Careers in Healthcare: Health Information Management

What is Health Information Management?Health Information Management (HIM) is a profession that combines health data, information technology and management. HIM professionals play a critical role in collecting, maintaining, and analyzing the health data that healthcare professionals rely on to deliver, manage and finance quality healthcare.

HIM professionals are experts in managing health information using both automated and manual information systems. HIM professionals are found in companies and organizations that use and manage health information.

HIM professionals can be seen employed in physicians offices, nursing homes, home health agencies, mental health facilities and health agencies. In fact, employment opportunities exist for HIM professionals in any organization that uses patient health information such as pharmaceutical companies, law and insurance firms and health product companies.

HIM professionals are credentialed by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) as Health Information Administrators (RHIA).

RHIA REQUIREMENTS: RHIA requires a bachelor’s degree (4 years) and successful performance on the RHIA certification exam.

RHIT REQUIREMENTS: Have an associates degree from a CAHIM1 – accredited health information techonology program.

ACCREDITED HIM PROGRAMS:
Chicago State University
College of DuPage
College of Lake County
Danville Area Community College
Illinois State University
Moraine Valley Community College
Northwestern College
Oakton Community College
Southern Illinois Collegiate Common Market
Southwestern Illinois College
University of Illinois at Chicago

CODING POSITIONS
Certified Coding Specialists are professionals skilled in classifying medical data from patient records in the hospital setting/physicians office. These coding practitioners review patient’s records and assign numeric codes for diagnoses and procedures performed. To perform this task, they must possess expertise in the ICD-9-CM coding system and the surgery section within the CPT coding system. In addition, the certified coding specialist is knowledgeable of medical terminology, disease processes and pharmacology.

Hospitals and medical providers report coded data to insurance companies or the government in the case of Medicare and Medicaid recipients, for reimbursement of their expenses. Researchers and public health departments also use coded medical data to monitor patterns and explore new interventions. Coding accuracy is extremely important to healthcare organizations because of its impact on revenues and describing health outcomes. Accordingly, the coding specialist demonstrates tested data quality and integrity skills in a coding practice.

CREDENTIALS AVAILABLE FOR CODING (CCA, CCS, CCS-P)

CCS Experience in coding inpatient records or coding the hospital portion of ambulatory surgeries, emergency care records. CCA Entry-level coding credentialing.

CCS-P CCS-P is a coding practitioner with expertise in physician-based settings such as a physicians office, multi-specialty clinics, or specialty center.

AHIMA has exams available for all coding credentials listed above. Refer to AHIMA’s website at WWW.AHIMA.ORG

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