $16.53 an hour, which is between $27,200 and $52,532 per year.

Patient Registrar

A patient registrar is tasked with collecting a patient’s information and performing various administrative activities as part of their job. They generally work in a healthcare environment, such as within a hospital or doctor’s office.

Responsibilities and Skills

Patient registrars perform many responsibilities such as greeting patients and visitors, answering calls, preparing a new patient’s medical charts with correct information and paperwork, obtaining patient signatures, and following all other company procedures.

Excellent telephone manners and etiquette, interpersonal skills, and typing and computer skills are required, as well as the ability to read, understand, and follow oral and written directions in a preferred language.

Education

A high school diploma or an equivalent degree is preferred.

Work Experience

Candidates should have a year of experience in a medical office, computer and word processing experience, and knowledge of medical terminology.

Salary

According to Payscale, the average salary for a patient registrar in the U.S. is $13.86 an hour, which is between $22,692 and $38,358 per year.

Patient Care Coordinator

Patient care coordinators provide continuity of care by ensuring a smooth transition between care settings. They provide appropriate educational materials to the patient as requested and inform them of their financial responsibility for medications.

Responsibilities and Skills

A patient care coordinator is responsible for making outbound calls; delivering messages to patients; taking inbound calls from patients, physicians, and other customers; explaining benefits to patients as needed; capturing and recording a patient’s information in a thorough and accurate manner; and releasing medical records to patients.

Patient care coordinators must have strong organization and problem-solving skills, basic computer skills including familiarity with Windows, and a good understanding of medical terminology. Additionally, they must be able to read and comprehend simple instructions and have excellent customer service skills.

Education

A high school diploma or GED equivalent is required for this position, while an associate degree is preferred.

Work Experience

Previous experience in a call-center environment, healthcare office, corporate setting, healthcare insurance company, or pharmacy is highly desirable for this position.

Salary

According to Payscale, the average salary for a patient care coordinator in the U.S. is $16.12 an hour, which is between $26,092 and $60,080 per year.

Compliance Officer

A compliance officer is in charge of supervising and handling issues related to compliance with laws or regulations. They ensure that the company is up-to-date with its licensing requirements. They often report their findings to the organization’s governing body and recommend any required changes. There is a wide range of work environments for compliance officers and they may work in an office or in the field.

Responsibilities and Skills

A compliance officer conducts periodic internal reviews or audits. They are responsible for assessing the product, compliance, or operational risks and developing risk management strategies. They direct the internal investigation of compliance issues and oversee and monitor activities for compliance with company, state, and federal regulations.

Some of the required skills for this position include knowledge of healthcare compliance requirements, as well as a working knowledge of federal and state reimbursement program procedures. They must also possess a high degree of computer proficiency.

Education

A bachelor’s or clinical degree in a healthcare-related field will be considered for this role, while a master’s degree is preferred. Certification in healthcare compliance designation is also preferred.

Work Experience

A minimum of five years of healthcare industry experience may be required for this position.

Salary

Payscale reports an average annual salary of $66,509 for compliance officers in the U.S.