Over the years, healthcare has become a highly sought-after industry segment for employment. With an aging population globally and unprecedented breakthroughs in clinical and scientific research, work opportunities in the healthcare sector are growing by leaps and bounds. However, with so many career options available, it’s difficult to navigate through the choices and zero in on the right career path. In this article, we’ll take a look at the most in-demand certifications and programs for ambitious healthcare professionals.
1. Registered Health Information Advisor (RHIA) The RHIA certification is awarded by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). A RHIA-certified professional is an important link between patients, caregivers, and payers. They’re responsible for managing medical records and protected health information of patients. They understand quality indicators and patient safety parameters. They also help with the management of information input, storage, transmission, and retrieval. RHIA-certified professionals typically work in hospitals, insurance, consulting or pharmaceutical companies, educational institutions, and government agencies.
2. Certified Case Manager (CCM) Administered by the Commission for Case Manager Certification (CCMC), the CCM credential is a specialty certification—not an entry-level one—for professionals like pharmacists, nurses, and public health social workers who are already working. A CCM works with a healthcare service provider and other agencies to ensure proper planning and delivery of care as well as an assessment of outcomes for each patient. They often work as touchpoints for patients, families, and community agencies like insurance providers, legal advocates, crisis centers, and healthcare counselors.
3. Certified Outpatient Coder (COC) With physicians leaving private practices to join hospitals, career opportunities in various outpatient facilities are growing faster than ever before. A Certified Outpatient Coder (COC), previously known as CPC-H, handles a wide range of critical outpatient responsibilities that include, but aren’t limited to:
- Medical coding, compliance, and reimbursement - Managing ambulatory care, diagnostic testing, same-day surgeries, and outpatient billing
According to the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC), COC is among the highest paying healthcare jobs in the US.
4. Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) Like the RHIA, the RHIT certification is administered by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). It is awarded to technicians who demonstrate proficiency in storing medical records and patient information in electronic format, evaluating patient data for accuracy, and improving patient care while reducing costs. The RHIT certification is a great stepping-stone for an advanced management position in healthcare.
5. Certified Professional in Healthcare Risk Management (CPHRM) As one of the most prestigious of all healthcare management certifications, the CPHRM credential is for the crème de la crème of healthcare personnel who demonstrate a high level of professional capabilities along with risk management experience in a healthcare setting. The evaluation process for CPHRM is extremely thorough and rigorous. The certification is awarded by the American Hospital Association (AHA). 6. Certified Professional in Electronic Health Records (CPHER) Issued by the Health IT Certification, the CPHER credential is a good starting point for those interested in working in EHR, a hot buzzword in the healthcare industry. A background in either IT or healthcare is required to take the 100-question exam.