What Does a Medical Records or Health Information Technician Do?
Keeping track of medical procedures at a doctor’s office or hospital and relaying that information to insurance companies requires a lot of juggling, but it’s a job that medical records technicians do with ease. Sometimes referred to as health information managers, these workers handle patient data, insurance claims and other forms of physician reimbursement. They determine which medical procedures are covered by insurance. They also work with patients to create payment plans for procedures that aren't covered. They commonly work in hospitals, clinics and physicians' offices.
Some specialize in specific areas, including coding specialists, who ensure that patient data is coded properly, or cancer registrars, who work with cancer patients and pathology.
- Review patient medical history
- Check eligibility and benefits verification
- Prepare and transmit claims using billing software, including electronic and paper claim processing
- Organize and maintain data for clinical databases
- Track patient outcomes for quality assessment
- Follow up on unpaid claims
- Use classification software to assign clinical codes for insurance reimbursement
- Call insurance companies regarding any discrepancy in payments
- Maintain confidentiality of patients’ records
- Set up patient payment plans
Most employers require a high school diploma and previous experience or some postsecondary education. Typically, that means an associate degree program in health information technology, which includes courses in medical terminology, anatomy, health data standards, coding systems, reimbursement methods, statistics and computer systems. Employers often require certification.
- Have excellent communication skills
- Are detail-oriented
- Have good customer service skills
- Work well in a team environment
- Have good problem-solving skills
- Are patient and calm
- Have the ability to multitask