Certified Electronic Health Records Specialist Salary

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Factors Influencing Certified Electronic Health Records Specialist Pay

The world of healthcare has gone digital in a big way! Electronic health records (EHRs) are revolutionizing how patient info is stored, accessed and utilized.   

As healthcare facilities embrace this technology, certified electronic health records specialists are in high demand. The role involves managing and maintaining patient records electronically, ensuring compliance and accuracy - a critical job in today's healthcare system.  

So what does the day-to-day look like for an EHR specialist? The responsibilities vary but typically involve:

While the work may involve long hours and constant learning to keep up with changing technology, EHR specialists play an important part in modernizing healthcare delivery. The role offers competitive pay, growth opportunities and the satisfaction of improving patient care through better organization and accessibility of health information.

So if you want to join the healthcare revolution from the inside out as an integral part of the digital transformation, becoming a certified electronic health records specialist could be an excellent career choice.

Salary Range Overview

With growing demand for health records, many professionals pursue careers as Certified Electronic Health Records Specialists. This new profession offers both financial and professional rewards.

Salaries for Certified Electronic Health Records Specialists vary based on experience and certifications. Entry-level specialists with less than a year of experience typically earn between $30,000 and $40,000 per year, while someone with over 5 years of experience can earn up to $70,000 annually.

Factors Affecting Salary of EHR Specialists

Here are the main factors that affect the salary of a certified electronic health records specialist, summarized at roughly 50% fewer words:

  • Location - Salaries vary based on cost of living. High-paying states include California, Massachusetts and Connecticut, averaging over $48k annually.
  • Experience - Salaries increase with experience. Entry-level ranges $30-$40k while over 5 years of experience can reach $70k or more.
  • Education - Employers prefer higher education and certifications. Additional diplomas or degrees increase competitiveness and pay. Certifications demonstrate expertise and increase salaries.
  • Industry - Those in larger hospitals and healthcare organizations typically earn more than in smaller facilities. Medical administrators, coders and insurance professionals with CEHRS certification average $50-$60k annually.
  • Certifications - Certifications like CEHRS demonstrate expertise and increase salaries relative to other electronic health records specialists.

Certifications and Education Required for Certified EHR Specialists

Becoming a Certified Electronic Health Records Specialist requires a minimum of a high school diploma or equivalent. However, to improve your chances of getting hired and to develop your skills, obtaining a degree or certificate in a related field can be beneficial.

There are various degree programs and certificates available, including associate degrees in health information technology, health informatics, and healthcare administration. Additionally, bachelor's degrees in health information management or healthcare administration are also relevant options.

One of the most prominent certifications for this occupation is the National Healthcareer Association (NHA) Certified Electronic Health Records Specialist (CEHRS). This certification demonstrates expertise in electronic healthcare records management, including understanding medical terminology, coding, and data analysis, among other skills. The CEHRS certification requires the successful completion of an exam, which includes 100 multiple-choice questions covering topics related to electronic health records.

To be eligible for the CEHRS certification exam, candidates must have a high school diploma or equivalent and have completed a training program in a related field. The training program must cover medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, and healthcare reimbursement methodologies, among other relevant topics.

Other professional certifications from different organizations can also be beneficial for career progression. For example, the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) offers several certifications, including the Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) and the Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA).

EHR Specialist Education Requirements

a group of medical professionals

To become a certified electronic health records specialist (CEHRS), a candidate must have a high school diploma or equivalent and complete a training program related to healthcare.

The training program covers the necessary topics like medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, healthcare reimbursement methodologies, and coding procedures. Apart from the training program, the candidate has to pass an exam that includes multiple-choice questions covering various electronic health record related topics.

High School Diploma or Equivalent

A high school diploma or equivalent is typically the minimum required education to become a certified electronic health records specialist.

However, further education can enhance your knowledge and skills:

  • An associate degree in Health Information Technology or Health Information Management can provide more thorough understanding of EHR and healthcare.
  • A certificate in Electronic Health Records Management focuses specifically on EHR. It's ideal for those with medical experience wanting specialized EHR skills.

Certification is important, demonstrating proficiency in EHR and making you more competitive. The National Healthcareer Association offers an industry-recognized CEHRS certification exam.

