Medical Records and Health Information Technicians assemble a patient's medical information which includes a medical history, symptoms, diagnostic tests, examination results, methods of treatments, and any other healthcare services provided. They also organize and maintain the medical information data by ensuring its quality, accuracy, accessibility, and security.
Technicians can specialize in many areas of health information, but two popular areas are coding and cancer registry.
Medical records and health information technicians are one of the few careers in the healthcare field where there is no hand-on patient contact. They work in well–lit and comfortable offices for standard 40 hour weeks.
Entry-level medical records and health information technicians usually have an associate's degree. Many employers prefer to hire technicians who have a Registered Health Information Technicians (RHIT) credential. A number of organizations offer credentials typically based on passing a credentialing exam. Most credentialing programs require regular recertification and continuing education to maintain the credential.
The American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) offers credentialing as a Registered Health Information Technicians (RHIT). The Registered Health Information Technician certification requires:
Certification as a medical coding specialist is offered through several organizations, such as the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC) or the Board of Medical Specialty Coding (BMSC). Certification as a cancer registry specialist is offered through the National Cancer Registrars Association (NCRA). Requirements vary by organization.
To become certified as a cancer registry specialist through NCRA one must:
Registered Health Information Technician Exam: Cost ranges from $220 – $290, plus the cost of any exam study aids.
NCRA Maintenance Fee: $25 – $105.
American Academy of Professional Coders Certified Professional Coder (CPC) examination $300
The Board of Medical Specialty Coding's Advanced Coding Professional (SCP-PM) certification exam fee: $249
The Board of Medical Specialty Coding's Advanced Coding Specialist (ACS-PM) certification exam fee: $325. The Board of Medical Specialty Coding recertification costs range from $129 – $199*.
*Note: Costs of continued education, certification and recertification may vary.