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Career Guide: Medical Records and Health Information Technicians

Career Guide: Medical Records and Health Information Technicians

U.S. Department of Labor, BLS

Job Prospects

Job prospects should be very good. In addition to job growth, openings will result from the need to replace technicians who retire or leave the occupation permanently.

Technicians with a strong background in medical coding will be in particularly high demand. Changing government regulations and the growth of managed care have increased the amount of paperwork involved in filing insurance claims. Additionally, health care facilities are having some difficulty attracting qualified workers, primarily because employers prefer trained and experienced technicians prepared to work in an increasingly electronic environment with the integration of electronic health records. Job opportunities may be especially good for coders employed through temporary help agencies or by professional services firms.

Quiz: Is Medical Records Right For You?

1. Do you consider yourself organized and reliable?

I'm always on the ball!
I let a few tasks slide from time to time.

Earnings

Median annual earnings of medical records and health information technicians were $28,030 in May 2006. The middle 50 percent earned between $22,420 and $35,990. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $19,060, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $45,260. Median annual earnings in the industries employing the largest numbers of medical records and health information technicians in May 2006 were:

General medical and surgical hospitals: $29,400 Nursing care facilities: $28,410 Outpatient care centers: $26,680 Offices of physicians: $24,170

Related Occupations

Medical records and health information technicians need a strong clinical background to analyze the contents of medical records. Medical secretaries and medical transcriptionists also must be knowledgeable about medical terminology, anatomy, and physiology even though they have little or no direct contact with patients.

Careers

Information on careers in medical records and health information technology, and a list of accredited training programs is available from:

  • American Health Information Management Association, 233 N. Michigan Ave., Suite 2150, Chicago, IL 60601-5800. Internet: http://www.ahima.org

Information on training and certification for medical coders is available from:

  • American Academy of Professional Coders, 2480 South 3850 West, Suite B, Salt Lake City, UT 84120. Internet: http://www.aapc.com

Information on cancer registrars is available from:

  • National Cancer Registrars Association, 1340 Braddock Place Suite 203, Alexandria, VA 22314. Internet: http://www.ncra-usa.org

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