As a certified coding specialist (CCS) or health information technician, you’re going to be working behind the scenes of a medical facility, taking data from the doctor and transferring it over to the patient’s permanent medical record. Based off of many job postings, here’s a glimpse at you’ll do and what you need to know for a typical work day:
- Know medical terminology and HIPAA laws.
- Know the ICD 10 medical classification code.
- Know how to use the internet.
- Thoroughly review a patient’s record checking for accuracy.
- Ensure records and data are organized.
- Perform quality assessments of patient records.
- Know how to use the classification software in order to assign codes, reimbursements, and data analysis.
- Store all data and records into an electronic system.
- Keep the patient confidentiality HIPAA code.
- Be able to analyze the data to improve the system you’re working on.
- Know both inpatient and outpatient coding.
Your duties will vary depending on where you work.
Within the health information field, you can also choose between careers like medical billing, medical coder and cancer registrar.
Medical coder: Review the patient information to uncover pre-existing conditions in order to properly code, be able to assign codes so the patient and doctor are billed correctly, liaison between the medical practice and insurance company.
Cancer registrar: Verify that the patient records are complete and correct, assign proper codes for treatment of cancers, track the treatment and followup, gather information for research purposes, and keep a database of cancer patients.
No matter what industry you’re in, technology advances. You’ll need to be able to keep up with the changes to the electronic health records (EHR), and roll with the changes to your job, as well.
You’ll be able to find a job in a medical facility such as hospitals, doctors’ offices, clinics, insurance companies, and government agencies.
How To Become A Health Information Specialist
The work you’re going to do as a CCS or health information technician is very technical so you’re going to need some serious training if you want to get a job in this field. To have a career in healthcare information, you’ll need to:
Take math, biology, computers, and health while still in high school, so you have a head start.
- Have a high school diploma or GED.
- Go to a trade school or community college that offers health information technology.
- Get your certification, which is required by many employers. Certifications include: Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) and Certified Tumor Registrar (CTR).
- Become licensed if you are going to become a cancer registrar—they need to be in most states.
Consider getting a bachelor’s or master’s degree to advance in your career. All education requirements will vary depending on the facility you’re applying to. Find a health information technician program.
Because changes occur within the technology, as well as the entire healthcare field, you’re going to need to keep up with it. Which means, there is a large amount of continuing education you’ll be doing if you want to keep up with the times and stay employed!
Health Information Salary And Job Outlook
The average salary of a health information tech or CCS is over the $25K mark. But, as you gain more experience as a health information technician, your earnings will grow. The top 10 percent of people in your field are earning well over $64K annually, on average. If you work in a hospital, you’ll have evening, weekend, and holiday hours. However, doctors’ offices will allow you to have a more regulated work schedule.
You’ll find that the highest paying industries are professional, scientific, and technical services where salaries average just over $42K, which is similar to the next highest paying—hospitals.
There is going to be 27,800 new positions opening for health information technicians through 2026, so you shouldn’t have too hard a time finding a job once you’ve completed your training and received your certifications.