Degree Programs and Certificates Available in the Field

Here is a longer summary of degree programs and certificates available in the field of electronic health records at around 60% fewer words:

Options to become a CEHRS include:

An associate degree in Health Information Technology (HIT) or Health Information Management (HIM), typically a 2-year program covering:

  • Medical terminology
  • Health data management
  • Information technology
  • The role of EHRs in healthcare

Graduates can work in hospitals, clinics and nursing homes.

A certificate in Electronic Health Records Management, typically shorter and more focused. Coursework may cover :

  • EHR implementation
  • Data security
  • Compliance

Graduates become EHR specialists working in various settings.

The National Healthcare Association offers a CEHRS certification exam, which degree and certificate programs may prepare students for.

Institutions offer programs both online and in-person like:

  • Albright College's online Health Information Management program
  • Geisinger's in-person programs

When choosing a program, consider:

  • Your schedule
  • Cost of tuition
  • Preference for hands-on experience

Both degree and certificate programs can provide the skills and knowledge needed to succeed as a CEHRS professional, leading to a fulfilling healthcare career.

Credentials Needed to Become a Certified Electronic Health Records Specialist

To become a CEHRS through the National Healthcareer Association (NHA):

Candidates must first meet education requirements by completing a degree or certificate in Health Information Technology (HIT) or Health Information Management (HIM). Coursework covers:

  • Anatomy and physiology
  • Medical terminology
  • Health data management
  • Information technology
  • Electronic health records

Candidates must then pass the NHA's CEHRS certification exam, which assesses skills in:

  • Electronic health records
  • Medical procedures
  • Coding
  • Regulations

The CEHRS certification can lead to opportunities in hospitals, clinics and nursing homes.

For career advancement:

The American Health Information Management Association offers the Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) certification, requiring an HIT or HIM degree. RHIT demonstrates higher knowledge and expertise, leading to greater opportunities and salaries.

The Certified Professional in Electronic Health Records (CP-EHR) certification assesses skills needed to implement and manage electronic health records, including legal and regulatory knowledge. It helps individuals excel as practice administrators or insurance professionals.

National Healthcareer Association (NHA) Certification Exam for EHR Specialist

The National Healthcareer Association offers a comprehensive certification exam that confirms competency in the field of electronic health records. To qualify, candidates must have a high school diploma and be at least 18 years old.

The exam evaluates candidates' knowledge pertaining to healthcare procedures, systems and regulatory compliance. A thorough grasp of electronic health record systems is vital, including medical terminology, coding and HIPAA regulations. Candidates must also demonstrate proficiency in processing patient records, chart reviews and identifying reportable events.

The 100 multiple-choice question exam takes two hours to complete. Candidates are expected to possess a strong understanding of healthcare industry workflows and common medical procedures. Knowledge of record keeping policies that ensure compliance with regulations and standards is also important.

Earning NHA's electronic health records certification demonstrates a commitment to quality care and professional excellence. It prepares individuals for roles in various settings like hospitals, clinics and nursing homes. Certification from a reputable organization like NHA also significantly increases marketability and earning potential.

Professional Certifications from Other Organizations

Several useful certifications are available beyond the CEHRS from the NHA:

The AHIMA Certified Health Data Analyst focuses on data analysis and management skills. It requires experience in health data analytics or a health informatics degree, differing from CEHRS by its specialized focus.

The AAPC Certified Professional Medical Auditor focuses on auditing medical practices for compliance. Suitable for practice administrators and professionals responsible for coding and billing, it requires auditing experience and an exam.

AAPC's Certified Professional Compliance Officer certification focuses on laws and regulations governing healthcare. It encompasses knowledge on implementing compliance programs, regulations like HIPAA and Stark Law, and identifying compliance risks. 2 years of compliance experience and an exam are required.

AHIMA's Certified Documentation Improvement Practitioner focuses on improving documentation for accurate patient records. Ideal for those in medical coding and clinical documentation, 2 years related experience and an exam are required.

CompTIA's Health IT Technician Certification covers configuring, managing and troubleshooting electronic health record systems. Ideal for those in healthcare IT, it requires healthcare IT experience and an exam testing proficiency.

On-the-Job Training Requirements for a Certified Electronic Health Records Specialist

On-the-job training requirements vary by organization but should cover essential areas to ensure specialists can perform duties efficiently.

Training must teach knowledge of:

Training must develop:

  • Effective communication skills to interact with physicians, nurses, insurance professionals and ensure accurate, complete patient records and prompt updates.

