1.Visit the AHIMA Web site and research the qualifications for taking each certification examination and the continuing education requirements for maintaining each credential. What similarities and differences do you see?2.Name and discuss one or more of the opportunities in HIM. Be sure to address the educational and experience requirements.(short reading attached)
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This lesson focuses on a selection of career opportunities in healthcare and health information management, the role of
the professional practice experience (externship or internship), the importance of joining professional organizations, the
interpretation of professional codes of ethics, the impact of networking with other professionals, and the development of
opportunities for professional advancement.
Professional Practice Experience
The professional practice experience (PPE) benefits both the student and the healthcare organization that accepts the
student for placement. Students get on-the-job experience before graduating, which assists them in obtaining permanent
employment, and healthcare organizations have the opportunity to participate in and improve their formal education
process. Fairly often, students who complete professional practices are later employed by the organization at which they
completed the experience. Accreditation standards require academic programs to place students in professional practice
experiences to comply with their criteria.
Health Information Management Professionals
Cancer registrars gather data on every cancer patient in the US. This data includes a complete history, diagnosis,
treatment, and health status. This data is in turn provided to researchers, healthcare providers, and public health officials
to better monitor and advance cancer treatments, conduct research, and improve cancer prevention and screening
programs. The National Cancer Registrars Association’s (NCRA) education programs offer associate’s degrees and
certificates in Cancer Registry Management (CRM) or Cancer Information Management (CIM). These NCRA-accredited
programs guarantee students who successfully complete the curriculum have fulfilled the eligibility requirements to take
the Certified Tumor Registrar (CTR) Exam. Employment opportunities for cancer registries, consulting firms and private
and government agencies (Home…, 2015).
Coding and Reimbursement Specialists must obtain a working knowledge of Current Procedural Terminology (CPT)
and ICD-9-CM (soon to be ICD-10). In addition to medical coding college-based programs usually require knowledge of
medical terminology, anatomy & physiology, pathophysiology and reimbursement procedures. These professionals may
join any of the following professional associations: American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC), American College of
Medical Coding Specialists (ACMCS) and/or American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). Most find
employment at hospitals, government agencies, or internet-based application service provider (ASP), but quite a few are
According to the AHIMA, health information managers are skilled in managing patient health information and medical
records, overseeing computer information systems, and coding diagnoses and procedures for health care services
provided to patients. Health information technicians (HIT) earns an associate degree from a community, junior, or
technical college and must pass the Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) exam; and a health information
administrator (HIA) earns a bachelor’s degree from college or university and must take the Registered Health Information
Administrator (RHIA) exam. To be eligible to take the aforementioned national certification exams, a person must
graduate from a program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Health Informatics and Information
Management (CAHIIM). In addition to general the coursework students are also required to complete professional
practices (PPE) in the health information management departments of a variety of health care settings (e.g., acute,
ambulatory, long-term, and mental health care).
Health information technicians and administrators work in a variety of settings. Some example include clinics,
consulting firms, government agencies, hospitals, insurance companies, nursing facilities, home health agencies,
hospices, and physician offices.
HIM Technician Working Aboard the USS Kitty Hawk
Jobs at the RHIT level include health data analyst, insurance claims analyst, records technician specialist, clinical coding
specialist, physician practice manager, and patient information coordinator. Jobs at the RHIA job level include department
director, system manager, data quality manager, information security officer, educator, and consultant (Health
Information 101…, 2015).
A health insurance specialist (or claims examiner ) evaluates insurance claims to determine whether the costs are
reasonable and medically necessary, based on the patient’s diagnosis. A health information manager’s skills include
medical billing, coding, and record keeping. Although, training and entry-level requirements vary widely for health
insurance specialists; most third-party payers prefer to hire college or vocational school graduates and provide additional
training on the job. Health insurance specialists are employed by insurance companies, third-party administrators, the
government, and managed care companies. They are also employed in health care facilities, physician offices, and clinics.
Home-based employment opportunities are also available for health insurance specialists who become self-employed or
work for an organization that allows claims to be processed off-site.
Other Employment Opportunities in Health Information Management
A growing field is health data analysis. A health data analyst obtains employment in a myriad of health care locales and
is also employed by data warehousing companies to conduct research data management and clinical trials management.
A data warehouse combines the data from different data bases in a consistent way so that inquiries can be made across
the entire data set. An individual with a health information management background is a commonsensical choice to serve
as a health data analyst. AHIMA offers a Certified Health Data Analyst (CHDA) credential for professionals who have the
capacity to “acquire, manage, analyze, interpret, and transform data into accurate, consistent, and timely information,
while balancing the “big picture” strategic vision with day-to-day details” (CHDA…, 2015)
Health information management consultants specialize in coding, long-term care, information security, ambulatory
care, and so on. They provide assistance (e.g., eliminating a backlog of coding), guidance (e.g., coding validation studies
to determine staff training needs), and expert knowledge (e.g., credentialed person who consults for a long term care
This lesson focused on an assortment of career opportunities in healthcare and health information management, the role
of the professional practice experience (PPE), the importance of joining professional organizations, and the development
of opportunities for professional advancement. In our next lesson we will start to look at healthcare settings.
AHIMA. (n.d.). CHDA. Retrieved from http://www.ahima.org/certification/chda
AHIMA. (n.d.). Health Information 101. Retrieved from: http://www.ahima.org/careers/healthinfo
National Cancer Registrars Association. (n.d.). About us. Retrieved from: http://www.ncra-usa.org
Required Week 2 Reading and Resources
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