Associate’s Degree in Health Information
Congratulations on earning your associate’s degree in health information! Now, you may be wondering just what type of job you will be qualified for with such a degree. If this sounds like you, you will be happy to know that there are many exciting career choices available to you. However, the following four positions are among the most popular today.
Health Information Technician
Perhaps the most popular career for persons with associate degrees in health information is that of a health information technician. Health information technicians are responsible for such things as maintaining medical records, ensuring records are accurate and complete, and assigning specific codes to charts for data collection and insurance purposes.
Since more and more medical facilities are maintaining patient records electronically, professionals in this field must have excellent computer skills. Persons who choose this career path are employed by a variety of healthcare facilities including hospitals, nursing homes, home healthcare companies, medical clinics, and public healthcare centers.
Medical Coding Specialist
While health information technicians may perform a small amount of coding mainly for insurance and data collection purposes, the coding responsibilities of medical coding specialists are much more involved and complex. Often simply referred to as coding specialists, these professionals convert complicated medical data into various numerical codes that can be used for future reference.
Although an associate’s degree in health information is all that is required for these types of positions, certified coding associate certification can certainly increase a person’s job prospects in this field. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, these careers are in high demand today, and available positions are expected to increase by around 13 percent for the next several years.
Healthcare Facility Secretary
Another great career path for students who have earned health information degrees is to obtain a position as a healthcare facility secretary. Also known as medical secretaries, the tasks of healthcare facility secretaries involve mainly administrative and clerical duties. Common responsibilities of medical secretaries include handling correspondence, transcribing dictation, and updating medical records.
Nevertheless, it is essential to note that some employers rely on their medical secretaries to perform more involved tasks. For example, depending on a particular employer’s needs, a healthcare facility secretary may also be responsible for such things as handling inpatient processing, providing technical support, and assisting doctors during conferences.
Medical Records Auditor
A health information associate’s degree can also qualify persons for positions as medical records auditors. Also known as medical records analysts or compliance officers, medical records auditors are in charge of ensuring that their employers comply with various healthcare regulations associated with CMS and HIPAA policies.
Typical tasks of medical records auditors can vary but often include investigating insurance claims, aggregating data, examining trends in data, and ensuring quality control. Professionals in this field may choose to work independently, for various insurance companies or as independent contractors.
Choosing the right career path after graduation does not have to be difficult. There are many terrific options for people with an associate’s degree in health information, and the four careers described above are among the best.