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Friday September 30, 2022

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HIM Offers Work-From-Home Opportunities
July 20, 2022

Looking for a work-at-home career? Gail Winkler, head of Walters State’s Health Information Management program, can help. She has been placing health information professionals in remote jobs before the pandemic made the practice popular. 
“Medical coders have worked from home since the move to electronic health records. Insurance billing specialists can work from home, as can our associate degree graduates, even those in supervisory roles,” Winkler said. “This frees up more space for patient services at medical offices and health care facilities.”
Not only can students work at home after graduating, almost all of the program can be completed online. The only in-person class is a semester of clinical studies is required of associate degree students.
Medical coders assign codes to patient records matching a diagnosis, symptoms and other medical information. The codes are used in treatment, billing, research, data reporting and many other areas of health care. This is a technical certificate that can be completed in two semesters (August-May) by full-time students.

Medical insurance specialists file claims with insurance companies for patient services.They follow up on unpaid claims with the goal of ensuring that health care providers are reimbursed properly. This technical certificate can also be completed in two semesters (August-May) by full-time students.

Students earning the associate degree in health information management often serve in supervisory and management roles. Responsibilities include electronic health records, data management, documentation and other areas. 

Students complete the medical coding certificate while in the associate’s degree program. The associate’s degree usually takes two years. 

“Students can go on to earn bachelor’s and master’s degrees, which open up even more opportunities,” Winkler said. 
The program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management (CAHIIM). In 2021, the latest records available, 100% of students passed the Registered Health Information Management (RHIT) certification exam on the first try and 83% were working in their field within six months of graduation.
“Virtually every health care organization requires these positions,” Winkler said. “Graduates can work for providers, health care networks, hospitals, nursing homes, clinics – almost anywhere. This is also one of the rare careers in health care that do not involve direct patient care. If you don’t like blood but want to work in health care, this is one of the best avenues.” 
Tuition for the program may be covered by Tennessee Promise, Tennessee Reconnect and other forms of financial aid. For more information, visit Winkler can be reached at 423.585-6990 or 
Fall semester at Walters State begins Aug. 22. 

In the photo: Gail Winkler, head of the Walters State’s Health Information Management Program, has guided graduates into to work-from-home jobs since the advent of electronic health records. Graduates work as medical coders, insurance billing specialists and health information management professionals.