Health Claims Specialist Training and Education Program Information
A health claims specialist works for a hospital, doctor's office, insurance company or healthcare facility, coding patient treatments and records for insurance and billing purposes. The most common type of educational program in the field leads to an Associate of Science in Health Information Technology. Certification is also available and may be preferred by employers.
Associate of Science in Health Information Technology
Health claims specialists (and health information technicians in general) must have a solid understanding of how to operate the electronic records systems used by most medical facilities and health insurance companies. A 2-year degree program in health information technology provides the training to use such technology, as well as a broad understanding of medical terminology and basic health care procedures.
Students typically spend their first two semesters studying computer science, human anatomy and basic medical procedures. They spend their second two semesters learning technical coding procedures, billing techniques and reimbursement strategies. Many community colleges and vocational schools require students to complete a supervised practical experience, or internship, at a nearby medical facility.
In addition to having a high school diploma, individuals interested in enrolling in an associate's degree program for health claims specialists should have completed at least one course in high school biology. They should also have strong reading and writing comprehension and a working understanding of computer operating systems and keyboarding.
Most associate's degree programs in health information technology include classroom sessions as well as computer laboratory clinics, in addition to a supervised internship or practical experience session. Sample courses examine:
- Medical terminology
- Human anatomy and physiology
- Basic computer science
- Health information management principles
- ICD-9-CM coding systems
- Healthcare reimbursement methods
- Human diseases and epidemiology
- Health data systems
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
Although data isn't available specific to the title of 'health claims specialist,' medical records and health information technicians made up a workforce of 179,500 individuals as of 2010 with a 21% growth increase expected over the next decade, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The median annual salary for these professionals was $34,160 as of May 2012 (www.bls.gov).
Certification and Continuing Education
While certification is not required in the field of health information technology, potential employers encourage applicants to be certified. Health claims specialists can gain coding credentials from organizations such as the American Academy of Professional Coders or the Board of Medical Specialty Coding. They can also gain certification as Registered Health Information Technicians (RHITs) by completing an exam given by the American Health Information Management Association. Health claims specialists interested in moving into positions of management might consider enrolling in a Bachelor of Science in Health Information Management program.
Related to Health Claims Specialist Training and Education Program Information
- Recently Updated
Health claims specialists process medical insurance claims and resolve billing issues. They often work for insurance companies,...
Health information management (HIM) specialists collect patient data, code it for reference and research purposes, and ensure...
Learn how to become a health claims examiner. Research the job description and education requirements and find out how to start...
Learn how to become a Registered Health Information Administrator. Research the education and career requirements, training...
- Salary for a Health Information Management Worker with a Bachelors Degree
- Health and Safety Specialist: Education Requirements and Job Description
- Be a Health Behavior Specialist: Career Information and Requirements
- Oil Field Engineering Degree and Training Program Information
- Auto Body Painter: Job Description, Duties and Requirements
- Educational Counseling Jobs: Career Options and Requirements
- CRM Business Data Analyst: Education Requirements and Career Info