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Careers in Health Information Management

What is it?
Health Information Management (HIM) is the point where health care meets technology. An HIM professional is an expert on maintaining, collecting and analyzing patient data that doctors, nurses, and other providers rely on to perform their job of providing quality health care. (Source: www.ahima.org/careers/intro.asp)

Will I get a job?
The demand for HIM professionals is high and rapidly expanding as the health sector experiences rapid growth. The Bureau of Labor Statistics cites health information technology as one of the 20 fastest growing occupations in the US. This profession will experience a 47 percent growth rate over the next 15 years.

What will I get paid?
With strong job prospects, salaries are competitive. Most new HIM graduates with an associate degree earn $30,000 to $50,000 annually. Starting salaries for individuals with a bachelor’s degree can range from $40,000 to $70,000 annually. For more information visit: http://www.ahima.org/members_only/member_profile_data.asp

Educational and Career Pathways
HIM professionals enjoy a broad selection of job opportunities and options for professional growth. Based on your skills, education, and interests, here are some positions available to you:

Clinical Coding
Health information coding is the transformation of verbal descriptions of diseases, injuries, and procedures into numeric or alphanumeric designations. The coding of health-related data permits access to medical records by diagnoses and procedures for use in clinical care, research, and education. Since the implementation of the federal government's first prospective payment system in 1983, there has been a great deal more emphasis placed on medical coding. Currently, reimbursement of hospital and physician claims for Medicare patients depends entirely on the assignment of codes to describe diagnoses, services, and procedures provided. As the basis for reimbursement, appropriate medical coding has become crucial as healthcare providers seek to assure compliance with official coding guidelines. Coded data are also used internally by institutions for quality management activities, case-mix management, planning, marketing and other administrative and research activities. Source: (http://www.ahima.org/coding/)

Where to study in the northern Virginia region: Northern Virginia Community College Medical Education Campus 6699 Springfield Center Drive Springfield, Va. 22150 Contact: David Munch, MBA, RHIA at 703-822-6641, email: dmunch@nvcc.edu
Visit: http://www.nvcc.edu/medical/health/hit/

Certification Eligibility: New coders who earn the CCA certification will demonstrate their competency in the field, even if they don't have much job experience. CCA holders will also distinguish themselves from non-credentialed coders and those who hold credentials from other organizations that do not require the higher level of expertise necessary to earn AHIMA certification. For more information on non-credit courses, contact Deb Mueller 703-822-6526, email dmueller@nvcc.edu

Graduates of the certificate program are eligible to take one of two national certifying examinations administered by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) to become a Certified Coding Specialist (CCS) or Certified Coding Specialist-Physician Office setting (CCS-P).

Associate Degree
HIM professionals can work in many settings from hospitals to insurance agencies; individuals with an associate degree can be employed in these positions: Health Data Analyst, Insurance Claims Analyst, Records Technician Specialist, Clinical Coding Specialist, Physician Practice Manager, and Patient Information Coordinator.

Where to study in this region: Northern Virginia Community College Degree Awarded: Accredited Associate (HIT) Program For more information, visit: http://www.nvcc.edu/medical/health/hit/ Contact: David Munch, MBA, RHIA at 703-822-6641, email: dmunch@nvcc.edu

Certification Eligibility: Graduates of the program are eligible to take a national certifying examination. The Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) Certification is recognized nationwide as proof of proficiency in Health Information Technology

Bachelor’s Degree
Individuals with a Bachelor’s Degree can be employed in these positions: HIM Department Director, HIM System Manager, Data Quality Manager, Chief Privacy Officer, HIM College Instructor, Consultant

Where to study in this region: DeVry University, Visit www.DeVry.com

 
 
 
 
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