Training should cover:

Training must familiarize specialists with:

  • Relevant regulations governing electronic medical records like HIPAA
  • Auditing patient records for compliance with government and insurance requirements
  • Processing Release of Information requests while maintaining patient privacy.

Employment Opportunities for a Certified Electronic Health Records Specialist

If you are thinking of pursuing a career in the healthcare industry, becoming a Certified Electronic Health Records Specialist (CEHRS) is an excellent option. The demand for skilled EHR specialists is growing at a significant pace, and this trend is expected to continue in the coming years. In this article, we will discuss the different employment opportunities available for CEHRS and the qualifications and certifications required to land these positions.

Job Outlook and Growth in the Healthcare Industry

The healthcare industry is undoubtedly one of the fastest-growing industries in the world, and the demand for healthcare services is projected to grow substantially in the coming years. CEHRS is one of the careers within the healthcare industry that reflects this growth. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of health information technicians, including CEHRS, is projected to grow by 8% from 2019 to 2029. As healthcare providers continue to transition to electronic health records, the demand for skilled EHR specialists will increase.

Industries and Regions with High Demand for CEHRS

CEHRS are in high demand in various industries and regions. Some of the industries where CEHRS can find employment opportunities include hospitals, physicians' offices, nursing homes, outpatient care centers, and home health care services. These industries have a high need for professionals who can efficiently manage patients' electronic health records.

In addition to job opportunities in different industries, certain regions have a more significant demand for EHR specialists than others. The regions with the highest employment levels for health information technicians (including CEHRS) are California, Texas, New York, Florida, and Pennsylvania.

Qualifications and Certifications Required for CEHRS Positions

To become a CEHRS, you must complete a training program that covers topics such as electronic medical records (EMR) systems, medical terminology, and medical coding. You can complete these programs at various education providers, including community colleges, trade schools, or technical schools.

Once the program is completed, you will need to take a certification exam to become certified. CEHRS can be certified through several organizations, including the National Healthcareer Association (NHA) and the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). These certifications demonstrate proficiency in the EHRs field and can help you stand out to potential employers.

Average Salary for a Certified Electronic Health Records Specialist by Industry & Region

Other factors affecting CEHRS salaries include job duties, level of education (a bachelor's or master's in health information management can increase pay), and type of certification. 

To negotiate a competitive salary, candidates should understand job requirements, certifications, education levels of prospective employers, research market rates for specific industries and regions, and factors that influence salaries. Researching these factors positions candidates to negotiate competitive salaries and benefits packages.

The national average CEHRS salary is around $53,000 annually. However, salaries vary significantly based on industry and region.

IndustryAverage Pay
Physicians' offices$49,000
Nursing homes$44,000 to $47,000
Outpatient care centers$44,000 to $47,000
Home health care services$44,000 to $47,000
RegionAverage Pay
New York$54,000

Job Duties of a Certified Electronic Health Records Specialist

A Certified Electronic Health Records Specialist (CEHRS) plays a crucial role in ensuring the efficient management of electronic health records (EHRs) in the healthcare industry. This includes tracking patient care, managing billing and reimbursement processes, and maintaining accurate and up-to-date patient records. In this article, we will discuss the various job duties of a CEHRS in detail.

One of the key duties of a CEHRS is auditing patient records for compliance with government or insurance requirements. This involves ensuring that patient records are accurate, complete, and adhere to the relevant legal and regulatory standards. A CEHRS also performs basic coding for reimbursement claims, which involves assigning codes to medical procedures and diagnoses to ensure accurate billing and reimbursement.

Another important duty of a CEHRS is abstracting clinical information for reporting purposes, which involves analyzing patient data to identify trends and patterns. This information can be used to develop public health initiatives and improve patient care.

A CEHRS processes Release of Information (ROI) requests for medical records, ensuring that patient data is securely and appropriately shared with authorized parties.

A CEHRS is also responsible for reviewing patient records for completion and accuracy, collecting patient information for demographic and insurance reports, and discussing patient information with physicians and insurance professionals. This requires strong communication skills and attention to detail.

Other key responsibilities may include managing electronic health record systems, training staff on proper usage of electronic health record software, updating patient records, and ensuring patient records are securely stored and maintained. CEHRSs should be familiar with various EHR software systems and have a solid understanding of medical terminology and procedures.

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